Covid-19 and circumcision: open letter to Ministers of Health


Open Letter – International Campaign*

May 2020

Attention: Ministers of Health

– parliamentarians
– health insurances
– UNICEF and child protection agencies

Subject: COVID-19 and circumcision, reducing the strain on health resources

During this period of pandemic, the postponement of circumcisions is a decision that relieves strain on health resources. At the same time, the latest scientific knowledge on penile health opens up the prospect that the circumcision of children might never be necessary from a medical perspective.

Today, we can no longer ignore the extent to which circumcision can be a source of suffering for both the child and the man he will become. In 2019, given the extent and seriousness of the complications caused by the circumcision of children, PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) even took the decision to end funding for this practice. This first major disavowal casts doubt on the entire « voluntary » circumcision campaign launched by the WHO and UNAIDS in 2007, which recommends neonatal circumcision. This disavowal should cause UNICEF, which supports this campaign, and child protection agencies as well, to reconsider.

In the face of these harmful consequences, it has become clear that circumcising children is the problem, not the solution. The postponement of circumcision during the COVID-19 pandemic will confirm this.

It is high time for public authorities to consider delisting circumcision, without waiting for the outcome of the broader public debate on the conditions for consent to this surgery, by far the most widely practiced in the world.

Droit au Corps

* France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada…