STOP Intersex Genital Mutilations in Children's Clinics!

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Saturday 6 February 2016

IGM = Violence in Health Care Settings, NOT "Controversy" or "Debate"!

When talking, writing or lecturing about intersex and rightfully addressing violence against intersex people, it's not acceptable to count only comparatively rare cases of "verbal and physical abuse" and "bullying" while at the same time dismissing Intersex Genital Mutilations, framing IGM as "controversy" and "heated debate" over "health and medical services" instead.

IGM is VIOLENCE, a HARMFUL PRACTICE comparable to FGM, and INHUMAN TREATMENT in breach of the UN convention against TORTURE, and by far the most common and most severe form of violence intersex people experience, and MUST STOP!

Framing IGM not as violence, but as "health care", or under "discrimination" or "civil status and identity issues" is INTERSEX APPROPRIATION and actively siding with the perpetrators, and MUST STOP just as well!

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors! 

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

Friday 5 February 2016

IGM = "Harmful Practice" + "Violence": UN Reprimands France + Ireland for Intersex Genital Mutilations

>>> Français       >>> Deutsch 

Bearing witness to IGM, 71st Session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child:
Vincent Guillot (France), Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org), Gavan Coleman (Ireland),
Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org, photo) at Palais des Nations, Geneva 13.01.2016

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org 04.02.2016

IGM = Hamful PracticeStopIGM.org warmly welcomes the historic, binding 2016 "Concluding Observations" of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for France and Ireland.
Ireland: CRC/C/IRL/CO/3-4, DOC, on Intersex: p. 8-9, paras. 39–40
France:
CRC/C/FRA/CO/5, DOC, on Intersex: p. 9–10, paras. 47–48

This marks the first time that the Committee reprimanded two States over IGM practices at once, again recognising non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible, cosmetic genital surgeries and other procedures on intersex children as a "harmful practice" and as "violence against children".

We particularly appreciate that the Committee specifically called on Ireland to "adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation", and for France invoked their Joint General Comment No. 18 (2014) and No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on harmful practices, which also contains detailed stipulations regarding legislation and access to justice and redress for survivors, and highlights the necessity of developing a holistic policy.

The fight of intersex people and their organisations for "bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination" and to eliminate IGM practices is far from over. The CRC's renewed Concluding Observations however mark an important and most welcome step towards these goals, a sign of hope for intersex children everywhere – and a stern warning for IGM perpetrators and complicit states!

   >>> Minister Denies but Admits! Ireland questioned over IGM – Full Transcript
   >>> Minister Stalls & Diverts: France questioned over IGM – Full Transcript  

The Binding Intersex Recommendations for Ireland:
(CRC/C/IRL/CO/3-4, DOC, on Intersex: p. 8-9, paras. 39–40)

E.    Violence against children (arts. 19, 24, para.3, 28, para. 2, 34, 37 (a) and 39)

Harmful practices [CRC art. 24(3)]

39.  The Committee notes as positive the adoption of the Gender Recognition Act of 2015 by the State party. However, the Committee remains concerned about cases of medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they are able to provide their informed consent, which often entail irreversible consequences and can cause severe physical and psychological suffering, and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases.

40.  The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a)   Ensure that no-one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to children concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;

(b)   Undertake investigation of incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex children without informed consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation; and,

(c)   Educate and train medical and psychological professionals on the range of sexual, and related biological and physical, diversity and on the consequences of unnecessary surgical and other medical interventions for intersex children.

The Binding Intersex Recommendations for France:
(CRC/C/FRA/CO/5, DOC, on Intersex: p. 9–10, paras. 47–48)

D.    Violence against children (arts. 19, 24, para.3, 28, para. 2, 34, 37 (a) and 39)

Harmful practices [CRC art. 24(3)]

47.  While noting with appreciation the progress made by the State party to eradicate female genital mutilation the Committee is, however, concerned by many young girls still at risk and the possible resurgence of the phenomenon. The Committee is also concerned that medically unnecessary and irreversible surgery and other treatment is routinely performed on intersex children.

48.  Recalling the Committee’s joint general comment No. 18 (2014) and No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on harmful practices, the Committee recommends that the State party gather data with a view to understanding the extent of these harmful practices with a view to better identify children at risk and prevent them. It recommends that the State party:

(a)    Increase awareness of female genital mutilation in the State party among girls at risk, medical professionals, social workers, the police and gendarme officers, and magistrates;

(b)    Develop and implement a rights-based health care protocol for intersex children, ensuring that children and their parents are appropriately informed of all options, that children are involved, to the largest extent, in decision-making about their treatment and care, and no child is subjected to unnecessary surgery or treatment.

IGM = Harmful PracticeBackground: IGM and Human Rights

Typical forms of IGM practices include "masculinising" and "feminising", "corrective" genital surgery, castration and other sterilising procedures, imposition of  hormones, forced genital exams, vaginal dilations, medical display, withholding crucial information from patients an parents, human experimentation, and denial of needed health care.

IGM Practices cause known lifelong severe physical and psychological pain and suffering, including loss or impairment of  sexual sensation, painful scarring, painful intercourse, incontinence, urethral strictures, impairment or loss of  reproductive capabilities, lifelong dependency of artificial hormones, significantly elevated rates of self-harming behaviour and suicidal tendencies, lifelong mental suffering and trauma, increased sexual anxieties, less sexual activity.

Since 1950, IGM has been practised systematically and on an industrial scale allover the “developed world”, with all typical IGM forms still practised today. Parents and children are misinformed, kept in the dark, sworn to secrecy, kept isolated and denied appropriate support.

For more than 20 years, survivors have criticised IGM practces as harmful and traumatising, as a fundamental human rights violation, as a form of genital mutilation and child sexual abuse, as torture or ill-treatment, and called for legislation to end it and to ensure remedies.

In the past twelve months, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has repeatedly criticised unnecessary intersex treatments as a Harmful Practice and thus comparable to Female Genital Mutilation, and – in addition to France and Ireland – has so far reprimanded Switzerland and Chile for failing to protect intersex children's right to bodily integrity and to ensure equal access to remedies and justice for victims.

Similarly, since 2011 the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) recognised IGM practices as constituting at least Inhuman Treatment in violation of the Convention against Torture, and so far reprimanded Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Hong Kong. Other UN bodies to condemn IGM include the Human Rights Committee (HRCttee), WHO, UNICEF and the Special Rapporteur on Torture.

States as contracting parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Torture and other applicable Covenants including CCPR and CRPD can no longer feign ignorance of the illegal nature of IGM practices, but now must take all appropriate measures including legislation to eliminate them, and to guarantee access to effective redress and justice for all IGM survivors!

The international intersex human rights NGO StopIGM.org demands the prohibition of forced genital surgeries on children and adolescents with Variations of Sex Anatomy and "Human Rights for Hermaphrodites too!"

Persons concerned shall later decide themselves, if they want surgeries or not, and if yes, which.

Kind regards

Daniela "Nella" Truffer, Markus Bauer
Founding members human rights NGO Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org

Mobile +41 (0) 76 398 06 50
Mobile +41 (0) 78 829 12 60

presse_at_zwischengeschlecht.info

http://StopIGM.org

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>>  Download (PDF 3.60 MB)

   >>> Minister Denies but Admits! Ireland questioned over IGM – Full Transcript
   >>>
UN Media Release on the Session with Ireland, mentions intersex  

Intersex Genital Mutilations in France: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>
>>  Download (PDF 3.41 MB)

   >>> Minister Stalls & Diverts: France questioned over IGM – Full Transcript  
   >>> UN Media Release on the Session with France, mentions intersex

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

MGI = "Pratique Préjudiciable" + "Violence": l’ONU réprimande la France + l’Irlande pour les Mutilations Génitales Intersexes

>>> English        >>> Deutsch  

Témoignages sur MGI, 71ème Session du Comité de l'ONU des Droits de l'Enfant:
Vincent Guillot (France), Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org), Gavan Coleman (Irlande),
Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org, photo) au Palais des Nations, Genève 12.01.2016

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Comuniqué de Presse par StopIGM.org 05.02.2016:

IGM = Hamful Practice

StopIGM.org se félicite des "Observations finales" exécutoires historiques du Comité de l'ONU des Droits de l'Enfant (CRC) pour la France et l'Irlande:

Irlande:
CRC/C/IRL/CO/3-4, DOC, on Intersex: p. 8-9, paras. 39–40
France:
CRC/C/FRA/CO/5, DOC, on Intersex: p. 9–10, paras. 47–48

C'est la première fois que le Comité réprimande deux états sur les pratiques MGI en même temps, de nouveau en reconnaissant les opérations génitales non consenties, médicalement pas nécessaires et irréversibles, et d'autres traitements préjudiciables sur des enfants intersex come "pratique préjudiciable" et comme "violence contre des enfants".

On apprécie particulièrement que le Comité ait spécifiquement fait appel à l'Irlande d'"adopter des mesures législatives pour fournir des réparations aux victimes de tel traitement, y compris une compensation de manière adéquate", et que – concernant la France – le Comité ait invoqué l'Observation Générale Conjointe no 18 CRC (2014) et no 31 du Comité pour l'élimination de la discrimination à l'égard des femmes (CEDAW) sur les pratiques préjudiciables, qui contient aussi des stipulations détaillées concernant la législation et l'accès à la justice et aux réparations pour les survivants, et souligne la nécessité de développer un cadre global.

La lutte des personnes intersex et leur organisations pour "le respect de leur intégrité physique, de leur autonomie et de leur droit à l'autodétermination" et pour l'élimination les pratiques MGI est loin d'être terminée. Néanmoins les Observations finales renouvelées du Comité des Droits de l'Enfant marquent un pas en avant important et bienvenu vers ces objectifs, un signe d'espoir pour les enfants intersex partout – et un sévère avertissement pour les coupables d'MGI et les gouvernements complices!

   >>> Mutilations Génitales Intersexes: La France questionnée par l'ONU  
   >>> La Ministre Bloque et Detourne - Transcriptions des Questions et Réponses MGI  
  
>>>
Ireland questioned over IGM – Full Transcript

Informations Générales: MGI et Droits Humains

IGM = Harmful Practice

Les formes typiques de pratiques MGI comprennent des opérations génitales "masculinisantes" et "féminisantes", des castrations et d’autres procedures stérilisantes, l’imposition d’hormones, des examens génitaux forcés, des dilatations vaginales et l’exhibition médicale, le refu des informations essentielles aux patients et aux parents, l’expérimentation humaine, et le déni de soins médicaux.

Il est connu que les pratiques MGI causent des douleurs et souffrances physiques ou mentales aiguës tout au long de la vie, y compris la perte ou détérioration des sensations sexuelles, des cicatrices douloureuses, le rapport sexuel douloureux, de l’incontinence, des sténoses urétrales, la perte ou détérioration de la fertilité, une dépendance à vie d’hormones artificiels, des taux élevés de manière signifiante de comportement d’automutilation et tendances suicidaires, souffrance mentale et traumatisme à vie, anxiétés sexuelles élevées, et moins d’activité sexuelle.

Depuis 1950, MGI a été pratiqué systématiquement et à l’échelle industrielle dans tout le "monde développé", et toutes formes de MGI sont encore pratiquées aujourd’hui. Parents et enfants sont désinformés et tenus dans l’ignorance, tenus au secret, isolés et refusés un soutien approprié.

Depuis plus de 20 ans, des survivants ont critiqué les pratiques MGI comme préjudiciables et traumatisantes, comme une violation fondamentale des droits humains, comme une forme de mutilation génitale et d’abus sexuel de l’enfant, comme de la torture ou maltraitance, et ont demandé une législation pour éliminer ces pratiques et garantir des recours.

Dans les derniers douze mois, le Comité de l’ONU des Droits de l’Enfant (CRC) a à plusieurs reprises critiqué ces traitements inutiles des personnes intersex comme une Pratique Préjudiciable et par conséquent comparable aux Mutilations Génitales Féminines, et a pour l’instant réprimandé la Suisse et le Chili pour ne pas avoir protégé le droit des enfants intersex à l’intégrité physique et de ne pas avoir garanti un accès égal aux recours et à la justice pour les victimes.

De la même façon, le Comité de l’ONU contre la Torture (CAT) a reconnu depuis 2011 que les pratiques MGI constituent au moins un Traitement Inhumain en violation de la Convention contre la Torture, et a pour l’instant réprimandé l’Allemagne, la Suisse, l’Autriche, le Denmark et Hong Kong. D’autres organes de l’ONU qui condamnent MGI sont par example le Comité des droits de l’Homme (HRCttee), l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (WHO), UNICEF et le Rapporteur Spécial sur la Torture.

Les Etats parties qui ont ratifié la Convention des Droits de l’Enfant, la Convention contre la Torture et d’autres pactes applicables, y compris CCPR et CRPD ne peuvent plus feindre l’ignorance de la nature illégale des pratiques MGI, mais doivent désormais prendre toutes mesures appropriées, y compris des dispositions législatives pour éliminer ces pratiques, et pour garantir l’accès à un recours efficace et à la justice pour tous les survivants de MGI!

Le groupe des droits humains international StopIGM.org exige l’interdiction des opérations génitales forcées sur des enfants et adolescents avec des variantes du sexe biologique et "Droits Humains pour les Hermaphrodites aussi!"

Les personnes concernées doivent pouvoir décider eux-mêmes plus tard, s’il veulent des opérations ou pas, et si oui, lesquelles.

Meilleures salutations

Daniela "Nella" Truffer, Markus Bauer
Membres fondateurs de l'ONG internationale StopIGM.org

Mobile +41 (0) 76 398 06 50
Mobile +41 (0) 78 829 12 60

presse_at_zwischengeschlecht.info

http://StopIGM.org

   >>> Mutilations Génitales Intersexes: La France questionnée par l'ONU  
   >>> La Ministre Bloque et Detourne - Transcriptions des Questions et Réponses MGI 
   >>> Communiqué de Presse ONU sur la Session avec la France, mentionne Intersex

Intersex Genital Mutilations in France: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>
>>  Download (PDF 3.41 MB)

   >>> Ireland questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations
   >>> Minister Denies but Admits! Intersex Q&A – Full Transcript
   >>>
UN Media Release on the Session with Ireland, mentions intersex 

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>>  Download (PDF 3.60 MB)

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

Monday 1 February 2016

Ireland and France questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations by UN - Reprimands due "around Thursday

UPDATE: The publication of the Concl. Obs. has been delayed until around Thursday!
>>> FRANÇAIS: « Mutilations Génitales Intersexes: L'ONU réprimande la France »
  

NGO Reports to CRC documenting crimes against intersex children in France and Ireland

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org 28.01.2016:

IGM = Hamful Practice

During its 71st Session, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) expertly questioned Ireland over non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible, cometic genital surgeries and other harmful treatments of intersex children (in the vernacular also known as hermaphrodites), aimed at "correcting" their "atypical" reproductive anatomies.  
>>>
Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland (PDF)

The Irish delegation repeatedly denied the practice taking place in Ireland, despite ample evidence linking IGM practices to several Irish university children's clinics and treatment guidelines by the HSE. In the end Minister Dr. James Reilly, referring to his own practical experience as a medical doctor, inadvertendly confirmed such treatments "very often" being carried out on "very young babies".   >>> Session Transcript

IGM survivors and intersex human rights defenders expect the Committee to issue very strong binding recommendations to the Irish government, to be published tomorrow Friday afternoon on the Committee's Session Homepage.

An extensive thematic report to the Committee on the practice in Ireland filed by Irish IGM survivor and intersex human rights defender Gavan Coleman in collaboration with the international intersex NGO StopIGM.org, proved IGM practices being advocated and perpetrated all across Ireland, including by the Health Service Executive (HSE), the National Children’s Research Centre at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Dublin, and the Cork University Children's Hospital in Wilton. In a private meeting with the Committee's Co-Rapporteurs for Ireland, Coleman and StopIGM.org also testified to the severe physical and psychological pain and suffering caused by Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland.

In addition to Ireland, during its 71st Session in Geneva the CRC also expertly investigated IGM in France, a state party infamous for impertinently advocating and perpetrating IGM practices internationally, and thus expected to be issued a particularly stern reprimand.  
>>>
Intersex Genital Mutilations in France (PDF)   >>> Session Transcript 
 

IGM = Harmful PracticeBackground: IGM and Human Rights

Typical forms of IGM practices include "masculinising" and "feminising", "corrective" genital surgery, castration and other sterilising procedures, imposition of  hormones, forced genital exams, vaginal dilations and medical display, withholding crucial information from patients an parents, human experimentation, and denial of needed health care.

IGM Practices cause known lifelong severe physical and psychological pain and suffering, including loss or impairment of  sexual sensation, painful scarring, painful intercourse, incontinence, urethral strictures, impairment or loss of  reproductive capabilities, lifelong dependency of artificial hormones, significantly elevated rates of self-harming behaviour and suicidal tendencies, lifelong mental suffering and trauma, increased sexual anxieties, less sexual activity.

Since 1950, IGM has been practised systematically and on an industrial scale allover the “developed world”, with all typical IGM forms still practised today. Parents and children are misinformed, kept in the dark, sworn to secrecy, kept isolated and denied appropriate support.

For more than 20 years, survivors have criticised IGM practces as harmful and traumatising, as a fundamental human rights violation, as a form of genital mutilation and child sexual abuse, as torture or ill-treatment, and called for legislation to end it and to ensure remedies.

In the past twelve months, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has repeatedly criticised unnecessary intersex treatments as a Harmful Practice and thus comparable to Female Genital Mutilation, and has so far reprimanded Switzerland and Chile for failing to protect intersex children's right to bodily integrity and to ensure equal access to remedies and justice for victims.

Similarly, since 2011 the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) recognised IGM practices as constituting at least Inhuman Treatment in violation of the Convention against Torture, and so far reprimanded Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Hong Kong. Other UN bodies to condemn IGM include the Human Rights Committee (HRCttee), WHO, UNICEF and the Special Rapporteur on Torture.

States as contracting parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Torture and other applicable Covenants including CCPR and CRPD can no longer feign ignorance of the illegal nature of IGM practices, but now must take all appropriate measures including legislation to eliminate them, and to guarantee access to effective redress and justice for all IGM survivors!

The international intersex human rights NGO StopIGM.org demands the prohibition of forced genital surgeries on children and adolescents with Variations of Sex Anatomy and "Human Rights for Hermaphrodites too!"

Persons concerned shall later decide themselves, if they want surgeries or not, and if yes, which.

Kind regards

Daniela "Nella" Truffer, Markus Bauer
Founding members human rights NGO Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org

Mobile +41 (0) 76 398 06 50
Mobile +41 (0) 78 829 12 60

presse_at_zwischengeschlecht.info

http://StopIGM.org

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>>  Download (PDF 3.60 MB)

   >>> Transcript of Intersex Q&A Session Ireland
   >>>
UN Media Release on the Session with Ireland, mentions intersex  

Intersex Genital Mutilations in France: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>
>>  Download (PDF 3.41 MB)

   >>> Transcript of Intersex Q&A Session France   
   >>> UN Media Release on the Session with France, mentions intersex

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Geneva > France Questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations by UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – Minister Stalls & Diverts

UPDATE: The publication of the Concl. Obs. has been delayed until around Thursday!
>>> Français (mise à jour) 

Bearing witness to IGM, 71st Session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child:
Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org), Vincent Guillot (France), Gavan Coleman (Ireland),
Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org, photo) at Palais des Nations, Geneva 12.01.2016

IGM = Hamful PracticeZwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookFrance is the first country coming up for review of IGM practices at the 71st session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (to be followed by Ireland).

StopIGM.org reports live from the hearings in Geneva on Wednesday 12 January 15-18h CET + Thursday 13 January 10-13h CET (videos now available via treatybodywebcast.org), including Unofficial Translations (from French) of Intersex Q&As:

Session 1: Wednesday 12 January 2016

Wed 15:00h: The Session with Q&As on Intersex Genital Mutilations with the French Delegationis open and the live transmission is on.

Wed 15:28h Committee Member Jorge Cardona Llorens, one of the Country Co-Rapporteurs of the Committee for France (who already questioned Chile over IGM practices last year), asks the French Delegation questions on Intersex and IGM practices! YAY!!

«France has been at the vanguard in combatting certain harmful practices like female genital mutilation, and we must congratulate you for that, surely with keeping in mind not to throw in the towel but to ensure you have the means to continue the struggle. However, it is just because of this firm stand that I have to confess to be perplexed about circumstances that on could describe as encouraging surgical interventions on intersex children during the first months of their lives, despite that such interventions are medically unnecessary, but are done for cosmetic and social reasons, and seriously impinge on the bodily integrity of the children, mutilated boys and girls, they prevent their emotional and sexual development, and violate their right to identity. Could you tell me if you're planning measures to modify these protocols and to ensure that the integrity of intersex children is respected?»

17:36h Jorge Cardona Llorens just reminded the French delegation that the answer on Intersex Genital Mutilations is still due.

After the session: This blog has learned that the French Delegation have not forgotten the question, but first will consult with Paris tonight. The Answer of France is expected for the second session tomorrow morning.

Session 2: Thursday 13 January 2016

Thu 10:00h: The Session with the French Delegation's answers on Intersex Genital Mutilations is open and the live transmission is on.  

Thu 10:13h: Madame la Ministre Laurence Rossignol, Head of the Delegation, Minister of State for the Family, Elderly People and Adult Care, attached to the Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women's Rights, answers the question regarding intersex children and "the respect of their physical integrity". She says that it’s an extremely recent topic and that the State Party hasn’t yet explored the "psychological and medical questions" and nor decided which Ministry should take the lead. She diverts from IGM to the recent judgement in France concerning a neutral civil registration, and is generally playing for time – actually until the next CRC review of France, circa 2022:

«Thank you. This is a extremely recent issue, so we're still assessing whether the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Justice should urgently tackle this difficulty of children which present a visibly ambiguous sex, that is a difficulty to determine the sex at birth according to the genitals. It's an issue for which all persons concerned need to be involved, the intersex persons themselves, which should take a leading role, but also the doctors and associations responsible for the definition of the interests of the child. Hence, my answer answer may perhaps not entirely satisfy the persons who asked the questions. We have not yet fully explored the the psychological and medical questions that are put forward by this new issue, but there are several French members of parliament who are already extremely committed to this issue and who would like to contribute to a collective reflection. In addition, a judgement of a French court has recently recognised a neutral sex, and it understandably appears to the chancellery that this judgement deserves a debate in the highest judicial authorities and a collective reflection. Therefore, this is an issue regarding which we think that at the time of the next review of France we will have worked on that and particularly heard the voice of the persons concerned

Thu 10:14h: The Co-Rapporteur for France Jorge Cardona Llorens follows up at once and says there shouldn't be a neutral civil status entry for intersex children, as this is a stigmatisation from the start. He suggests that the medical protocols have to be abrogated and reiterates that the parents aren’t properly informed, "that's a fact".

«Thank you very much, Chair, and good morning everybody. Well, I'm clearly hearing your announcements [...]. Finally, this protocol [for registering births of intersex children] seems to address a let's say a bit a peculiar vision, and the problem is that these children have a sex that is not yet clearly known, therefore to declare their sex to be neutral means to stigmatise the child from the start. And in this context I believe it's mperative to introduce mechanisms that are a bit more flexible in this regard. Additionally, I suggest to abrogate the protocols calling for interventions, and foremost to properly inform the parents of these children, because information is painfully lacking, that's a fact.»

Thu 10:14h: Madame la Ministre Laurence Rossignol, Head of the Delegation, Minister of State for the Family, Elderly People and Adult Care, attached to the Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women's Rights, reiterated that exactly such questions would first have to be made the subject of lengthy "debate and reflection" before anything could be done:

«[inaudible] is precisely indicative of the terms of the debate and reflection we must have on this issue.»

After the session: Vincent Guillot reports having beeen approached by a delegation official in person and via email regarding the overdue answer to a letter sent to the ministry months ago, with assurances that an answer should be expected soon.

IGM = Harmful PracticeMy 2 cents: Yet more years of endless "debates" with doctors, and even more "collective reflection" on an ongoing lawsuit concerning civil registration of an adult person as a pet project for "extremely committed" politicians and magistrates still evaluating which Ministry would actually be responsible for the eternally "new" issue – while at the same time the daily mutilations in French children's clinics are permitted to continue unhindered – how typical is that?!
Fortunately, the Committee doesn't seem to fall for such stalling and diversionary tactics. So we're once more expecting particularly strong "Concluding Observations" – for France due on 29 January. To be continued ...

>>> CRC 2015 Thematic Intersex NGO Report for France
>>>
English UN Media Release on the Session, mentions intersex

Intersex Genital Mutilations in France: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>
>>  Download (PDF 3.41 MB)

See also:
January 2016: UN-CRC to investigate IGM Practices in France + Ireland
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors! 

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Geneva > Ireland Questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations by UN Committee on the Rights of the Child - Minister Denies but Admits!

UPDATE: The publication of the Concl. Obs. has been delayed until around Thursday!

Bearing witness to IGM, 71st Session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child:
Vincent Guillot (France), Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org), Gavan Coleman (Ireland),
Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org, photo) at Palais des Nations, Geneva 13.01.2016

IGM = Hamful PracticeZwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIreland was the second country coming up for review of IGM practices at the 71st session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (after France).

StopIGM.org reports live from the hearings in Geneva on Thursday 12 January 10-13h CET + Thursday 13 January 15-18h CET (videos now available via treatybodywebcast.org), including complete Unofficial Transcripts of Intersex Q&As:

Session 1: Thursday 13 January 2016, 10h

Thu 10:05h: The Session with Q&As on Intersex Genital Mutilations with the Irish Delegation is open, live transmission is on!

Thur 10:39h: Committee Member Gehad Madi, one of the Country Co-Rapporteurs of the Committee for Ireland, brings up Intersex Genital Mutilations and lack of measures to ensure physical and mental integrity, autonomy and self-determination for intersex children in Ireland! YAY!!

«We are also noting that there are discriminations against intersex children, including reports of Intersex Genital Mutilation, and the lack of appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures to insure the right of intersex children to physical and mental integrity, autonomy and self-determination.»

Thu 10:45h: Committee Member and Country Co-Rapporteur for Ireland, José Angel Rodríguez Reyes now asks questions about intersex and IGM, framing the medical treatment of intersex children as violence against children, and inquires about Ireland's position. YAY!!

«I would also like to address the topic of intersex children. I’m addressing this point under this heading [violence against children] because, whilst this could be considered from a health standpoint, it would also be worth considering it from the point of view of violence against such children. And in particular I would like to know whether you exercise any form of oversight on the basis of the legislation over publicly operated sector health facilities with a view to ensuring that there’s a prohibition of irreversible surgical interventions of non-consensual treatment imposed on intersex children. In short: are you ensuring, do you have oversight to avoid the use of such practices? Do you indeed consider that this is a problem that needs to be addressed?»

Thu 10:57h: Committee member Wanderlin Nogueira Neto asked an intersex follow-up question regarding compensation for IGM survivors. YAY!!

«Very good morning to you all. I would like to wish an especially warm welcome to the Irish Delegation and also my greetings to our chair, Miss Aldoseri. I would like to ask a follow-up question to Mister Rodriguez’ question about intersex children. So my question is as follows: I would like to know, if there is a possibility to provide compensation to those children who have been subject to surgery without their prior and expressed consent. That’s my question, thank you.»

Thu 12:10h: A member of the Irish delegation says he's going to answer questions on transgender and intersex, gives answers on transgender, then says he'll come back to intersex later – how typical is that?! 

Session 2: Thursday 13 January 2016, 15h

Thu 15:14h: Irish Delegation moderator Elizabeth Canavan (Department of Health Children and Youth Affairs) announces answers on intersex:

«There was a number of matters that were raised in relation to intersex children so I’d ask my colleague from the department of health to take that topic, thanks Colm.»

Thu 15:15h: Irish Delegation member Colm Desmond (Department of Health, Principal Officer Mental Health Unit (!!)), answering on intersex, went the route of denial, downplaying intersex as "very, very rare," and claiming in Ireland only medically necessary treatments were undertaken with the consent of the parents, so the issue of compensation would not normally arise – totally evading the actual questions, while at the same time admitting to IGM still taking place in Ireland – twice!

