Despite the vast majority of the Danish population being in favour of banning the circumcision of boys, the Danish government has accepted that it will not be passing any legislation on the issue.
In a report to the UN regarding human rights issues in Denmark, the government has agreed with an Egyptian contention that it is a human right for parents to be able to circumcise their male children.
“Venstre doesn’t want a ban on circumcision, but it is paramount to us that the practice is in line with Danish law and that it is performed by a doctor,” Jane Heitman, a spokesperson for government party Venstre, told Metroxpress newspaper.
Up in arms
A YouGov survey from 2014 showed that about three out of every four Danes were against the circumcision of boys. But the circumcision of boys remains legal in Denmark as long as there is a doctor present in the room. It can take place anywhere.
About 1,000 to 2,000 boys are circumcised in Denmark every year – primarily the children of parents who are Muslims and Jews. The circumcision of girls is strictly prohibited in Denmark and can lead to a prison sentence.
A number of opposition parties, including Enhedslisten and Liberal Alliance (LA), and children advocacy organisations, such as Børns Vilkår, are vocally against circumcision.
“It’s grotesque,” said LA spokesperson Merete Riisager. “It’s not a human right to cut into one’s children. It is a human right, however, to wait until a person is an adult and can decide for themselves.”