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An August 2011 letter in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health estimates that circumcision rates have dropped to 12.4%. The letter was written by Robert Darby Ph.D., and analyzes data on Medicaid rebates for circumcision from 2000-2010, tracking a declining trend in infant circumcision rates from its peak of 90% in the 1950s.

The past century has been marked by the declaration and protection of universal human rights, as well as a marked increase in the quality of life, both in the United States and worldwide. With these improvements, higher expectations regarding a child’s right to bodily autonomy have become socially accepted and legally mandated. Many argue that since female children in the U.S. are protected by a 1996 law banning female circumcision, this law should be expanded to include the protection of male children as well.

Rose Chebet, a resident of Kaserem Parish in Kaserem Sub-county in Kapchorwa District, dropped out of school because she had to flee her home, fearing that she would be circumcised. She said she could not access formal education when she went into hiding and was forced to return to her village to resumed her education.

Earlier this month, Men do complain (MDC) and NORM-UK chairman Dr John Warren and colleagues, pictured below, delivered an open letter to the BMA arguing that 'a child who has no disease, no injury or no dangerous abnormality has no need of any type of treatment or irreversible surgery' and that to carry out it out just to please the parents 'violates the autonomy of children'.

"Africa may be viewed as the new source of discarded virgin foreskins to sustain a multi-million-dollar industry. Discarded human foreskins are used in the cosmetics industry, in the manufacture of insulin and artificial skin," the Medical Rights Advocacy Network warns in the letter.

An initiative banning circumcision that was removed from San Francisco's November ballot stimulated a wave of articles related to the topic, but virtually all of them avoid discussing the inherent harm of circumcision.

There are a growing number of Jews who are becoming increasingly vocal in questioning both the ethics and the legality of circumcision. Jews in the Reform Judaism movement have already been advocating for an end to ritual circumcision during the past 180 years. What follows is a collection of statements from Jews who question the ethics and legality of forced under-age circumcision.

(Beirut) - A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) law that bans female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crucial step in eradicating the practice, Human Rights Watch said today. The Family Violence Bill, approved by the Kurdistan parliament on June 21, 2011, includes several provisions criminalizing the practice, recognized internationally as a form of violence against women. Several studies by the government and non-governmental organizations estimate that the prevalence of FGM among girls and women in Kurdistan is at least 40 percent.

(NEW YORK, NY) — Celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach debated the issue of circumcision with Jewish filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, creator of CUT: Slicing through the myths of circumcision, this past Monday at the Manhattan Jewish Experience in the Upper West Side section of Manhattan. Rabbi Boteach is the author of "Kosher Sex" and has appeared alongside celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, and Christopher Hitchens.

New guidelines to target families that take young girls abroad to undergo female genital mutilation are being sent to prosecutors by the government.

Ministers want to encourage more action against those who inflict the brutal procedure on their children and relatives amid concerns that the current approach serves as little deterrent.

The human rights group Intact America (IA) is exhibiting at the IAS 2011 conference in Rome, Italy, July 17-20, urging policy makers to halt male circumcision rollout, calling the plan exorbitant, dangerous and unethical.

(NEW YORK, NY) — James F. Smith, M.D.  is calling on obstetricians and gynecologists to stop performing routine infant circumcision. Dr. Smith argues that infant circumcision belongs in the medical field of pediatrics, and that pediatricians are the ones who should be performing circumcision.

LEGISLATION TO prevent female genital mutilation “is the first step to ensuring this practice does not take hold in Ireland”, Minister for Health Dr James Reilly has told the Dáil. Introducing the Bill, he described the practice of the partial or total removal of external female genitalia as a “gross violation of women’s human rights”.

BOSTON (RNS) The ballot question in San Francisco to ban infant circumcision has stimulated a wave of discussion about religious liberty and parental choice, but the more general question of the advisability of circumcision is mostly avoided.

(NEW YORK, NY) — UN Women has published their first report on the progress and remaining inequalities for women around the world. Progress of the World's Women: In Pursuit of Justice, cites a 91% prevalence of FGM in Egypt, as well as similarly high prevalence figures for FGM in many sub-Saharan countries.

April 25: A story in The Jerusalem Report, entitled “Challenging the Circumcision Myth: A Movement to Challenge or at Least Question Circumcision Includes Many Jews” notes that many “leading activists against circumcision around the country are Jewish,” including Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Miriam Pollack, Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, Laurie Evans and Mark Reiss, M.D., and author Lisa Braver-Moss.

The school summer holidays are approaching, bringing an increased risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) to over 6000 young girls in London. The Metropolitan Police Service, in partnership with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Kids Taskforce, is today, Monday 4 July, launching a new teaching resource to help tackle this form of child abuse.

The pack will be launched in South London and will see the first showing of 'Cut - Some Wounds Never Heal' a film by the Kids Taskforce and pupils at Lilian Baylis Technology School, Kennington. The hard-hitting film features model, author and human rights activist Waris Dirie, ITV's Dr Hilary Jones and other experts in dealing with FGM.

The Ugandan President cautioned Ugandans not to consider male circumcision as the remedy and automatic control of HIV/AIDS infection.

Genital integrity activists marched under the banner of Intact America during  last Sunday's NYC Pride parade as an estimated 2 million people watched from the sidelines.

(NEW YORK, NY) — The South African Medical Association sent a letter response last week to NOCIRC-SA—the South African chapter of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers— denouncing male infant circumcision as "unethical"and "illegal." The letter was signed by Ms. Ulundia Berhtel, head of the Human Rights, Law & Ethics unit, and Obo Chairperson of the Human Rights, Law & Ethics Committee.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners released new guidelines this month suggesting that male circumcision was not a viable HIV prevention method for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people.

These WHO guidelines contain new public health recommendations to help policymakers and doctors scale up access to treatment and prevention services for HIV and sexually transmitted infections among MSM and transgender people. These are the first global public health guidelines to focus on these specific population groups.

Women's rights activists called on the government to withdraw a decree issued by the health ministry in November authorising certain medical professionals to carry out the procedure on baby girls.

"We are very disappointed with the minister's decision. Circumcision is a form of abuse of women," said Aditiana Dewi Eridani of the Islam and Women's Rights Information Centre today.

"This is a backward step for women's rights protection in this country."

When Russell Crowe apologized for tweeting that “circumcision is barbaric and stupid,” a lot of us were left wondering not only why his opinion on this issue constituted news, but also why he felt the need to apologize. Certainly, he expressed himself without tact, but that’s just Crowe, right?