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Denmark circumcison ban to be discussed in parliament

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Denmark circumcison ban to be discussed in parliament

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A petition calling for a ban on male circumcision under the age of 18 has canvassed 50,000 signatures and will now be discussed in parliament.

Intact Denmark led the campaign, which calls for a six-year prison sentence for those carrying out circumcisions on boys under the age of 18, unless for medical purposes.

The country already has this punishment concerning female genital mutilation (FGM), in force since 2003.

"We are calling for the same rights for all children, regardless of their gender," Chairwoman Lena Nyhus told Euronews.

"Parenting is an act of love and direction, not something you carry out on your children with a scalpel," she added.

In early 2018, the Danish Parliament introduced a new process called the "Citizen’s Initiative" that allows people to put items of interest on the parliamentary agenda, provided they have the support of 50,000 individuals.

The movement does not, however, currently have the support of one of Denmark’s three largest parties — the Social Democrats, Danish People’s Party and the Liberal party — which limits its chances of success.

Opposition party the Socialist People’s Party (SF) said it would vote in favour of the ban.

"I think there's a long way to go. I don't think by any means this is more than a first big step," said Nyhus.

"The Citizen’s Initiative is a way of us making the parliament aware that a significant amount of the population is calling for the legislation," said Nyhus.

The initiative still has to be taken on by a member of parliament and made into a proposal, go through rounds of debate, hearings and committees before it is written into a bill proposal.

Circumcision of boys is widely practised by people of the Muslim and Jewish faiths.