Attorneys For The Rights Of The Child

The mission of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child is to secure equal protection for, and broaden public and legal recognition of, children’s legal and human rights to bodily integrity and self-determination that are violated by unnecessary genital cutting of male, female and intersex children.

A number of human rights documents appear to forbid infant male circumcision based on such important principles as the right to physical integrity, the right to freedom of religion, the right to the highest attainable standard of health, and the right to protection against torture. These documents bind the United States, either through our direct ratification of the treaty or under principles of customary international law. The many laws against female genital mutilation, contrasted with the discriminatory nature of excusing and tacitly condoning male genital mutilation, violate principles of equal protection under both international human rights law and American constitutional doctrines.

Our own cultural blindness must not be allowed to warp American law by insulating perpetrators of circumcision from liability under a broad range of legal theories. By understanding the medical and psychological harm caused by circumcision and by positioning ourselves to enforce the legal and human rights guarantees of physical integrity and self-determination, we can work for the best interests of children, by guaranteeing them equal protection under the law.

Recent Blog Posts

Update Regarding Massachusetts Medicaid Lawsuit

On July 22, 2022, the Appeals Court recently ruled against the plaintiffs in a lawsuit claiming that male circumcision is a waste of taxpayer money. The case was filed in July 2020 based on a [...]

Circumcision – Know Your Legal Rights

Atlanta, Georgia attorney, David J Llewellyn has represented over 50 circumcision-related lawsuits. In this video, after a brief introduction by Attorney for the Rights of the Child’s (ARC’s) J. Steven Svoboda, Llewellyn discusses circumcision and legal rights. The following questions are answered:

  1. Who may bring about a circumcision-related lawsuit?
  2. What is “informed consent”?
  3. Who may be responsible for damages?
  4. What are the time limits?
  5. What sort of damages may be awarded?


August 16, 2019
Steven Presented on Genital Autonomy and Gender Equity at Men’s Conference in Chicago
Steven Svoboda spoke regarding, “Genital Autonomy, Gender Equity, and the Law” at the International Conference on Men’s Issues, held in Chicago on August 16-18, 2019.
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April 26, 2019
Steven Presented in UK Regarding United Nations Work
Esteemed colleague Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum (SMF) and Steven Svoboda co-presented at the University of Leeds in Leeds, UK at a conference entitled, “Future Choices: Keeping Europe Intact,” and run by the European non-profit Future Choices.
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ARC Accomplishments

January 8, 2019
Steven Leads Team’s Submission to United Nations
Following the sad and unexpected passing of Australian human rights attorney Paul Mason, Steven Svoboda took over from Paul to lead preparation and submission of the “third party intervention” by the International NGO Council on Genital Autonomy (INGOCGA) to the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
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November 14, 2013
Charleston Debate Marks Turning Point in Movement to Recognize Circumcision as a Human Rights Violation
The Twentieth Pitts Lectureship in Medical Ethics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, held on October 18-19, 2013, marked an awesome team win that activists for genital integrity were able to achieve when I debated Michael Brady, M.D. and effectively also debated Douglas Diekema, M.D., two members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Circumcision.
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