Intact Denmark is a Danish NGO committed to ending circumcision and other types of non-therapeutic genital surgery of healthy children in Denmark as well as abroad.
The objective is to achieve full respect for children’s individual bodily integrity and autonomy and their personal religious freedom.
Ensuring full protection of children’s fundamental right to bodily integrity and autonomy allows the adults they will become to make free informed personal choices. Even if that choice involves genital modifications.
The organisation’s members are a mix of concerned citizens with a varied background. Some have been subjected to involuntary genital surgeries themselves, whereas others are simply allies. We work with politicians and organisations across the political spectrum, but are non-affiliated as an organisation. We have different religious beliefs, but are a secular organisation.
Our one common objective is the unequivocal protection of children’s inalienable fundamental rights according to amongst others the UN Children’s Rights Convention and the European Human Rights Convention.
In order to achieve legislative change in Denmark, Intact Denmark has proposed a citizen’s initiative to the national parliament, Folketinget, called Implementation of 18 year age limit for circumcision of healthy children. The initiative has achieved the support of more than 50.000 Danish voters, therefore the parliament is now compelled to debate the possible implementation of legislation on the matter and vote on the subject. The debate will most likely be taking place during early October 2018.
Intact Denmark has proposed a number of different possible legislative approaches to the protection of children’s rights to genital autonomy and integrity, including amending the penal code, the health code and the code governing parental responsibilities.
In the late 90’s Denmark introduced anti-FGM legislation to prevent non-therapeutic female genital alterations. In 2003 an amendment was passed which makes the penal code §245a (the anti-FGM legislation) applicable for all residents in Denmark regardless of where in the world the violation has occurred. To date, two criminal trials regarding a total of four girls have been brought to court. Both leading to criminal verdicts.
Similar to the penal code regarding aggravated physical assault (§245) the anti-FGM §245a allows a sentence of up 6 years imprisonment (special circumstances such as death would carry the possibility of up to 10 years imprisonment), however, up until now the sentences have been 8-18 months for type II FGM on two girls (both cases concerned siblings).
The legislative initiatives proposed by Intact Denmark will harmonise the protection of children, so that all children regardless of gender will be protected in a manner similar to the current Danish FGM-legislation.
Ideal legislative protection of children’s rights is gender neutral, it protects their bodies in entirety and does not afford more or less protection to any child on the basis of their cultural background or their parent’s religion of choice. Popularly put, there should not be a difference in the outrage and response from our society, if an assault involved buttocks, chins, penises or labia or whether the child has Middle-Eastern or European background. In the future, it should not matter which gender the children have, how their sexual organs appear or which parts of their healthy bodies are subjected to non-therapeutic alteration.
Intact Denmarks proposes that children of all genders (boys, girls, intersex etc.) under the age of 18 shall enjoy equal protection of their bodily integrity under Danish law and eventually we hope to see that protection become the global standard.
This will allow adults to make free informed choices regarding bodily modifications in accordance with their inalienable right to bodily autonomy and religious freedom.