Concern about violations of the physical integrity of children

Strasbourg, 01.10.2013 – PACE has said it is “particularly worried” about certain violations of the physical integrity of children – including the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, early childhood interventions in the case of intersexual children, and the coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery – which supporters tend to present as beneficial to the children themselves, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

In a resolution based on a report by Marlene Rupprecht (Germany, SOC), the Assembly strongly recommends that states promote further awareness in their societies of the potential risks of some of these procedures for childrens’ physical and mental health. It calls on states to clearly define the medical, sanitary and other conditions to be ensured for practices such as the non-medically justified circumcision of young boys.

It also asks states to adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted.

PACE also recommended that “children’s right to physical integrity” should be explicitly included in relevant Council of Europe standards.