We support the bodily integrity of all people as an inalienable human right and want to promote respect for the autonomous choices of individuals wherever possible. We therefore do not support non-medically necessary procedures to remove parts of the genitals of boys and girls and want to see all laws allowing such procedures repealed and the procedures themselves outlawed when conducted without consent.
What we’re doing
We have long campaigned for better education about female genital mutilation as part of our work to see full and comprehensive sex and relationships education (SRE) gain statutory status – at the moment nothing about FGM has to be taught in schools.
We have also supported the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) in frequently speaking out against genital mutilation at the UN Human Rights Council.
In May 2012 the Cologne regional appellate court in Germany ruled that the circumcision of young boys for non-medical reasons constitutes ‘bodily harm’, therefore rendering it unlawful. We welcomed the news; however the decision was subsequently overturned by a new law passed in December.
The BHA consults with its members on genital mutilation and many other scientific and ethical issues. We welcome your comments on these subjects, which help us to form our campaigns.
You can also research and take up these issues with your MP and/or local authority, or write to a newspaper. Our Take Action Toolkit has advice on how to go about this.