«Hello. Thank you. A number of issues in relation to the department of health and forcely in relation to intersex children, were choices made at birth. These situations highlighted by the committee members are very, very rare and the decisions taken in relation to choices are very often, I understand, determined by a physical or renal need rather than a gender assignment need. It usually is taken by a consultant dealing with that on the basis of very detailed case management, as would be the normal case with very sensitive birth or natal conditions, natal situations involving an intersex case. We would not see that the issue of compensation would normally arise, but the normal medical negligence provisions around compensation of course apply in Ireland.»

Thu 15:15h: When Committee member and Country Co-Rapporteur for Ireland, José Angel Rodríguez Reyes immediately replied ...

«I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the answer.»

 

Thu 15:16h: ... Irish Delegation member Colm Desmond (Department of Health, Principal Officer Mental Health Unit (!!)), kindly extended his non-answers on intersex:

«The answer is where the issue of intersex situations has been highlighted, our view is that this is an extremely rare situation that arises, and where an intervention is needed it may often be for reasons around renal or physical needs in the case of the individual child. And that decision is usually taken following very careful consultation between the consultants in that particular case, and all of the necessary expertise would be brought to bear on decisions around intersex in case conferences. On that basis we consider this is a very rare issue but we do acknowledge that these decisions are taken on a medical basis in this rare cases. In relation to the issue of compensation we are not aware of a specific compensation process, but normal medical negligence compensation processes apply in Ireland and it would apply in any case of an alleged medical negligence.»

Thu 15:45h: Committee member and Country Co-Rapporteur for Ireland, José Angel Rodríguez Reyes thus followed-up again regarding intersex and informed consent:

«Now, in terms of intersex children I have heard that a consultation may take place, but I wonder whether that implies consent on the part of the child, who may, given the circumstances, be subject to an operation. Thank you.»

Thu 15:46h: This time the Head of the Irish Delegation, Minister Dr. James Reilly (Children and Youth Affairs, medical doctor by profession) intervened, reiterated the blanket denial plus downplaying intersex as "extremely rare" and claiming interventions would only be done to "sort serious anatomical and physiological difficulties" – while at the same time openly admitting to IGM also in Ireland mostly being practiced on "very young babies" – according to his own personal "experience":

«If you forgive me to intervene, because my previous job was minister for health, and I am also a doctor by profession. Can I just say in relation to intersex: this is very rare, that it’s a clinical decision to intervene, that consent from parents has to be obtained, that’s very, very clear. I think if you relate to the consent of the child you’ll obviously have to be talking about older children. And to my knowledge these operations do not take place later in life, unless there is some really compelling anatomical functional issue that has to be addressed. Now, I can stand be corrected on that, but that’s my experience in practice. And I can absolutely state that these matters should - don’t occur without the consent of the parents. So, very often we are talking about very young babies here, very very young children, who have a serious anatomical, physiological difficulty to be sorted out, and that’s the basis on which these procedures might be carried out. But I want to emphasis again, that it’s extremely rare.»

IGM = Harmful PracticeMy 2 cents: Yet another flat-out Gov denial – while at the same time freely admitting that IGM practices still take place – how telling is that?!
Fortunately, the Committee once more proved to be well-informed, and determined to get to the bottom of the serious human rights violations against intersex children. So I'm quite confident that these non-answers will again lead to particularly strong "Concluding Observations" – for Ireland due on 29 January. To be continued ...

>>> 2016: UN-CRC to investigate IGM Practices in France + Ireland
>>>
English UN Media Release on the Session with Ireland, mentions intersex

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland: CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>>  Download (PDF 3.60 MB)

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors! 

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

Sunday 24 January 2016

'I feel violated from hypospadias surgery' - Interesting search string ...

IGM = Harmful PracticePeace, solidarity and strength to the person(s) having used the

>>> search string 'I feel violated from hypospadias surgery'.

You are not alone in your search for justice!

And an invitation to everybody checking the interesting results this search produces ...

>>> "My childhood was filled with pain, surgery, skin grafts, and isolation"
>>> VIDEO: 'Unnecessary & Harmful': Tiger Devore on 'Hypospadias Repair' (Pt. 1)

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb) 

Sunday 10 January 2016

Chile > Ministry of Health Calls for Abolishing IGM Practices

Circular No. 18 of the Ministry (Photo: Camilo Godoy Peña)    >>> PDF    >>> english transl.

IGM = Hamful PracticeZwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookChristmas present for the Intersex Movement from Santiago!

The Subsecretariat for Public Health of the Chilean Ministry for Health published a Circular No. 18 "Instruction on Certain Aspects of Health Care of Intersex Children" dated 22 December and signed by the Secretary for Support Networks (Dr. Gisela Alarcón) and the Secretary for Public Health (Dr. Jaime Burrows).

Therein, the Ministry expresses "deep concern" over non-consensual "tratments" on intersex children and adolescents, and refers to statements by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

According to Camilo Godoy Peña, the circular specifically stipulates:

  1. The suspension of "unnecessary 'normalising' treatments on intersex children, including irreversible genital surgeries, until they are old enough to decide themselves about their own bodies."

  2. Establishing working groups in health care institutions, consisting of endocrinologists, gynaecologists, psychologists and ethicists, tasked to formulate a treatment plan for each intersex person, which has to be transmitted to the Central Committee of the Ministry of Health for approval.

  3. The appointment of a person in charge in every halth care institution responsible for the documentation an registration with the Ministry of all cases.

Thus, this should prevent IGM practices as well as ensure solid data collection and monitoring of all cases.

My 2 Cents: Good news from Chile! Even though the entire document doesn't seem publicly available yet is now available: >>> PDF    >>> english transl., and we'll have to await if really all forms of IGM practices will be covered by this new regulation, and if future perpetrators won't find loopholes to just ignore it – also according to a solidary paediatric surgeon only the fear of tangible punishments including suspension / adaption of the statutes of limitations will effectively prevent further mutilations. Nonetheless, Circular No. 18 is a historic development regarding the urgent and vital protection of intersex children in Chile – a move also warmly recommeded to other Ministries of Health around the globe! For this, to Camilo Godoy Peña, Andres Rivera Duarte and everybody else who contributed, a heartfelt thank you from this blog!

>>> UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reprimands Chile over IGM
>>> Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condems IGM practices

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb) 

2016 > Switzerland > Prohibition of IGM in Both Houses on Agenda

Photo: Nonviolent Intersex Protest + Open Letter on Human Rights Day, Berne 10.12.2015

Heidi Walcutt (1997): 'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation'

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookChristmas present for the Intersex Movement from the Swiss Capital of Berne! On Human Rights Day, we distributed an Open Letter (PDF, in German) and a flyer with additional info outside parliament, which we both also handed in or mailed to all members of the Swiss government, the presidents of both chambers of parliament, all parties and their youth organisations, and which we also emailed to every member of both houses.

The Open Letter reminded of the lack of follow-up on the 2012 recommendations by the Swiss National Ethics Commission NEK-CNE and the recent rebukes of Switzerland by the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), and amongst other things called for legislation against Intersex Genital Mutilations including scrapping or prolonging the statutes of limitations, free access to psychosocial support including peer support for all persons concerned and their families, and public acknowledgement of the suffering inflicted on survivors.

Just before Chrismas we received a first answer by the Secretariat of the Legal Committees (PDF --> p. 3, in German) dated 22 December, informing us that the Open Letter has been considered as a petition and forwarded to the Legal Committees of both Houses of Parliament, where it will be discussed in public proceedings, which "according to experience will take some time." Therefore, a legal prohibition of IGM practices is now on the agenda in both houses!

Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org warmly welcomes this move – and intends to use this time for further upping the pressure. Already we're in contact with members of parliament, and currently also the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) is investigating IGM practices in Switzerland. And in the near future Switzerland will be coming up for more state reviews e.g. by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). To be continued ... 

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb) 

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condems Intersex Genital Mutilations!

Action + Letter on Intersex Awareness Day in Chile, Santiago 26.10.2015:
Camilo Godoy Peña outside Government Palace with placard "No to IGM"

IGM = Hamful PracticeZwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIn December, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), published an extensive >>> Report "Violence against LGBTI Persons" (PDF 7 MB, spanish) – with an english version to follow –, which contains a seperate Chapter E "Medical Violence against Intersex Persons" (p. 126-133) and clearly and unmistakably criticises IGM practices.

For this from this blog a heartfelt "Thank you!" to everybody involved!

The report is based on testimonies to and reports on IGM practices amongst others from Argentine, Brasil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA, and refers amongst others to the Thematic Intersex NGO Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by Zwischengeschlecht.org/StopIGM.org from 2014 und and the CRC reprimanding Chile in October 2015.

IACHR also published a >>> Press Release No. 143/15 zum Bericht (english); which again contains clear statements on intersex:

For example, violence against intersex persons is based on prejudice toward body diversity and specifically toward those whose bodies differ from what is considered male or female. The violence suffered by intersex persons for the most part is different from that suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) persons. [...]

Meanwhile, the violence that affects intersex persons is very different. Intersex children are often forced to undergo surgical operations and procedures that, for the most part, are not medically necessary, for the sole purpose of changing their genitals to look more like those of a boy or a girl. These surgeries, which are irreversible in nature, tend to be done without their consent—on newborn babies or very young children—and can cause enormous harm to intersex persons, including chronic pain, loss of genital sensitivity, sterilization, trauma, and reduced ability or inability to feel sexual pleasure.

