Genital Autonomy was created at a press conference prior to the Genital Integrity symposium held at Keele University in 2008. It was launched as a new worldwide campaign for the protection of children from unnecessary genital surgery.
Genital Integrity linked the subjects of male and female circumcision. Paul Mason, Commissioner for Children in Tasmania was a keynote speaker at the symposium and suggested that Genital Autonomy be formed as a coalition of organisations working to protect male, female and intersex children from unnecessary genital surgery.
Having got the concept and the world wide need, it was a logical step to form GA into a charity. On 2nd June 2010 the first meeting of the embryo organisation was held in London, following which it has been registered as a UK charity with an initially small board of trustees.
Although GA will be based in the UK, it is enhanced by having in this age of instant technology and global communications an international board.
Genital Autonomy will not replace or subsume organisations working to protect male female and intersex children from unnecessary genital surgery. It will be working with them to make a much more powerful voice in the world media and hopefully will gather greater momentum to influence government policy and ultimately change the relevant laws safeguarding children once and for all worldwide.
In many societies today, the rights of children are seen as a human right, and this is recognised by the UN. Performing unnecessary surgeries on infants and children in order to influence adult sexual orientation and/or gender identity outcomes should be seen as a human rights abuse.
We seek recognition that all humans have the right to autonomy over their own bodies, including their genitals. Because infants and children are too young to assert their autonomy, they should not be subjected to unnecessary surgeries which may irrevocably harm them, and which they may not have chosen as adults. We recognise that cases requiring medical treatment for the maintenance of health or preservation of life should be managed as with any other situation where a child needs treatment.
Unnecessary genital surgery on babies is said to be cheaper and easier than on adults. All abuse of babies is easier. They are powerless and history will judge us by how we protect the powerless. Let the children decide for themselves - all in good time.