Published January 31, 2018
MPs from five different political parties want Iceland to ban the circumcision of young boys in the country, RÚV reports. The spokesperson for the bill is Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, a member of the Progressive Party, which is in the government coalition in Iceland. Among other individuals presenting the bill are members of the Pirate party, the Left-Greens, which leads the coalition, and the People’s Party.
Circumcising women has been illegal in Iceland since 2005, but until now there have been no laws in regard to the circumcision of boys. This is possibly because circumsicion is not a tradition in Iceland, a country where the Muslim and the Jewish communities in Iceland are very small.
Some countries have restrictions when it comes to circumcising boys, but even in those countries the legal framework can often be very unclear.
Perfecting the law
The bill in question states that the Nordic Ombudsman For Children considers it important to ban parents from circumcising boys altogether first and foremost to protect the child’s health.
In the Icelandic bill, the only exception for circumcising a boy would be precisely to protect a child’s health. In all other circumstances, however, the practice is a clear violation of human rights against children who are too young to have a say in this. When it comes to religious reasons, then, the practice would be strictly banned and punished with up to six years of prison for personal assault.