IACHR Criticises Lack of Data Collection and Monitoring

From January 2013 to February 2014, the Commission also collected data on violence against LGBTI persons and published the resulting statistics in December 2014. In a >>> Press Release and an >>> Annex (PDF), the Commission explicitly critisised the lack of data collection on medical violence against intersex people, and concluded that root causes include that this form of violence is State approved and mostly ignored by media and organisations, with shame and fear of survivors compounding the invisibility:

   
Achievements Thanks to Initiatives and Testimonies by Persons Concerned

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights investigated human rights violations against intersex people latest since 2013. Crucial were once more initiatives and moving testimonies by survivors of IGM practices and their allies:

IACHR Intersex Hearing, Washington 15.03.2013 (left to right): Natasha Jiménez (Mulabi, Costa Rica), Paula Sandrine Machado (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil), Pidgeon Pagonis (Advocates for Informed Choice, USA), Mauro Cabral (initiator of the hearing, Consórcio Latino Americano de Trabalho sobre Intersexualidade, Argentina).
>>> Video (multilingual)   >>> Report AIC (en)   >>> Report HRBrief (en)   >>> Photos

In addition, IACHR commissioned a >>> Thematic Report by Anne Tamar-Mattis of Advocates for Informed Choice (PDF, english).

Hopefully, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and survivors of IGM practices will internationally continue upping the pressure – until Intersex Genital Mutilations will finally be history, historical reappraisal and coming to terms with the past will take place internationally, victims will be adequately compensated, and future perpetrators will feel the full force of the law!

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb) 

Thursday 31 December 2015

"Enforced Silence" - Great Intersex Article in "Horizons" No. 107, December 2015

>>> Español          >>> Français          >>> Deutsch  

Photo: Nonviolent Intersex Rally + Open Letters on Human Rights Day, Swiss Federal Building, Berne 10.12.2015

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

IGM = Harmful Practice Great Article by Antoinette Schwab in the current issue of "Horizons. The Swiss magazine for scientific research", published by "Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)" and "Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences" – Thanks!
(Unfortunately, all the other articles in the issue's thematic "Focus: Intersexuality" are textbook examples for intersex appropriation, and for "talking about us, but not with us" – Shame on you!)

Enforced silence

For a long time, the medical profession has been keeping quiet about people whose biological identity [typically appropriating "translation" – here we go again ...] SEX strayed from the norm. And change is only coming slowly. By Antoinette Schwab

There is nothing new about children being born with ambiguous gender traits SEX CHARACTERISTICS [typically appropriating "translation" – here we go again ...]. They used to be called hermaphrodites, and later ‘intersexuals’. The latter term is misleading, however, because it incorporates the word ‘sexual’. To be more precise, “‘intersexuality’ refers to bodies, and in some circumstances to illness. It doesn’t primarily refer to sexuality or sexual orientation”, says Jürg Streuli, a doctor and medical ethicist from Zurich. For this reason, the abbreviation ‘DSD’ has been in use for a few years now, meaning ‘Disorders of Sex Development’ (or ‘Differences of Sex Development’).

The damage done by desiring clarity

From the 1950s onwards it was customary for DSD children to be assigned a gender as soon as possible, and for them to be surgically operated so as to adjust them to this chosen gender. This practice goes back to the sex researcher John Money in the USA. People with DSD had been operated on before this, but now it was given a theoretical basis and carried out systematically. It was in this context that Money standardised the use of the word ‘gender’ to signify one’s sexual identity in society. He was convinced that you could turn anyone into anything, as long as the environment was constructed accordingly. In order to make this easier, the appearance of the genitalia had to correspond to the gender to which one was assigned. So the genitalia had to be corrected as soon as possible after birth. Every child born with DSD was consequently treated as an emergency, even if this wasn’t the case in a medical sense. As a result, children underwent unnecessary cosmetic operations that could have been done at a later date, had they been desired. Some of those who experienced these operations in their childhood have described them in interviews and autobiographical reports as ‘torture’, ‘genital mutilation’ or even ‘child abuse’.

Secret diagnoses

Those affected have found the silence enforced around them to have been at least as bad as the operations themselves. Their patient records bore the instruction: “The patient is not to be informed about this diagnosis”. That, too, was Money’s idea. The child should not be allowed any doubt about its gender. It had to endure surgical operations to the genitals – the clitoris was shortened or even amputated (or was it in fact really a penis?) and a neovagina was created that had to be stretched constantly. Initially, a metal rod was used for this; later it was made of plastic. And to avoid the supposed danger of cancer occurring, testicles and ovaries were also often removed. It was a paradoxical situation. For on the one hand, the children had to endure doctors, students and nurses peering between their legs at regular check-ups, but on the other hand, no one was allowed to say anything about it.

Most of those who speak out today only became aware of their diagnoses by accident. The stories they tell in Internet forums often sound similar: stories of pain and drugs without any explanation as to why these were necessary. Stories of shame, and of feeling afflicted by some possibly monstrous disease. Some even had to endure the public revelation of their diagnoses. When sex tests began to be carried out in sports, some female athletes were found to possess male chromosomes even though they had no idea about it at all. Such tests were sometimes evaluated by the very same institutions that had advised silence on the diagnosis of DSD in children.

Stopping the operations

It took a long time for people to start arguing against surgical gender assignment – and the reason for this probably lies precisely in the fact that people with DSD were kept in the dark about it for decades. It was not until the early 1990s that those affected began to protest against what had by then become a standard treatment. Their resistance became stronger when it was revealed in 1997 that Money’s textbook example – the so-called ‘John/Joan case’, to which doctors all over the world were still referring – had long been a failure. The boy in question had been surgically altered to assume a female gender at the age of two, but had switched his gender back at the age of 14, living from then on as ‘David’. He committed suicide in 2004.

“Intersexuality refers to bodies, not to sexual orientation”
Jürg Streuli

Daniela Truffer is from Switzerland, and she also only found out her story when she saw her medical files – by which time she was 35 years old. She was born in 1965 with male chromosomes but indeterminate genitalia and was then surgically operated upon to become a girl. It was the wrong decision, as a doctor later noted in her medical files. But that recognition came too late for her: “My original physical state has been lost irretrievably”, she has written on her blog: “They took my dignity from me”. She found out on the Internet that there are others who had undergone similar experiences. In 2007, Daniela Truffer founded the human rights group ‘Zwischengeschlecht.org’. Since then she has fought to have these operations stopped and has also been campaigning for the physical and mental integrity of children with DSD to be respected. She is convinced that many of these children are still being subjected to surgery today, and that children and parents alike are being inadequately informed.

Her group also offers advice to activists abroad and has already achieved success in several cases. For example, the Zurich Children’s Hospital had played a pioneering role in treating DSD in the 1950s, but in 2014 it initiated a medico-historical study to evaluate the treatment of people with DSD. This will be the first-ever study of its kind in the world.

Recognising suffering

The National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics has also been dealing with this topic at the express request of the Swiss Federal Council. In a statement in 2012 – which is probably unique in the world – the Commission recommended that any decisions on treatment in the realm of gender determination should only be made when the persons affected are able to make those decisions for themselves. After a birth, parents can be in a confused or desperate state of mind and thus often want a quick decision; but this is precisely what should not be allowed. The Commission’s first recommendation on their list of 14 points runs as follows: “The suffering that some people … have had to experience because of past practices must be recognised by society”.

Today, clinics are more reticent. Some operations that are not medically necessary are postponed till later. Children and parents are better informed, and in the Zurich Children’s Hospital, for example, the team that decides on treatment includes representatives not just from the different medical areas but also from the fields of ethics and psychology. However, no overview exists of what operations are being carried out, or where. And to the present day, the recommendations of the Advisory Commission have not been turned into a binding regulation. The Federal Council intends to reply to this position paper by the end of 2015.

“The suffering that some people have had to experience because of past practices must be recognised by society”
National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics NEK-CNE

The topic is also being discussed at the UN. No less than three UN committees have commented on the Swiss situation in the space of a single year. Under the title “Harmful practices”, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed its deep concern about the surgical operations. The Human Rights Committee has asked for statistics, and the Committee against Torture has noted that neither sanctions nor reparations have been made, and it further recommends that all necessary measures be taken to guarantee the integrity and self-determination of those affected in future.

Antoinette Schwab is a freelance journalist in Bern.

www.intersex.ch (self-help)

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb) 

Thursday 17 December 2015

Nuremberg Hermaphrodite Lawsuit: Michaela "Micha" Raab Wins Damages and Compensation for Intersex Genital Mutilations!

Photo: Intersex Solidarity Rally for 2nd day in Nuremberg State Court, Landgericht Nürnberg-Fürth 22.10.2015

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

IGM = Harmful PracticeToday the Nuremberg State Court issued a first decision in the "Hermaphrodite Lawsuit" – and ruled the Erlangen University Clinic to pay damages and compensation to Michaela "Micha" Raab for non-consensual IGM treatments, including partial clitoris amputation, castration and imposition of hormones, according to a >>> Press Release by the Court (in German). The verdict can still be appealed, also the amount to be paid by the clinic is still to be determined in a forthcoming separate ruling.

Micha is suing the University Clinic and surgeon Prof. S. for 250,000 Euros in damages and a monthly pension of 1,600 Euros. The court now dismissed the case against the surgeon, arguing the lack of disclosure of the diagnosis, karyotype and treatment options was not his fault, but the responsibility of other doctors, and ruled the clinic would have to pay.

This is only the second case worldwide of a verdict against perpetrators of Intersex Genital Mutilations, and the very first time that an institution was found liable.

And it's only the 4th case going before a court reported at all:

• In the well-publicised Cologne Hermaphrodite Lawsuit 2007-2009, Christiane Voelling won 100,000 Euros damages from her former surgeon Prof. L., who in vain tried to fight the ruling through all levels of jurisdiction.

• Currently, in Germany there's also another civil suit ongoing in Munich, like Micha's against a Bavarian clinic and individual IGM doctors.

All above cases concern non-consensual intersex treatments on adult persons.

