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Milah UK

New Regualtions in Norway

April 23rd, 2014

The Norwegian Government has formally submitted a bill on ritual circumcision of boys to the Norwegian Parliament. The bill introduces two main criteria to law.

  • It requires ritual circumcision to be performed by a doctor, but it permits the procedure to be performed by others if a physician is present and responsible for the procedure;
  • The costs of the procedure would no longer be borne by the Government, as a ‘user fee’ would be introduced.

The bill is currently being reviewed by the Health and Human Services Committee.

Milah UK has welcomed assurances from the Council of Europe that it will not undertake further work to outlaw the religious circumcision of boys.

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has issued a formal reply to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to make it clear that there are already sufficient international instruments covering the practice and that European countries already “pay particular attention” to the welfare of children that undergo the procedure. This represents significant progress for the campaign for the protection of Milah across Europe since a previous Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) motion suggested that male circumcision compromised a child’s right to physical integrity.

Co –chair of Milah UK Simon Hochhauser said:

This is an extremely important development because it makes a very clear distinction between the abhorrent practice of FGM and Brit Milah. It was the Parliamentary Assembly’s inability to properly make this distinction which lead to the problems in the first place and it is on this issue that we have been campaigning particularly over the last year.”