Hearing on the circumcision of young boys

A parliamentary hearing on the circumcision of young boys is to take place in Strasbourg at 2 p.m. on Tuesday 28 January 2014 on the margins of the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The hearing – organised by PACE’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development – will bring together medical experts, including those representing the Jewish and Muslim communities, and parliamentarians, and will be streamed live over the web.

It follows the adoption in October 2013 of the Assembly’s resolution and recommendation on “children’s right to physical integrity” and aims to encourage the open debate between different disciplines called for by the Assembly in these texts.

Participants include:

• Bernard Lobel, urologist, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Rennes (France), member of the French Academy of Surgeons

• Mesrur Selçuk Silay, paediatric urologist, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Bezmialem Vakif University (Istanbul, Turkey)

• Wolfram Hartmann, paediatrician and President of the Professional Federation of Paediatricians and Youth Doctors (Germany)

• Ronald Goldman, researcher and Director of the Circumcision Resource Center (Boston, USA)

• Marlene Rupprecht, former PACE rapporteur on this issue

Representatives of religious organisations, including the Conference of European Rabbis and the French Council of the Muslim Faith, are expected to attend, as well as NGOs active in this field. Members of the Knesset, which holds observer status with PACE, are also due to take part.

The 1995 television documentary “It's a Boy” by British director Victor Schonfeld, as well as extracts from another film – currently in production – putting forward the point of view of the Knesset observer delegation, will be screened prior to the hearing, at 1 p.m. in the same room.

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Practical information

The hearing will take place from 2 to 3.30pm French time in Room 1 of the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg.

Web streaming: the hearing will be streamed live over the web, in the original language, English, French, German, Italian and Russian. A recording (original language, English and French) will be made available on the website of the Assembly.

Accreditation: Accredited journalists will also be able to attend, subject to available space. Send requests to PACE Communication Division, pace.com@coe.int, and Council of Europe Directorate of Communication, accreditation@coe.int

Contact: PACE Communication Division, pace.com@coe.int, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93.