Doctors in Sweden and Denmark have recommended a ban on non-medical circumcision. Unfortunately they’re putting the age of consent at 12, which seems obviously too young, since minors are just that – they’re subject to their parents.
The recommendation is contained in a resolution approved by majority members of the Sweden Medical Association which covers about 85 per cent of doctors in Sweden.
Similarly, the Danish College of General Practitioners, which has 3,000 members, issued a statement that ritual circumcision of male children is equal to abuse and mutilation. About 87 per cent of Danish GPs favored the ban on non-medical circumcision.
Even prior to the recommendation of the two medical groups, the Child Rights International Network in a joint statement with the Nordic Ombudsmen for children and pediatric experts in September 2013 opined that circumcision without medical indication is in conflict with Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The article gives the child the right to express his or her views in all matters concerning him or her.
The statement also cited Article 24, point 3, which mandates protection of children against traditional practices that could be bad for their health.
It seems to be only a recommendation though, even though the headline says it’s a ban.
But there are those who view the recommendations as a mirror of anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant outlook in Nordic nations.
Quoting Erik Ullenhag, the Swedish minister for integration, who said that current regulations would not be altered despite the recommendation, pointed out, “I have never met any adult man who experienced circumcision as an assault … The procedure is not very intensive and parents have the right to raise their children according to their faith and tradition.”
I wish people wouldn’t say things like that. I don’t think parents do have the the right to cut bits of their children off because that’s “according to their faith and tradition.” I think such rights should be limited to “within reason” and that genital mutilation isn’t within reason.