United Nations Project

From July 29 through August 15, 2001, we were in Geneva, Switzerland, working independently and with a team we assembled to lobby the Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights of the United Nations to acknowledge male circumcision as a human rights violation. We presented a well-received seven-minute oral talk to the Sub-Commission on August 14, 2001 and also submitted a “written intervention” which is an official United Nations document, UN Document No. E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/NGO/1 (March 23, 2002), the first one addressing male circumcision as a human rights violation. We met individually with a number of Sub-Commissioners as well as many other representatives of the United Nations and other organizations and countries and discussed our concerns with them, predictably receiving a range of responses. We distributed to all Sub-Commissioners as well as to a number of other attending countries, inter-governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations a range of items including donated videotapes and CD’s of a circumcision (the video was shot by Lawrence Barichello of INTACT), books, and articles. We also issued a press release announcing our work. Plans are underway to return with other organizations to present a unified front to the Sub-Commission. Thanks to the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC) for allowing us to use its UN roster status to make this venture possible.

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