Physical self-determination in focus

Physical self-determination in focus

Human rights and family organizations plan to demonstrate against all forms of circumcision at a rally in Cologne on Saturday. The occasion is the fourth anniversary of the so-called Cologne verdict.

This had made the religious foreskin removal of a boy a punishable assault. With the demonstration, the participating groups also want to stand up for the enforcement of the rights of all children to physical and sexual self-determination, announced the association "Mogis – A voice for those concerned. In addition to the rally in Cologne, events have been announced in New York, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Sydney and London to mark the "Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy".

Ruling led to controversial debates

The Cologne verdict had sparked outrage among Jews and Muslims and led to a controversial debate. As a result, the Bundestag had passed the so-called circumcision law in December 2012, which explicitly legalized circumcisions of boys that were not medically necessary. Genital mutilation of girls and women has been expressly prohibited in the penal code since 2013.

In Cologne, in addition to Mogis, the organizations Terre des Femmes, Pro Familia NRW, Intakt and the professional association of pediatricians and adolescents are also involved. Children should no longer have to pay with assaults on their privacy, their fears, pain and their lifelong altered sexual experience and sometimes even with their lives for the fact that adults evade a difficult social debate, explained onder ozgeday from the professional working group of circumcision victims in the Mogis association.

Human rights not divisible

"Irreversible interventions in the integrity of children – with the exception of medically necessary treatments – cannot be justified by religion or tradition," stressed Idah Nabateregga of Terre des Femmes. Human rights are not divisible, not even between girls, boys and intersexual children.

Christoph Kupferschmid, a physician from the Professional Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents, pointed out that the male foreskin is an organ with physiological functions. "Their removal therefore leaves a lasting damage," explained. For this reason, medical circumcisions require important justifying reasons. In addition, new efforts by American so-called medical ethicists to legalize less extensive forms of female circumcision must be strongly opposed.

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Christina Cherry
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