Letter: Circumcision rights

Sir: M Riaz Hasan invokes a parent's guarantee of religious freedom in justification of child circumcision (letters, 26 September). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not however provide the comfort that he claims.

Article 2 provides that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 30 states that "Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect ... the fundamental rights and freedoms of others."

Thus a child's right to physical integrity must be applied without prejudice to race, religion or gender. Religious freedom is no defence to the forced circumcision of infants.

JOHN D DALTON

Frizington, Cumbria

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