Children's Ombudsman calls for circumcision ban in Sweden

September 28, 2013

The Ombudsman for Children in Sweden called Saturday for the country to ban circumcision, a practice he said contravened the basic rights of boys.

"Circumcising a child without medical justification nor his consent contravenes this child's human rights," wrote Fredrik Malmberg in a text co-signed with and published in the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

"The operation is painful, irreversible and can lead to dangerous complications," Malmberg said.

In 2001 Sweden passed a law authorising circumcision, which allows a religious authority to perform the operation if the child is under two months old. If the child is older than this, only a physician can carry it out.

The law also requires the consent of the parents and demands they are fully informed about the operation and its implications.

The law has widespread support in Sweden and a proposal last October to ban circumcision from the far right party Sweden Democrats was rejected.

According to Malmberg the law contravenes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The government estimates that some 3,000 boys are circumcised every year in Sweden.

In 2012, a court in Cologne, Germany said the rite amounted to grievous bodily harm in a ruling that caused international uproar.

The German parliament later decided to pass a law authorising the practice for religious reasons.

Studies have shown there is compelling evidence that reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60 percent.

Explore further: German court rules religious circumcision on boys an assault

Related Stories

German court rules religious circumcision on boys an assault

June 26, 2012
Circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, a German court ruled Tuesday in a landmark decision that the Jewish community said trampled on parents' religious rights.

Germany approves bill to protect male circumcision

December 12, 2012
(AP)—German lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that explicitly permits male infant circumcision, ending months of legal uncertainty after a court ruling that the practice amounts to bodily harm led to an outcry from Jewish ...

German ethics committee tackles circumcision row

August 23, 2012
A senior member of Germany's ethics committee Thursday called for a compromise in a heated debate over religious circumcision after a court ruled the practice was tantamount to grievous bodily harm.

German lawmakers want circumcision ban under 14

November 12, 2012
(AP)—Left-wing lawmakers in Germany are threatening to oppose government efforts to keep male infant circumcision legal.

German doctors seek urgent action on circumcision row

July 15, 2012
German doctors are seeking an urgent clarification from the government over religious circumcision after a court ruling calling it a criminal act prompted an international outcry.

Zurich children's hospital lifts ban on circumcision

August 10, 2012
A Swiss hospital announced Friday that it has lifted a moratorium on religiously-motivated circumcisions imposed in July in the wake of a court ruling in neighbouring Germany.

Recommended for you

Americans misinformed about smoking

August 22, 2017
After voluminous research studies, numerous lawsuits and millions of deaths linked to cigarettes, it might seem likely that Americans now properly understand the risks of smoking.

Women who sexually abuse children are just as harmful to their victims as male abusers

August 21, 2017
"That she might seduce a helpless child into sexplay is unthinkable, and even if she did so, what harm can be done without a penis?"

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

7 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jsdarkdestruction
1 / 5 (7) Sep 28, 2013
pffff, im a boy and im glad im circumcised and am not jewish. pretty much 90% of American boys are circumcised.
freethinking
1.3 / 5 (10) Sep 28, 2013
I disagree with circumcision, HOWEVER, the government should stay out of this. If a parent wants to circumcise their boy it's their choice.

There are pro's and con's to circumcision, this is one area Progressives should keep their noses out of.
JessicaH
5 / 5 (1) Sep 29, 2013
Sewing up a vagina and cutting off the clitoris dramatically reduces STDs as well. It is mutilation and should never be done without unless it is a medical necessity, which is rare.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (8) Sep 29, 2013
"Sewing up a vagina and cutting off the clitoris dramatically reduces STDs as well. It is mutilation and should never be done without unless it is a medical necessity, which is rare. "


Removing the clitorial hood is analogous to male circumcision in women.
freethinking
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 30, 2013
Remember I'm against circumcision, however stating that Removing the clitorial hood is analogous to male circumcision in women, is plain stupid.

Simple way of finding this out is asking the majority of men who have been circumcised if they feel violated or demeaned by being circumcised.

Many/most men who are circumcised feel their sons should be (and I would agree and say incorrectly) circumcised as well. If you think men would allow their boys to be circumcised if they felt violated by circumcision, you don't know men very well.
Egleton
2 / 5 (8) Oct 03, 2013
Whose penis is it anyway?
If you are happy to give permission to other people to cut off someone elses foreskin, then I would be happy to give myself permission to cut off yours.
freethinking
1 / 5 (9) Oct 03, 2013
Egleton, problem is there is pro's and con's to the medical procedure. In Africa the UN's medical community is encouraging men/boys to get circumcised.

When it comes to medical procedures like this, it falls on parents doing what they think is best for their child. If you don't want to circumcise yourself or your boys is your choice and one which I'll agree with. If you want to circumcise your boys, I'll disagree with you but give you the right.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.