Assault is not permitted in any country or state on earth by law. This should mean that this topic should have been dealt with worldwide for children.
However, many (adult) supporters of circumcision believe that removing the healthy foreskin from the healthy penis of a healthy boy (often enough without anesthesia or even anesthesia) is not a physical injury. In addition, it is often argued that something is allowed if it is not forbidden explicitly. However, if, for example, bodily harm is explicitly forbidden, but genital mutilation as a type of bodily harm is only forbidden implicitly, it is difficult to derive permission from this.
The legal situation on the subject of HGM is very different around the world. This article attempts to summarize the applicable laws with regard to HGM in the case of minors, without claiming to be exhaustive:
- 1 United Nations
- 2 Europe
- 3 See also
- 4 References
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
See International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for details.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
See UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for details.
Council of Europe: Bioethics Convention
The "Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine", which came into force in 1999, clearly states that genital mutilation in children is prohibited.
In Denmark, a bill was suggested in 2018 raising the minimum age for non-medical circumcision to 18 years. Previously, a petition had produced the 50,000 votes required for a hearing in parliament.
The German Constitution (Grundgesetz, GG) speaks out clearly against the fact that the genitals of children may be modified without medical indication. The relevant articles are:
On 2012-12-12 the German government anchored a law in the German Civil Code (BGB) that in principle allows parents to mutilate the genitals of their underage boys. The law represents a foreign body in German legislation and a "fall into sin of the constitutional state" (Prof. em. Reinhard Merkel). Similar to Sweden, the so-called Mohel clause were used to revive the basic rights led to absurdity.
In the Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB) there is an interesting passage that is suitable to financially prosecute people who voluntarily submit to HGM for aesthetic reasons. However, it will probably not apply to minors, as the circumcision law currently largely protects their parents in their decision. With FGM, § 226a StGB is available as a legal tool.
The German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) offers sufficient tools to punish genital mutilation:
- § 221 StGB - Suspension
- § 223 StGB - Bodily harm
- § 224 StGB - Dangerous bodily harm
- § 225 StGB - Abuse of wards
- § 226 StGB - Serious bodily harm
- § 226a StGB - Mutilation of female genitals
- § 227 StGB - Bodily harm resulting in death
- § 228 StGB - Consent
- § 235 StGB - Deprivation of minors
In 2012, the French government justified the admissibility of medically not indicated genital mutilation in underage boys with the religious freedom guaranteed in the constitution (possibly as a reaction to the fierce Circumcision Debate in Germany). There are specific regulations only in Alsace-Lorraine (a decree of the emperor of 1862 regulating the certification of mohels).
In Iceland, FGM has been a criminal offense against girls since 2005.
In 2018, a bill was introduced to raise the minimum age for non-medical circumcision for boys to 18 years. It provides for a six-year prison sentence for "the partial or total removal of sexual organs" from third parties.
- Lag (2001:499) - Law on the Circumcision of Boys
The Swiss Federal Constitution (Bundesverfassung, BV) is clearly against the fact that the genitals of children may be modified without medical indication. The relevant articles are:
- Art. 7 BV - Human dignity
- Art. 10 BV - Right to life and personal freedom
- Art. 11 BV - Protection of children and adolescents
- Art. 15 BV - Freedom of belief and conscience
The Swiss Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) offers sufficient tools to punish genital mutilation:
- Art. 122 StGB - Serious assault
- Art. 123 StGB - Simple assault
- Art. 124 StGB - Mutilation of male genitals
- Art. 127 StGB - Endangering life and health. Suspension
- Art. 129 StGB - Endangering life
In March 2018, the chairman of the [[[Pro Kinderrechte Schweiz]] (Pro Children's Rights Switzerland) association, Christoph Geissbühler, published an extensive "Legal assessment of genital circumcision of boys on the basis of medical facts". It notes that in Switzerland previously there were mainly four legal assessments on the amputation of the foreskin in healthy boys, although the authors would have assessed the legal situation differently. What all articles have in common, however, is that they hardly take medical facts into account for their own legal assessments and that they sometimes even misrepresent them. The goal achieved by the association was to finally adequately consider the medical facts for the legal assessment.
- Danish petition against MGM
- Interview with Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls: La France a une part juive incontestable In: Information juive. No. 326, October 2012, p. 8.
- Edwige Belliard, Laurence Herry, Yohann Bénard, Édouard Crépey, Julie Burguburu and others: Réflexions sur la laïcité. In: Conseil d’État, Rapport public 2004. La Documentation française, Paris 2004, ISBN 2-11-005595-2, S. 331–332.
- Legal Assessment of Genital Circumcision of Boys on the Basis of Medical Facts, PDF, as of 2018-08