[JURIST] Sweden’s Ombudsman for Children [official website] Fredrik Malmberg called for the country to ban infant male circumcision [Dagens Nyheter op-ed, in Swedish] on Saturday, claiming the practice violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [text]. In his editorial, Malmberg stated:
There is no health-related basis for circumcising male babies in those cases the procedure is not medically justified. The procedure is painful, irreversible and can lead to serious complications. To circumcise a child without medical reasons and without the child has consented breaks in our opinion, to the child’s human rights and the basic medical and ethical principles.
Malmberg concluded with the assertion that Sweden’s 2001 legislation authorizing circumcision be changed to only permit circumcision without medical grounds if the boy is of the age and maturity required to understand information about the procedure and consents to circumcision.
Circumcision [JURIST news archive] remains controversial throughout the world. In June 2012 a German court ruled [JURIST report] that circumcising young boys based on religious traditions was prohibited even if the parents consent to the procedure. The ruling was quickly overturned [JURIST report] by the German Parliament [official website, in German], which in December approved a bill explicitly permitting male infant circumcision. Last August the Australian state of Tasmania moved to ban male infant circumcision [JURIST report] after the Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI) [official website] issued a report recommending that the state ban circumcision except for well-established religious and ethnic reasons. In October 2011 California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] signed into law a bill that prevents local governments from banning [JURIST report] male circumcision. The law was written in response to a ballot measure proposed in San Francisco that would have made male circumcision illegal if the recipient was under the age of 18, with perpetrators penalized by a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment.