'Circumcision breaches human rights of the child'

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 28 Sep, 2013 Updated Sat 28 Sep 2013 09:14 CEST
'Circumcision breaches human rights of the child'

There is no medical reason to circumcise little boys; the procedure is painful, irreversible and can cause complications, according to Sweden's children's ombudsman and representatives for several healthcare organizations.


"To circumcise a child without medical reasons and without the child's consent, runs contrary... to the child's human rights and the fundamental principles of medical ethics," they write in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Saturday.

The ombudsman Fredrik Malmberg, together with representatives from the Swedish Society of Medicine (SLS), the Swedish Society of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet), the Swedish Paediatric Society (BLF) and the Swedish Association of Pediatric Surgeons (SLF), argues that Swedish law requires that the child's will be taken into account wherever possible.

Circumcision is a procedure which is typically carried out at a very young age and it is this issue of consent which is paramount, they argue.

"We consider circumcision of boys without the child's consent to be in contravention of article 12 of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which gives children the right to have an opinion in matters which concern them."

They furthermore argue for a change in Swedish legislation in order to meet the human rights of the child and medical ethics.

The issue has become topical in Sweden in recent weeks following the submission of a motion to parliament from the Sweden Democrats calling for an outright ban on the procedure.

Furthermore on Monday September 30th children's ombudsmen from across Scandinavia will meet together with prominent medical professionals in Oslo to discuss the issue.

The Ombudsman for Children in Sweden is a government agency which represents the interests and rights on the basis of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

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