Council of Europe Opposition to Circumcision Remains Intact

Jewish Media Misrepresent Council’s Recent Resolution



Numerous Jewish media sources report that a recent resolution of the Council of Europe “drops,” “cancels,” and “overturns” its previous anti-circumcision resolution of 2013.

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., executive director of the Circumcision Resource Center, was an invited speaker at the Council of Europe meeting in January, 2014 that discussed its 2013 resolution. He sent an email message 10/8/15 to the Council of Europe that questioned the Jewish media claims, requested comment, and suggested that a news release for clarification would be helpful.

The following response was received 10/9/15. (Bold type is in original message.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported this response on the same day.

In reply to your question, Resolution 2076 (2015) adopted on 30 September 2015 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) does not cancel nor replace Resolution 1952 (2013) on “Children’s right to physical integrity”. The adoption of Resolution 1952 (2013) caused controversy, some readers having misinterpreted the Assembly’s position, believing that it had called for a ban on the circumcision of young boys. This is not what the Assembly said.

[The 2013 resolution calls for raising awareness and debate about violations of the physical integrity of children.]

With the new Resolution 2076 (2015) voted last week, which refers to the previous one, PACE wants to clarify the scope of its call to member States: it does not call for a ban on circumcision – it never did so – but it calls for strict conditions governing the exercise of this practice. In this regard, circumcision should not be allowed “unless practiced by a person with the requisite training and skill, in appropriate medical and health conditions”, with adequate information to parents about potential risks, with a concern to protect children’s rights, the child’s interest remaining the first priority.

We hope this clarifies any confusion caused by inaccurate media claims.

Updated: February 14, 2019 — 5:21 pm