Norway’s official advocate for children’s rights (barneombud), Anne Lindboe, has joined Nordic colleagues in calling for an age limit on male circumcision. Lindboe claims there are no health reasons for circumcision in the Nordic countries, and that the boys should be allowed to decide themselves whether they want to be circumcised.
“Circumcision is painful, irreversible and can in the worst cases lead to serious complications,” Lindboe told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). She wants a ban on circumcision until boys are 15 years old and able to make their own decisions.
An unknown number of mostly Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised in the Nordic countries every year in line with religious tradition. Lindboe and the other children’s advocates insist they don’t mean to be trampling on religious freedom, but rather are promoting the rights of boys to choose. Most circumcisions currently take place either shortly after birth or up to the ages of 10-12, according to Lindboe.
She and her Nordic colleagues were meeting in Oslo on Monday to agree on a common policy for age limits on ritual circumcision.