Esteemed colleague Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum (SMF) and Steven Svoboda will be co-presenting at the University of Leeds in Leeds, UK at an upcoming conference entitled, “Future Choices: Keeping Europe Intact,” and run by the European non-profit Future Choices. The subject of the Leeds talk is the work that has gone on with the United Nations, starting in 2001 when we first presented the topic to the UN, and more recently with successful initiatives and reports by Antony and the SMF. Antony and I will focus in our presentation on the submission on 12-31-18, by the International NGO Council on Genital Autonomy (INGOCGA), led by Antony, Steven, and Kira Antinuk of Canada, of a third party intervention to the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child. The dates of the conference are April 26-27, 2019.

Here is the abstract of the talk:

Supporting the United Nations in Developing Awareness of All Forms of Genital Cutting

The United Nations (UN) has shown extreme concern for decades over female genital cutting and has recently displayed admirable interest in eliminating intersex genital cutting. Efforts to bring male genital cutting (MGC) to the UN’s attention began in 2001 when Steven Svoboda presented before the forerunner to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In 2012, Antony Lempert presented to the CRC executive on harm done to children by MGC. This led to supplementary submissions to the UNCRC, which placed MGC in the category of serious harm in 2013.

In 2016, the International NGO Council on Genital Autonomy (INGOCGA) formed to prepare and submit further reports to the UNCRC including an overarching ‘core’ report. In July 2018, the UNCRC invited INGOCGA to submit a third party intervention regarding a Finnish circumcision case on a young boy against the mother’s wishes. Third party interventions are relatively novel procedures of expert input invited by the UNCRC to inform its decision-making.

Following the tragic death of Paul Mason, Antony and Steven led the preparation and submission to the CRC on 31-12-18 of this intervention including background medical, anatomical, legal, human rights and ethical considerations. INGOCGA will continue to work with the UNCRC towards an expansion of the recognition of the harm caused by all forms of childhood genital cutting with the aim of ushering in an era of heightened sensitivity to all genders and all harms children suffer.