Michel Hervé Bertaux-Navoiseau Mrs Marlene Rupprecht
89 rue d'Hauteville Committee on social affairs, health
75010 Paris and sustainable development
F – 67075 Strasbourg cédex
OBJECT: Sexual mutilation
Paris, August 5 2013,
As a psychoanalysis researcher since 1980, defender of the right of the child to physical integrity since 2000 and author of a book against sexual mutilation (available free at academia.edu), I am presenting you a few remarks about your preliminary report to the Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe.
- Draft resolution,
You should mention as point 1 the most drastic consequences of circumcision: racism and violence, according to my specific works on the matter, here joined.
point 3. You mistook article 19-1 of the UNCRC for article 3. You should also mention article 24-3 that seems particularly fit. As for the latter, I inform you that during the meeting "Excision, parlons-en" that took place 06.14.2013 in the Sorbonne, Mrs Christine Lazergues, President of the French National consultative commission of human rights (accredited with the UNO), announced that she would include the discriminatory dimension of sexual mutilation in her own report.
- Explanatory memorandum
- 10. Indeed, since the good faith that you very relevantly point out is always present in traditional or religious injuries to the child, their criminalization is utterly impossible. And this not only because of the absence of intention of harming but also because we are in the presence of collective madness. Criminalization would be gross ethnocentrism unable to apply its own laws to other ethnic groups.
On the other hand, there is a definite bad faith in creating a physical discrimination that aims at giving the child and the community an alleged moral superiority, which is a commonly and wildly touted out very puritan intention (scorning the very innocent autosexuality) that hides a serious and unavowed one: ensuring endogamy and the possession of women, which is both sexism and racism. This characteristic of sexual mutilation has systematically been smothered till now but international conventions and the law have the right and duty to criminalize it. Could you please mention this in your report on the basis of principle 10 of the 1959 IDRC of the UNO.
- 16. Could you please check the WHO's 2006 figure of the rate of 30% for circumcision in the world that seems grossly overestimated (by 50%). Indeed, the WHO gives an absolute figure of 665 million of circumcised men whereas the 2006 world population was around 6,545,000. Assuming that men represent half the population (it is actually a little less), the figure should be a little more than 20.3%. So, could you please check by yourself and ask the WHO to verify and explain its figure.
- 24. You forget to mention that UTIs are easily cured by antibiotics or prevented by strict rooming-in the mother and the child combined with hygiene of the physicians and nurses.
Eventually, concerning both sex mutilations, you could also refer to common bioethics. Indeed, it is an elementary principle that no amputation can be made without a "very serious medical motive" (Article 41 of the French Code of medical ethics).
You do not say a word of the alterations of the sexual function due to circumcision.
- 40. The affirmation: "FGM is also evidently linked to higher maternal and infant mortality." seems very weak when some experts (Doctor Foldès) speak of a 20% maternal mortality at delivery.
- 42. You could mention that the declining of the age of excision is due to the fact that babies cannot resist like elder girls.
- 43. Concerning circumcision, "the right to be free from all forms of discrimination against women" must systematically be balanced with that of all form of discrimination against men and backed up by the obvious noting that circumcision is in itself a great justification for excision, so that treating both mutilations separately is horridly unconscious of the nature of that cultural pedo-criminality. I suggest the fusion of sub-chapters 2.1 and 2.2.
Sexist discrimination in the nursery is a monstrous abomination and fighting sexual mutilation without distinction of sex is the one and only way to fight excision efficiently.
At last, since you implicitly refer to the idea of autonomy of the child, you might also refer to that of dignity of the human person whatever its age.