Sunday, October 7, 2012

HELSINKI: Symposium issues Declaration of Genital Autonomy

October 3, 2012

Syposium issues Declaration of the Right to Genital Autonomy

A symposium in Helsinki has issued a Declaration that Genital Autonomy is a human right.

The Twelfth International Symposium on Law, Genital Autonomy and Human Rights, was held jointly by the Sexpo Foundation, Genital Autonomy and the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC). It included speakers from Australia, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The declaration asserts, inter alia:

the existence of a fundamental right of each human being[,] a Right of Genital Autonomy, that is the right to:
  • personal control of their own genital and reproductive organs; and
  • protection from medically unnecessary genital modification and other irreversible reproductive interventions.

the fundamental right of parents and guardians to freedom of thought, conscience and religion ... not absolute, [but] limited by the same fundamental human rights of others, in particular their children.
healthy genital and reproductive organs are natural, normal, functional parts of the human body.

And it calls on all states that have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (every country in the world except Romania and the USA) to honour their commitments under that convention.

Also at the symposium, a Finnish mother with a Ghanaian husband told of her unsuccessful attempt to protect her son from circumcision. The Finnish Children's Ombusman spoke of moves in that country age-restrict circumcision. Other topics included the role of law in Islamic and Jewish genital cutting, growing interest in Brit Shalom, the CIA's secret studies into the psychological effects of circumcision, ancient Egyptical penile modification customs, and transgender and intersex issues with genital surgery.

1 comment:

  1. The symposium was also told that a bold new letter in opposition to unconsented circumcision will be released shortly. The 30-odd signers are many of the top names in Europe in medicine, policy and law.