Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 11 (BPNS)
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed at the Kerala High Court against the non-therapeutic circumcision of children. The PIL filed by Non-Religious Citizens (NRC), a cultural organization based in Kerala, wanted the court to declare the same as illegal and those who perform the same to be charged under a non-bailable offense.
Terming the practice of circumcision as a ‘cruel’ and ‘unscientific custom’, NRC alleged that circumcising children is nothing but a blatant violation of their fundamental rights. It also highlighted that the practice is a human rights violation.
“The practice is violative of the fundamental right to life. The child is not getting the right of choice. It is an unnecessary violation. It also hurts the bodily integrity and is a medical violence as non-therapeutic circumcision is usually performed,” said the NRC in its petition.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, that covers the head of the male genitalia. Performing circumcision on a male child soon after his birth is being followed by certain religions.
However, NRC contends in the PIL that circumcision is not an essential religious practice.
“The practice poses several health risks including bleeding, infection and even scarring. The children who undergo the same will have that trauma. And this can result in disrupted attachments, cognitive delays, and impaired emotional regulations,” reads an excerpt from the PIL.
The petition to underscore that a child’s right is being violated through circumcision cited treaties like the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child 1989 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly.
“India is a signatory of these treaties. It emphasizes the right of children to live in a secure environment free from any harm or abuse. Thus as a signatory, to protect the child from any kind of torture or cruelty or degrading human treatment is the duty of the government,” said the petition.
The plea also cited some medical journals to highlight that circumcision might lead to loss of sexual function – an increased risk of experiencing delayed orgasm and there is a high probability that the female partner might not feel sexually satisfied.