• In the U.S. there's currently yet another case pending, initiated by adoptive parents suing a South Carolina clinic, individual doctors and the state over IGM on a child while in care of the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

So far, no adult survivor of early childhood IGM practices ever managed to bring a civil case before a court, and no-one ever succeeded in pressing criminal charges at all.

Intersex: No Reckoning, No Reconciliation!This factual impunity of IGM perpetrators has been criticised by intersex advocates around the globe. Regarding lack of access to justice and redress for IGM survivors, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) has so far reprimanded Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Hong Kong, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Switzerland and Chile. The fight has just begun – so who's next?

More on the Case:
>>>
Intersex Solidarity at Nuremberg Court Date #1, 26.02.2015
>>> Media Report in English in The Local
>>> Intersex Solidarity at Nuremberg Court Date #2, 22.10.2015

                                    Nürnberger Nachrichten report on 1st day in Court, 27.03.2015
See also:
January 2016: UN-CRC to investigate IGM Practices in France + Ireland
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors! 

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Intersex Genital Mutilations in France and Ireland: Reports to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

“Friendly garda helping us to set up the protest!”
Trinity College, Dublin 18.09.2014

IGM = Hamful PracticeZwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIntersex human rights defenders Vincent Guillot and Gavan Coleman in collaboration with StopIGM.org submitted two more thematic intersex NGO reports for the CRC review of France and Ireland in Jauary 2016.

In 2015 the UN Committee in the Rights of the Child already reprimanded Switzerland and Chile over Intersex Genital Mutilations.

This marks the first time that the Committee will investigate IGM practices in more than one country in a single session!

NGO Report to the 5th Periodic Report of France on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

>>>  Download (PDF 3.41 MB)

Compiled by:
Vincent Guillot + Zwischengeschlecht.org
Endorsed by:
OII Francophonie

This report contains 2 case stories of IGM survivors.
Review of France:
Wed 13 Jan 15-18h + Thur 14 Jan 10-13h

NGO Report to the 3rd and 4th Periodic Report of Ireland on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

>>>  Download (PDF 3.60 MB)

   
Compiled by:
Gavan Coleman
Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org

Review of Ireland: Thur 14 Jan 10-13h + Thur 14 Jan 15-18h 

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors! 

Wednesday 9 December 2015

UN Committee against Torture (CAT) reprimands Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong and China over Intersex Genital Mutilations

Photo: UNHRC UPR #14, Geneva 20.10.2012

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Intersex Symbol with IGM=Today, the UN Committee against Torture published its binding "Concluding Observations" on the >>> CAT 56th Session Homepage.

As intersex human rights defenders testifying in Geneva to the lifelong consequences of IGM practices had hoped for, the Committee issued strong recommendations on intersex and IGM practices for Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong and China, typically urging states to

(a)    Take the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to guarantee the respect for the physical integrity and autonomy of intersex persons and ensure that no one is subjected during infancy or childhood to unnecessary medical or surgical procedures;

(b)    Guarantee counselling services for all intersex children and their parents, so as to inform them of the consequences of unnecessary surgery and other medical treatment;

(c)    ensure that full, free and informed consent is respected in connection with medical and surgical treatments for intersex persons and that non-urgent, irreversible medical interventions are postponed until a child is sufficiently mature to  participate in decision-making and give full, free and informed consent;

(d)    Provide adequate redress for the physical and psychological suffering caused by such practices to intersex persons.

StopIGM.org warmly welcomes these verdicts, marking the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th time that the Committee unmistakably denounces IGM practices as serious crimes clearly in breach of the Convention and constituting at least Inhuman Treatment or Torture – and the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th time in 2015 alone that a UN Committee reprimanded a state party over allowing this atrocity to continue unhindered.

In collaboration with local intersex human rights defenders and their organisations, we will continue to document the ongoing practice in ever more countries to relevant human rights bodies – including CAT, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

States as contracting parties to the Convention against Torture and other applicable Covenants including CRC, CCPR and CRPD can no longer feign ignorance of the illegal nature of IGM practices, but now must take all appropriate measures including legislation to eliminate them, and to guarantee access to effective redress and justice for all survivors!

• Austria: NGO Report by VIMÖ & StopIGM.org | Transcript Intersex Q&A | COs

• Denmark: NGO Report by Ditte Dyreborg and StopIGM.org | Transcript Intersex Q&A | COs

• Hong Kong + China: NGO Report by BBKCI | Transcript Intersex Q&A | COs HK + CN

Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture questions 5 Governments over IGM

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!  

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb) 

Sunday 6 December 2015

Human Rights Day 2015, 10 December

Human Rights Day 2015: Our Rights (?). Our Freedoms ('). Always (Under Their Knives). Intersex Rights are Human Rights!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Above illustration is an unofficial adaption of the official Human Rights Day 2015 logo and its slogan "Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.", made to raise awareness of the "endlessly emerging issue" of "Intersex Rights Are Human Rights!".

10 December is International Human Rights Day, commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. This year's Human Rights Day also commemorates 50 years adoption of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), the latter amongst other things ensuring Children's Rights, the Right to Freedom from Torture, and the Right of Freedom from Medical Experimentation, to this day protections most important to intersex prople. Currently the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee), the UN body governing the CCPR, is investigating Intersex Genital Mutilations as a breach of the Covenant.

On Human Rights Day 2015, Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org will hold a peaceful vigil outside the Swiss government building in Berne to highlight the complicity of Switzerland in the ongoing Intersex Genital Mutilations, despite the criticism by the Swiss National Ethics Commission NEK-CNE of the human rights violations of intersex people, and several reprimands by UN committees, including by the Committee of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Committee against Torture (CAT) – (more info on the protest in German).

See also:
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture questions 5 Governments on IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb) 

Friday 4 December 2015

Ending Intersex Genital Mutilations: Historic 56th Session of UN Committee against Torture – Strong Recommendations Expected

Intersex Human Rights Pioneers of the 56th Session of the Committee against Torture:
Small Luk (BBKCI, Hong Kong), witness to IGM practices, with Sapana Pradhan-Malla (CAT member, Nepal), questioned Hong Kong, China, Macau and Denmark over IGM practices (plus Switzerland last August), at Palais des Nations, Geneva 19.11.2015.
Alex Jürgen
(VIMÖ, Austria), Ditte Dyreborg (Denmark), Daniela Truffer (Zwischengeschlecht.org) and Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org) also testified.
CAT chairperson Claudio Grossman (Chile) questioned Austria.

Intersex Symbol with IGM=

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

During its ongoing 56th session in Geneva, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) recently questioned Austria, Denmark, and Hong Kong + China + Macau over Intersex Genital Mutilations. This marks the very first time that any UN body examined more than one country regarding IGM practices in one session. Now intersex human rights defenders are expecting the Committee to issue strong and binding "Concluding Observations" for all countries probably next week or soon after.

This global first was made possible by four Intersex NGOs from Europe and Asia combining forces to submit specific thematic intersex reports to the Committee for each country, substantiating the ongoing grave human rights violations against intersex children, and IGM survivors from Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong and Switzerland testifying to the Committee on the lifelong severe pain and suffering caused by IGM practices.

The Committee was impressed by the compelling evidence and testimonies, and consequently questioned all countries over the ongoing practice. Significantly, all state delegations issued flat-out denials, and went on to invoke "LGBTI leadership", "transgender-intersex paradigm shift" and similar excuses to deflect from their complicity, obviously hoping the Committee wouldn't recognise the difference.

However, the Committee proved knowledgeable about intersex issues and IGM and every time asked specific follow-up questions, with the delegations again feigning ignorance or simply ignoring the questions. In accordance with earlier similar attempts by state parties, this arrogance will hopefully result in particularly strong recommendations on IGM practices, to be published on the CAT 56th Session Homepage 9 December or soon after.

In the meantime, all Thematic Intersex NGO Reports are available for download via intersex.shadowreport.org, and Transcripts of the Intersex Q&As during the country examinations via StopIGM.org:

  • Austria: NGO Report by VIMÖ and StopIGM.org  |  Transcript Intersex Q&A

  • Denmark: NGO Report by Ditte Dyreborg and StopIGM.org  |  Transcript Intersex Q&A

  • Hong Kong + China + Macau: NGO Report by BBKCI  |  Transcript Intersex Q&A 

The Committee against Torture (CAT) has previously considered IGM practices as constituting "Inhuman Treatment" in violation of the Convention against Torture, and reprimanded Germany for complicity and lack of access to redress and justice for survivors in 2011, and Switzerland in 2015.

Similarly, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has recognised IGM as "Harmful Practice", and in 2015 reprimanded Switzerland and Chile.

Also in 2015, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) reprimanded Germany, referring to CAT 2011.

The Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) is currently investigating IGM in Switzerland as a breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR).

Sunday 29 November 2015

Alice Dreger and Tiger Devore on ending Intersex Genital Mutilations

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Hear, hear! Powerful new statements by Alice Dreger and Tiger Devore, rejecting excuses and deflections of IGM doctors aimed at just continuing with criminal mutilations for as lang as anyhow possible, and calling for applying human rights standards, incuding access to redress and justice for survivors!

This blog says Thank you!

See links and quotes relating to the two statements:

>>> Alice Dreger: "Rejecting the Tranquilizing Drug of Gradualism in Intersex Care"
Alice Dreger, the academic with the arguably longest and strongest track record of publicly criticising IGM perpetrators (e.g. Dix Poppas + Maria New), in a companion piece to Tiger's (see below), announces her departure from "scientific intersex projects" funded by NIH and AAMC, recognizing their approach «as constituting what Dr. King called “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism”»: «I can’t continue to help develop “conversations” around “shared decision making” that allow decisions to be made that I believe violate the most basic rights of these children.»

