Argument: Neonatal circumcision violates the right to bodily integrity

Issue Report: Infant male circumcision


“Child Health Rights”, subtitled “Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child within the National Health Service”, ISBN 0 9525928 00, 1995 (Price) – The right to physical and personal integrity, that is to protection from all forms of inter-personal violence, is a fundamental human right which extends fully to children, who are entitled to special care and assistance.

The Convention [on the Rights of the Child] establishes the right to protection from ‘all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse’ while in the care of parents and other carers (Article 19); from ‘inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment’ and unlawful or arbitrary restriction of liberty (Article 37); from harmful traditional practices (Article 24.3), and from all forms of exploitation (Articles 34 and 36). In particular the Convention emphasises that this right to freedom from all forms of violence must be available to all children without discrimination. Forms of violence to children cannot be justified on grounds of; for example, religion, culture or tradition.[1]