Attorneys for the Rights of the Child ARC

safeguardding Children’s Bodily Integrity – Linked on our blogs with Give someone you never met, a gift they will never forget, and with Clinic to fight taboo of female mutilation.

  • J. Steven Svoboda is founder and Executive Director of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC), a federally and state-certified non-profit corporation Steven founded in early 1997 …
  • … Currently in addition to serving as Executive Director of ARC, he works as a patent lawyer in a well-known Bay Area firm and practices human rights law in Berkeley, California. In July and August 2001, Svoboda traveled to Geneva on behalf of ARC to consult with the United Nations’ Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, making oral and written submissions, the latter of which became part of the official UN record and the first document ever accepted by the UN focusing on male circumcision … (full text about /About J. Steven Svoboda, Esq.).

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About /Who we are: An international network of attorneys and supporters now addresses the multi-faceted issue of genital mutilation of children, particularly the practice of male circumcision.

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) is a non-profit organization founded to secure equal protection for, and broaden judicial and public recognition of, children’s legal and human rights to bodily integrity and self-determination. ARC directs its efforts towards both male and female circumcision (also known as female genital mutilation [FGM] or female genital cutting), focusing on the American cultural practice of male circumcision due to its frequency relative to FGM in the United States and also due to the lack of any other legal organization currently concentrating on male circumcision. ARC’s network of attorneys can assist families whose sons were circumcised without parental consent or below the “standard of care,” and those whose sons died from circumcision. ARC is also working to assist plaintiffs wishing to expand the legal standard on this issue to make legal relief potentially available to all involuntarily circumcised males. The medical profession will confront a challenge to this inhumane disfigurement of baby boys’ genitals from an organization of legal professionals which it cannot afford to ignore.

Compelling reasons exist for strong concern among attorneys and the public about the various types of damage caused by circumcision. These including pain and suffering, psychological harm, behavioral changes, irreversible reduction or loss of full sexual function, and underreported tragic complications, including deaths. Moreover, no satisfactory medical justification for routine circumcision has ever been demonstrated. Committed attorneys have already undertaken a range of legal actions against circumcisers which have made critical contributions to reduce the rate of routine neonatal circumcision in the United States. The national rate has dropped from a high of 85% in the 1980s, to its present rate of less than 60%. However, ARC believes that no involuntary circumcisions can be tolerated in a civilized country.

ARC actively works to encourage professionals in relevant fields including medical ethics, psychology, the rights of children and youth, and the treatment of male sexual victimization to incorporate genital integrity awareness into their work. ARC representatives have published pertinent articles in legal and medical journals and have presented papers at relevant conferences in these and other fields. ARC responds immediately when the need arises for a position paper, letter, or press release related to our expertise … (full long text about /Who we are).

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