Defending the rights of children – why it is not a no-brainer for everyone?

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    • Defending the rights of children – why it is not a no-brainer for everyone?

      Sebastian Tynkkynen wrote:

      6th of November 2020 was a remarkable day in the Finnish democracy. On that Friday, the Parliament of Finland agreed on that female genital mutilation (FGM) should be more accurately criminalized in the Finnish legislation. The debate and voting were based on a citizens’ initiative with over 61 000 signatures demanding a separate piece of legislation that would clearly prohibit FGMs.

      Despite that day being remarkable in defending the rights of children, girls and women, unfortunately that day was also remarkable in a very unwelcome and opposite manner. Because on that same day, the majority of the parliament did not agree on that we should also immediately start the process to prohibit circumcisions done for boys for non-medical reasons.

      Every year several Finnish boys are stripped of their right to decide on their own body. On a global scale, we are talking about millions and millions of boys every year. For religious and cultural reasons, their parents decide to cut their infant´s foreskin, one of the most sensitive parts of a human body. It’s a decision that cannot be taken back, even if the victim of this cultural tradition wanted to when he reaches adulthood.

      An often-heard argument to defend the current legislation is that Finland would be the first country in the world to prohibit non-medical circumcisions, if such a piece of legislation was to be accepted. Similar bills in other Nordic countries have also faced this argument and have been buried after a vivid debate and fierce condemnations from religious groups.
      After considering this argument, for me, it seems even brighter that we should act and renew our laws to defend both sexes regardless what religions they are representing. If we could set an example for the whole world, that we are ready to support the rights of children no matter how strong opposition we may face, we could defend our own citizens but also citizens of many other countries.

      31-year-old Sebastian Tynkkynen is amongst the youngest MPs’ in the Parliament of Finland.
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