Council of Europe hearing on male circumcision

IMG_0173-crop-300hOn the 28th of January there was a hearing on male circumcision in the Council of Europe. The meeting was open to visitors, invited guests and members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Men Do Complain attended with Patrick and Richard.

We were there to support Victor Schonfeld whose  Channel 4 documentary “It’s a Boy” was shown to those attending the hearing. Flyers were handed out from early morning to promote the showing.

To view the webcast from the hearing please click here or on the image below.


Before the hearing the Channel 4 documentary “it’s a Boy” was shown. The film made it’s point and is still as relevant today as when it was made. The panel were divided and spoke from their various perspectives on the subject of non-therapeutic male circumcision. The encouraging thing from the point of view of children’s rights was the emphasis placed on the right of the child to freedom of conscience thought and religion being the equal of an adult’s right to express their religion.  Marlene Rupperecht, second from left above, stressed that children were human beings from the moment of birth with a full set of human rights. An interview was recorded for the Council of Europe with film maker Victor Schonfeld.


4 thoughts on “Council of Europe hearing on male circumcision”

  1. Thanks for your company and moral support Richard for this most worthwhile expedition. It was a really useful experience for me to be at close quarters to so many ranting and raving zealots who think it is perfectly civilised to take a knife to the genitals of infant boys. Although we were heavily outnumbered by the opposition, we were not intimidated, and showed them that we mean business. I was particularly pleased to meet Ron Goldman and Victor Schonfeld who both taught me much in the brief time available. I look forward to our next outing as we continue our mission to raise awareness that all children have an inalienable right to physical integrity.

  2. The right to change something is a typical ownersright.
    When we look into the sources circumcision was the duty of “the head of the family”, who had to circumcise all men in his house from the slaves to his sons.

    But parents don´t own their children in our time – and so they can´t be allowed ot cut something off their bodys.
    Human rights, individual freedom and an enlightened state of law
    – what could all that stand for if people aren´t allowed to decide about their own body, not even the most private parts, neither about their sexual life or the signs of a religious confession irriversible marked on their body?

    Infant circumcision isn´t about some boys and a piece of skin. It´s about the key values of our society and the basic rules of our legal system as well as our constitution. What, if not that, is worth being protected – and what could be more important, as this is about who we are and what we really stand for when comes to pick sides.

  3. Dear Till, this isn’t about human rights in general … its about BOYS … it’s about violence to, and premeditated mutilation of, defenceless boys … some die, some are scarred and condemned to a life time of suffering in one way or another … it is bloody, screaming, excrutiating cutting into the body. It seems to me that discussing this in abstract, societal terms shows just how dissociated we can become to the pain and suffering inflicted on boys and men – it is not possible to view boys and men as bleeding human beings who are sensitive, who feel pain and who suffer when wrongs are done to them. Lets get angry about this – deliberate, bloody mutilation is not a social studies class.

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