The new South Africans Children’s Act came into operation on 1st April 2010, and includes amendments to protect boys from circumcision. The new Children’s Act will protect more boys from unnecessary circumcision and ensure that those performing circumcisions for religious and cultural reasons obtain written informed consent from parents.
Consent forms must be retained until the child is 21 years old.
Circumcision for religious purposes must be “in accordance with the practices of the religion concerned and in the manner prescribed.”
This new legislation will reduce the number of circumcisions often carried out on infant boys in hospitals for non-religious and non-medical purposes.
Boys may no longer be circumcised for frivolous reasons. According to the act, ‘medical circumcisions’ must be “for medical reasons on the recommendation of a medical practitioner,” who must also obtain written informed consent from both parents. Health regulations require a valid ICD-10 diagnostic code for the pathology involved and ensure conservative treatments have already been tried.
Circumcision of an adult male may only be with his informed consent, on a similar form.
Cutting of female genitals remains completely forbidden
“We´re grateful the South African government has moved to protect young boys from wanton circumcision,” Shelton Kaye, Co-director of NOCIRC-SA, said.