I’ve just had an email exchange with Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir MP, the Icelandic MP behind the bid to make MGM illegal in Iceland. She has asked me to make public the following information:
The bill is at the moment in process in the Icelandic parliament. My arguments for the proposing the bill
“At the moment the bill 183 is discussed in the Icelandic parliament. Circumcision on girls and women was banned by law in Iceland 2005. Bill 183 is exactly the same as the law we already implemented, except the word „girls“ is now „children“. We should have the same law for all children.
Circumcision is not common in Iceland. People were surprised that boys didn’t have the same protection as girls, in accordance with the law from 2005. I would also point out that The Ombudsmen for Children in all the Nordic countries published a common statement 2013, were they encourage all the Nordic countries to ban circumcision on boys, since it goes against the UN Convention of the Right of the Child. Save the Children in Iceland published a similar statement.
We put bill 183 forward to protect the rights of children, first and foremost, and the individual freedom of the child to choose when it is old enough to do so – to give it´s informed consent. Until then, child’s body should be intact, in our opinion.“
About the process in the Parliament of Iceland
“The bill is put forward by representatives from four political parties. This is an internal affair and we are still discussing the bill. When the first round of discussions is over, a parliamentary committee will further research the matter and then take their conclusion into the floor of parliament, for another round of discussions. It is uncertain when discussions will conclude and what the outcome of the vote will be. It is totally normal that we, as Icelandic MP´s, take complicated matters, such as male circumcisions up for discussion in parliament. We cannot be afraid of talking about difficult, sensitive and highly debated issues. It is our job to do so and form the legal framework in our society.“
About child protection, not put forward against religion
“Circumcision on boys and girls is technically different, as we all know. But in both cases the individual right of the child to choose, is taken away. Those procedures are unnecessary, done without their informed consent, non reversible and can cause all kinds of severe complications, disfigurations and even death. Thankfully, many do not have any complications, but some do and one is too many if the procedure is unnecessary.
The bill is not put forward against religion. It is put forward to protect children and their right. Banning circumcision of boys does not go against the religious right of their parents.“
Here are information about the links mentioned above and some more
This is a link to the statement of the icelandic ombodsman of children. Further down there is a attached pdf letter with the common statement of the Nordic countries.
The Convention of the Right of the Child (United Nations)- English:
Informing article; Pediatrics 2013, written by 38 pediatrics, where they question the health benefits of circumcision, if they exist at all.
Banning circumcision of boys does not go against the religious right of their parents.“
Arguments from The Ombudsman for Children in Norway in the mass media 20. February 2018:
All the best,
Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir,
Member of the Parliament in Iceland