I am sad to report that my friend and colleague, Australian human rights lawyer Paul Mason, has passed away. Paul and I worked closely for the last two years on an international team, the International Council for Genital Autonomy that, as ARC will be shortly reporting, has written and recently submitted to the United Nations a report on circumcision as a human rights violation. Paul had a hearty laugh, an irresistible personal warmth, a love of life and an inimitable genuineness from which I dare say everyone who knew Paul learned and benefited. It was just this past May 7, 2018 that Paul and his wife Lyn Ramsey spent several hours at the house of my new wife Gina and me when we threw a party for activists after the San Francisco symposium.

ARC’s close friend and colleague in Australia, Travis Wisdom, reports:

“Friends, it’s with great sadness that I’d like to inform you all that Paul Mason, Chair of the Australasian Institute for Genital Autonomy, and Former Children’s Commissioner of Tasmania, died last night. Paul was a family law barrister in Brisbane, and a passionate advocate for children’s rights for over three decades. In 2008, he became an inaugural joint patron of the UK-based global charity, Genital Autonomy. I first met Paul at a genital autonomy conference at Keele University in Staffordshire, England, one year before I studied in the UK. Paul was the first person to encourage me to bring my genital autonomy advocacy and scholarship to Australia, and to pursue my PhD at Adelaide. He will be remembered for his tireless efforts to protect children’s right to physical and mental integrity and for his vision of a world in which all children are protected from medically unnecessary, non-consensual genital alterations.”

Marilyn Milos of Genital Autonomy America (formerly NOCIRC) reports:

“Lyn sent me an email yesterday telling me Paul died in her arms just three weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Their son, Orlando, was with them and Paul hugged them both as he hummed his way out. He will be missed! Our hearts are with Lyn, Orlando, and Nui (Lyn’s daughter).”

Here is a link to a great interview James Loewen conducted a number of years ago with Paul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M32u4fQwHS8

Rest in peace, dear brother. You deserve it!

Steven Svoboda