>>> Tiger Devore: "Statement"
«The surgeries will stop, by legal action, and by recognition of the rights of the child to bodily integrity and self determination over the psychological comfort of the parents who don't want to have given birth to a "deformed" child. The experiment of surgery on genitalia to "normalize" naturally occurring variants that pose no medical risk has failed. The faster the medical community recognizes this and stops this arrogant practice, the smaller the settlement funds for non consenting experimental subjects like me will have to be.»

>>> VIDEO: Tiger Devore talks IGM Type 1: 'Hypospadias Repair" - Part 1/4

Saturday 21 November 2015

Intersex Flyer for Rainbow Cities + LGBTI Focal Points, 20.11.2015

>>> Intersex Flyer (PDF 118kb) commemorating the 26th Annual Day of the Rights of the Child and raising awareness of Intersex Genital Mutilations which we distributed in Geneva on occasion of the 15th Roundtable of the European Governmental LGBT Focal Points Network and the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Rainbow Cities Network, where Daniela "Nella" Truffer also did a presentation on IGM Practices and Intersex Human Rights.

Universal Children's Day 2015 + Intersex @ 3rd Annual Meeting of the Rainbow Cities Network, Geneva 20.11.2015

Input by Daniela Truffer / Zwischengeschlecht.org, Rainbow Cities Network NGO meeting

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = Harmful PracticeToday is the Annual Day of the Rights of the Child, marking the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989, for intersex people a most important human rights framework.

As a survivor of Intersex Genital Mutilations, I am particularly grateful to be able to speak here today.

I was born in 1965 with abdominal testes and so called “ambiguous” genitalia.

At two months they removed my healthy testes and threw them in the garbage bin. At seven they cut my genital to make me look more like a girl, allegedly with my consent. At 12 I was prescribed estrogens to induce an artificial puberty, which I still have to take daily.

Today they would probably make a boy out of me, with even more surgeries, complications, and pain.

The doctors always lied to me and my parents. Only at 35 I discovered that I am not alone. Today I am fighting to prevent future intersex children from suffering like myself and my peers.


One of the most frustrating experience in my work is, how nowadays everybody seems to be caring for or at least talking about intersex, but hardly ever about IGM practices, let alone how to eliminate them.

I have to admit I was really irked by the Swiss Government’s press release for the Focal Points Roundtable, where they boast how Switzerland would be, I quote, «expressly extending protection to intersex persons» – that is, as long as it’s limited to, I quote, «discriminations based on sexual orientation or gender identity» – for most intersex people basically a non-problem.

On the other hand, regarding the undisputed intersex problem number one, IGM practices, Switzerland simply denies them, while in fact funding and protecting the perpetrators, not the victims – just like any other so called “developed nation”.

Currently, the UN Committee against Torture questioned Austria, Denmark and China over IGM. All countries flat-out denied the well-documented ongoing practice, while at the same time invoking «leadership in LGBTI issues».


One last example, the current “Intersex Focus Paper” by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, which simply fails to identify ANY relevant human rights frameworks or UN documents.

While the paper goes on and on about identity, gender and birth certificates – it NOT ONCE mentions harmful practices, inhuman treatment, legislation to end IGM, access to redress and justice, statutes of limitations, monitoring, or other crucial items for advancing intersex rights.

Tellingly, the FRA’s only legal recommendation concerns birth certificates and identity documents – while regarding IGM, they seriously propose having nice chats with the mutilators and their accomplices.

Frankly, with supporters like these, who needs enemies?

So, I would like you to consider for a moment:

Are you and your agency able to adequately address IGM practices, including as harmful practice and inhuman treatment – or are you only fit to address discrimination and identity?

In the first case, I would like to win you as a vital intersex ally.

In the second, I ask you to at least do better than the Swiss Government, falsely claiming to «expressly protect intersex persons».

Thank you.

>>> Intersex Flyer distributed @ Rainbow Cities + LGBTI Focal Points (PDF 118kb)

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Exploring the the possibilities of eliminating IGM practices by making the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices @ the UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015 

>>> PDF (831kb)

(Photo: Intersex Protests vs. 1st D$Dnet Training School' @ Ghent University Conference Centre 'Het Pand', 10.06.2015)

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Geneva > UN Committee against Torture Questions Hong Kong + China + Macau over Intersex Genital Mutilations - Flat-Out Gov Denial No. 3!

Bearing witness to IGM during the 56th Session of the UN Committee against Torture:
Small Luk (BBKCI Hong Kong), Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org), Ditte Dyreborg (Danish
Intersex Advocate) (plus Alex Jürgen of VIMÖ) at Palais Wilson, Geneva 13.11.2015

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookHong Kong + China + Macau were the 3rd country (or 3rd to 5th governments) up for review of IGM practices at the 56th session of the UN Committee against Torture (after Austria and Denmark).

StopIGM.org reported live from the hearings in Geneva on Tuesday, 17 November 10–13h CET + Wednesday, 18 November 15–18h CET (videos now available via treatybodywebcast.org), including a Transcript of Intersex Q&A:

Session 1: Tuesday 17 November 2015

Tue 12:55h Committee member Sapana Pradhan-Malla just asked Hong Kong, China + Macau (!!!) questions on Intersex and IGM! YAY!!

«Although I’m raising this concern in relation to Hong Kong, but I also want to mention that this is also related to China and Macau, because certain concerns are also raised from China. First [the] committee is extremely concerned about [...] involuntary surgeries of infant children born with intersex variations. Therefore [the] committee would like to know, if laws are practiced that allow intrusive or irreversible treatments including forced genital normalisation surgery, involuntary sterilisation, unethical experimentation, medical display [...], and I am raising this concern especially in a context when it is infused or administered without free and informed consent of the person concerned. What action you have put or planning to put in this regard?»

Further, Sapana Pradhan-Malla also raised concerns regarding LGBTI issues in general and specifically the lack of legal recognition for trans persons, and non-consensual "reparative therapies, or conversive therapies".

For the State Parties' (no)answers see the second session tomorrow. 

Session 2: Wednesday 18 November 2015

[ Note: Unfortunately, here is no Chinese Delegation List avilable, any additional info on the featured Delegates appreciated. ]

Wed 16:10h: A Delegate from the Hong Kong Justice Department (?) gave a global answer on "LGBTI" – without addressing Intersex at all:

«As to the issue of LGBTI mentioned by Madame Gaer and Madame [Pradham-]Malla, China does not view LGBTI as a mental disease or require compulsory treatment for LGBTI people. They are not, they will not be confined in mental hospitals either. Indeed LGBTI face some realistic challenges in terms of social acceptance, informed education, health and family life. This deserves our attention, but this does not fall within the scope of the convention. Thank you for your attention.»

Wed 17:39h Sapana Pradhan-Malla mentions non-answer, repeats question on IGM practices, asks for statistics:

«In your response you mentioned that LGBT is not a crime in China but what about the forced and unnecessary surgery on intersex population?
In relation to Hong Kong I still want some clarification.
[…]
My second concern is if the government has collected any statistics of impact of genital normalisation surgeries on intersex children, if yes how [the] government is intended to educate and sensitise frontline medical professionals.»

Wed 17:47h A Hong Kong Delegate instead describes IGM as entirely unproblematic, purely medical issue:

«Miss Pradhan-Malla raised a question about intersex babies. For intersex babies healthcare professionals adopt a multi-disciplinary approach in providing appropriate investigation, treatment and management based on a clinical condition of individual patients. The process may involve multi-speciality consultations or meeting with medical, social and psychological professionals. The healthcare professionals of the hospital authorities would discuss with the parents of the baby with ambiguous genitalia and assess the sex and the sexual function which the baby may develop in the future. The decision would be made with the agreement of the parents of the concerned baby after thorough discussion with healthcare professional. Thank you.»

The binding "Concluding Observations" of the Committee will be published in December.

My 2 cents: The 3rd flat-out Gov denial of IGM practices in this session – and also the 3rd time in a row that Delegates tried to deflect from IGM by invoking "LGBTI" (or in the case of Austria, "transgender"). Intersex people have long been fed up with being wrongly "subsumed" under such labels as a pisspoor excuse to ignore victims of IGM practices, but to protect IGM perpetrators instead (see e.g. 2015 CAT HK NGO Report, p. 10; 2014 CRC Swiss NGO Report, p. 11-12. How much longer?!

>>> Englisch UN Media Release on the Session, mentions intersex
>>>
French UN Media Release on the Session, mentions intersex
>>> Chinese UN Media Release on the Session

>>> CAT #56 investigates IGM Practices in Austria
>>> CAT #56 investigates IGM Practices in Denmark 
  

>>> CAT 2015 Thematic Intersex Report Hongkong + China
>>>
CAT 2015 Thematic Intersex Reports Austria and Denmark

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Geneva > UN Committee against Torture questions Denmark over Intersex Genital Mutilations – Flat-Out Gov Denial, Again!

Ditte Dyreborg (Danish Intersex Advocate), Daniela Truffer, Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org),
Small Luk (BBKCI Hong Kong) after Intersex NGO Briefing for CAT, Palais Wilson 13.11.2015

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookDenmark was the 2nd of 3 countries up for review of IGM practices during the 56th session of the UN Committee against Torture (after Austria and followed by Hong Kong + China + Macau).

StopIGM.org reported live from the hearings in Geneva on Monday, 16 November 10–13h CET + Tuesday, 17 November 15–18h CET (videos now available via treatybodywebcast.org), including a Transcript of Intersex Q&A:

Session 1: Monday 16 November 2015

Mon 10:03h: The webcast is live. CAT Chair Claudio Grossman starts the meeting, followed by the Head of the Danish Delegation introducing the delegation.

