NOCIRC: The United Nations Ignores the Suffering of Male Children by Not Including Forced Circumcision in their “World Report on Violence against Children”

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According to the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers, the UN fails in its humanitarian mission by choosing to ignore boys. Are they ignorant, sexist, or sadly just indifferent to boys’ suffering? The first sentence in the just released, 34-page report, which took four years to compiles, is “No violence against children is justifiable.” The United Nations’ silence on these crimes is nothing less than justification for them.

Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose Council drafted the report, says, “A veil of silence covers violence against children, yet abuses are so pervasive that no country can ignore them, and no society can claim to be immune from them.”

"We couldn’t agree more," said Marilyn Milos, executive director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), a United Nations NGO. "Yet the comprehensive report is suspiciously quiet about the millions of male infants and boys who are forced or coerced to endure painful and debilitating genital cutting each year. The report does not once mention circumcision. There is indeed a conspiracy of silence, and it appears it is lead by the United Nations. Male genital cutting (including circumcision) is such a violence against children that none dare speak its name."

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the independent expert appointed by the UN secretary-general to direct the study, concludes, “Children endure violence in silence and hopelessness because of shame and fear of retribution, and because such abuses are sometimes state-authorized and generally socially approved.”

Such is certainly the case in the United States where 1.2 million infants are forced to endure genital cutting. Medicaid pays for twenty-five percent. Worldwide, one out of six males are victims of some form of ‘circumcision’, ‘prepucectomy,’ ‘penile reduction surgery,’ or whatever euphemism is used to describe the tearing and cutting of sensitive genitals, while the helpless boy is restrained by adults.

According to NOCIRC, the UN cannot claim ignorance of this human rights violation. On August 14, 2001, the UN was sharply criticized for discrimination against males by the human rights group Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC), which presented a report on the subject at United Nations headquarters in Brussels. ARC director was told the UN was now barred from considering harmful traditional practices on male children.

Everywhere that FGM occurs in the world, male circumcision also takes place; and male circumcision occurs six times more often.

Neither NOCIRC, a United Nations NGO in Roster status, or the International Coalition for Genital Integrity, member of Childrens Rights Information Network (CRIN), were contacted to contribute to the report.

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Marilyn Milos

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