Unfortunately for campaigners against Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK, it is a Norwegian MP calling for the ban, but the news does demonstrate how the international movement to give boys and girls equal protection in law is gaining momentum.
In an interview with Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet published today, a representative of Norway's Center Party has argued that circumcising a newborn boy for religious reasons should be made illegal.
Citing how circumcising a girl is already prohibited, justice policy spokeswoman Jenny Klinge (pictured) and the Center Party — a junior member in Norway's coalition government — reportedly believe it is time to extend this law to include males.
“In my view, this is a custom that we cannot accept in a modern, civilized society. Our aim is to prioritize the rights of small children. Fortunately, it has become forbidden to circumcise girls, now it’s time for boys to get the same legal protection,” Klinge told newspaper Dagbladet.
Although the Centre Party itself a junior partner in Norway’s Red-Green coalition government, the politician also criticized the government’s decision to consult experts on the possibility of introducing circumcision into the public healthcare system, a move she fears would legitimize the practice.
She stressed that she was not opposed to circumcision in cases where it was deemed a medical necessity.
“But circumcision based on ritual and religion is actually about holding down a newborn baby boy and cutting off part of a healthy sexual organ, with all the consequences that this might have for an individual’s future health and sex life,” said Klinge.
With this in mind, performing a circumcision on religious grounds ought to be made a criminal offence, she added.
Jan Helge Solbakk, a professor of medical ethics at Oslo University, agreed with Klinge’s criticism of the practice according to a The Local (Norway's News in English) saying:
“It represents an irreversible operation on a boy who is not in a position to protect himself, and as such is in breach of basic human rights,” he told Dagbladet.
Those wanting to see the practice of Unnecessary Male Circumcision banned in the UK are invited to click here and sign our online petition today