In a report supported by the National Secular Society, the International NGO Council on Genital Autonomy (INGOCGA) has called on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to work towards "full, equal protection of all minors" from non-therapeutic genital cutting until they are able to make their own decisions about their bodies.
Both female genital cutting (FGM) and male circumcision are frequently performed for religious reasons.
The report said legal measures against genital cutting upon children have "not happened uniformly" and leave large populations of children "wholly unprotected". While it is generally accepted in legislation that genital cutting of girls is unacceptable in all circumstances, circumcision of male children is "almost wholly unrestrained", it said.
The report said the view that genital cutting of a child is a legitimate exercise of parents' religious freedom is a "misconception", as it violates children's own rights to bodily autonomy and freedom to choose a religion or belief identity. It also said the right to manifest beliefs is qualified, and should be restricted if it violates the rights and freedoms of another person.
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