Council of Europe ‘worried’ about circumcision / PACE AGAINST CIRCUMISION MALE OR FEMALE

STRASBOURG – 2.10.2013 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has released a resolution focused on the “violations of the physical integrity of children,” including the circumcision of young boys for religious causes, which remains a controversial issue in European societies.

The resolution calls for the European states to “promote further awareness in their societies of the potential risks of some of these procedures,” which the assembly lists as the circumcision of boys, early childhood interventions in the case of intersexual children and the coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery. The assembly said that though such practices are projected as beneficial to children, they often fail to be so. The resolution further states that member states should “clearly define the medical, sanitary and other conditions to be ensured for practices such as the non-medically justified circumcision of young boys” and adopt legal provision that would prevent the carrying out of certain operations before a child is old enough to consent.

Report provocative, says Turkish deputy

Nursuna Memecan of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the current head of the PACE Turkish delegation described the report as “irresponsible, dangerous and provocative.” Memecan said the dangers that could be brought about by circumcision were not proven by any scientific report or study, Anadolu Agency reported. The debate around circumcision in European countries entered a new phase last year when a Cologne court ruled that the removal of the foreskin for religious reasons amounted to grievous bodily harm and was therefore illegal. After heavy criticism, German lawmakers passed a cross-party motion to protect religious circumcision.