Anastasios Zavales

Presented at the Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations,
University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, August 9-11, 1996.

The world community is increasingly educated on crimes against humanity, in particular, about individuals practicing genital mutilation, commonly termed circumcision" Genital mutilation affects more than 2 million girl-child victims and more than 13.5 million boy-child victims annually throughout the world. Every two seconds, one child-victim endures genital destruction and sexual torture as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment.

The global proliferation of genital mutilation by circumcisers torturing child-victims incorporates atypical human rights violations: body-dysmorphic disorders, genital destruction, psycho-social impairment, and spiritual death. Universal human rights codes of ethics establish the working definitions, protocols, and provisos of recognizing all victims of genital intolerance and sexual discrimination by advocating grassroots justice. Human rights principles and corrective actions incriminate genital mutilators and their accomplices whose evils deny millions of children their reproductive rights to genital integrity and restitution, and sexual liberation.

Through the systemic history of the United Nations, human rights precedents develop for identifying and reporting international violations of genital mutilation. The mutually-inclusive concepts of gender equality and gender equity categorically recognize the diverse UN "factors and difficulties" of abolishing circumcision. Human rights standards and practices register, as expressed through The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and subsequent UN texts and programs, the social benefits of eradicating all forms of genital mutilation: spiritual integrity and freedom; gender equality and equity; sexual integrity and mental health; economic and social development; educational and scientific rights; religious and cultural freedoms; and, mostly, children's rights.

[The full report was presented to the symposium.]

Anastasios Zavales is founder and Secretary-General of Ecumenics International, Inc., a global non-profit educational research foundation in Sloatsburg, New York. Having worked continuously in the international field for more than 20 years, Professor Zavales understands the practical and theoretical operations of worldwide human rights advocacy for justice and peace. Ecumenics International is incorporated under the auspices of the New York State Department of Education and the State University of New York. As a nongovernmental affiliate of the United Nations, a senior member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, and the nongovernmental Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Professor Zavales initiated the "Universal Covenant of Ecumenics International on the Abolishment of Female and Male Genital Mutilation, Painfully Commemorating Billions of Victims, and Honoring All Martyrs of Human Rights, Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of the Ecumene [the World]," on 10 December 1993, the UN's Human Rights Day.

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