Mon 10:18h: CAT country co-rapporteur Bruni starts asking questions.

Mon 10:28h: Bruni asks questions regarding (solitary) detention and refugees.

Mon 10:45h: The second country co-rapporteur Sapana Pradhan-Malla starts asking questions. Keep your fingers crossed!

Mon 10:55h: Now it's about violence against women ...

Mon 10:57h: Pradhan-Malla mentions trans people, 80% having to self-medicate hormones

Mon 10:58h: Now Sapana Pradhan-Malla is bringing up IGM practices! YAY!!

«We are also concerned about the situation of intersex persons who are also subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment by the health system. These are the cases when they are infants and subjected to so called "normalisation" correction if the infants offer [atypical] genitalia. These are irreversible surgeries and have been affecting the personal development of individuals and also affecting [their] freedom from non-consensual treatment.
I would like to know what action you are taking in this regard?»

The answers of the Danish delegation followed during the second session tomorrow.

Mon 11:11h: Abdoulaye Gaye mentions that in Danish prisons women can serve their sentences together in mixed units together with men on request – a fact that was also mentioned by other Committee members.

Mon 12:05h: After a minute of silence for all victims of terror attacks (as Chairperson Claudio Grossman thankfully clarified eralier), the Danish delegation starts answering questions. First the head of the Independent Police Complaint Authority takes the floor, as he's only participating today.Amongst other things he replies to questions regarding the use of pepper spray.

Mon 12:34h: Now it's about solitary confinement, taking up the remainder of today's session.

Mon 12:57h: Chairperson Grossman closes the session for today.

Session 2: Tuesday 17 November 2015

Tue 15:01h: The webcast is live. CAT Chair Claudio Grossman starts the meeting. The next 90 minutes, the Danish delegation will give the first round of replies. First the Ministry of Defense is up.

Tue 15:12h: Now it's about detention.

Tue 15:23h: Immigration services now on.

Tue 15:46h: LGBT refugees' rights to non-refoulement are guaranteed, if they're at risk of torture or mistreatment because orientation or identity in country of origin, asylum will be granted, according to immigration authorities.

Tue 15:50h: Health services replying now! Stay tuned for answers on intersex and IGM!

Tue 15:53h: First questions relating to psychiatry will be answered (on now), then re: transgender persons, and then intersex will be up.

Tue 15:56h: Transgender persons have to be enrolled in mental health care system.

Tue 15:58h: Intersex now on. Flat-out denial – again!

Pernille Skafte, Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health:

«In Denmark a child’s sex is determined at birth by the present health care worker based on observations of the child’s external genitals. In rare cases there’s doubt about the sex of the child. In such cases a pediatrician will carry out a further examination of the exterior [external] as well as of the interior [internal] genitals. The determination of the sex will always be carried out in a close dialogue with the child’s parents.

During the diagnosing, the child will be observed and examined by a team of specialised pediatricians. If the child has chromosome variations he or she may need to be involved in treatment throughout it’s childhood. In Denmark this is a specialised medical task which is regulated in the masterplan of specialised hospital services which is determined by the Danish Health Authority.

In Denmark medical treatment can only been carried out on the basis of informed consent. Patients must be 15 years old in order to give informed consent. If a patient is under the age of 15 treatment preposes consent from the child’s parents or from the person who has custody of the child. In cases of treatment within the field of intersex any treatment of children below the age of 15 will always be carried out in a close dialogue with the child’s parents and in coordance with the child’s and/or the parents wishes.

The Danish Ministry of Health does not have any data to suggest that treatment of intersex children has been carried out against without the child’s and the parent’s will.»

Tue 16:34h: Now chairperson Claudio Grossman explains the scope of the Converntion against Torture (since the Danish delegation disputed CAT's authority to ask some questions), i.e. that it includes e.g. cases of rape amounting to torture, and further highlights article 16 (ill-treatment or CIDT). :-)

Tue 16:40h: Second round of questions, Committe co-rapporteur for Denmark, Mr. Bruni starting.

Tue 16:58h: Country co-rapporteur Pradhan-Malla follows up on Intersex, highlighting CIDT. While hailing Denmark for leadership in LGBTI (or rather LGB or LGBT) rights, she continues:

«But the concern(s) we have raised are cruel and inhuman treatment of intersex persons, where my specification was in a context when it is inforced or administered without free and informed consent of the person concerned, what action you have put or are planning to put to protect the right to decide their preferences upon reaching maturity?»

Tue 17:15h: Second round of answers, beginning with Department of Justice.

Tue 17:31h: Head of Delegation gives running order for remaining questions, Intersex is mentioned last: "And then there were finally also some questions about intersex, to which we will try to come back to." Ministry of Defense is next.

Tue 17:39h: Discussing detention now.

Tue 17:47h: Justice Department now on again, but answering only questions on detention and psychiatry. No answers on intersex!

Tue 17:57h: Head of delegation closing remarks.

Tue 17:59h: Chairperson Grossman closes the session.

My 2 cents: Yet another flat-out denial – "no data", who'da thunk!? Even leading in LGBTI – and therefore entitled to just skip the follow-up question. I mean, "free and informed consent"? For intersex children? In Denmark? Must be kidding, riight? 
And the good news is:
Such (non-)answers are usually a good recipe for getting particularly strong "Concluding Observations" – for Denmark due in December. To be continued ... 

>>> English UN Media Release on the Session, mentions intersex
>>>
French UN Media Release on the Session, does NOT mention intersex

>>> CAT #56 investigates IGM Practices in Austria
>>> CAT #56 investigates IGM Practices in Hong Kong + China + Macau

>>> CAT 2015 Thematic Intersex Reports Denmark and Austria
>>>
CAT 2015 Thematic Intersex Report Hongkong + China

See also:

UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices

Monday 16 November 2015

Geneva > UN Committee against Torture (CAT) questions Austria over Intersex Genital Mutilations - Flat-Out Denial by Gov!

Alex Jürgen (VIMÖ), Daniela Truffer, Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org)
after the well received Intersex NGO Briefing for CAT, Palais Wilson 11.11.2015

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookAustria was the first of no less than 3 countries reviewed for IGM practices during the 56th session of the UN Committee against Torture (CAT)  caught lying through their teeth (to be succeeded by Denmark and Hong Kong + China). The Committee had already recognised non-consensual intersex surgery and other treatments as violations of the Convention when examining Germany in 2011 and Switzerland earlier this year.

The >>> Thematic Intersex NGO Report by VIMÖ Association of Intersex People Austria in collaboration with Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org had laid the groundwork, referencing practical examples of the most frequent forms of IGM practices still being perpetrated in many University Clinics, as well as the impunity of the perpetrators and the complicity of the state. During the extended Intersex NGO Briefing, Alex Jürgen's moving testimony to the lifelong consequences of IGM proved most effctive to make the Committee members really understand the implications IGM practices. Markus Bauer offered a global perspective of the practice as well as current local examples, and Daniela Truffer substantiated the lack access to redress for victims, the factual impunity of the perpetrators (including the very ones responsible for what they did to Alex), and how the State refuses to fulfill its obligation to protect intersex children, but instead protects the perpetrators.

So we were very pleased when during the following two-day session Chairperson Claudio Grossman, one of the Committee's two country rapporteurs for Austria, on Thursday 12 November asked the Sate Delegation about IGM practices, if the state was aware of this violation? Are there any legislative measures in place? What could be done to prevent it? And when the next day Austria replied only dismissively, Grossman digged deeper in a second round of questions.

In contrast, Austria's answers delivered by Hon. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Aigner (Federal Ministry of Health) on Friday 13 November were not only a disgrace, but once again underlined how IGM practices are still only an "emerging" human rights issue, of which Governments still seem to think, if they ignore it long enough, it will disappear just as well.

Not only did Aigner flatly dismiss Austria's responsibilty for the ongoing practice, but he flat-out denied non-consensual intersex treatments still being perpetrated in Austria, instead claiming after a "transgender-intersex paradigm shift" doctors would have renounced the practice in 2013 according to a "new guideline". *) Finally, according to Aigner in his second (non-)answer, with the influence of "Dr. Google" over today's patients, surely doctors couldn't pressure them to unwanted treatments anyways.

*) An obvious reference to the current Austrian "Gender Dysphoria Guideline". Which of course has has ZERO to do with intersex and IGM practices, except that government representatives (see also Denmark and China) trying to deflect from complicity in IGM practices inevitably tend to resort to the good old "LGBTI excuse", since most people have no clue about IGM, so usually nobody won't notice.

[ For a complete transcript of all intersex questions and answers in German see here. ]

My 2 cents: While the Austrian delegation seems confident to impress the Committee with such impertinence, they might be in for a surprise! The Committee knows about IGM practices, and as previous examples indicate, if they ask questions again after a blanket denial by a state party, and the state party just denies again, this may result in particularly strong "Concluding Observations" – for Austria due in December. To be continued ... 

>>> English UN Media Release on the Session, mentions intersex
>>>
French UN Media Release on the Session, mentions intersex

>>> CAT #56 investigates IGM Practices in Denmark
>>> CAT #56 investigates IGM Practices in Hong Kong + China + Macau

>>> CAT 2015 Thematic Intersex Reports Austria and Denmark
>>>
CAT 2015 Thematic Intersex Report Hongkong + China

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices 

Thursday 12 November 2015

Intersex Awareness Day 2015 > Austria + Denmark > 2 more Thematic NGO Reports filed with the UN Committee against Torture

Foto: Nonviolent Intersex Awareness Day Protest outside Zurich Parliament, 26.10.2015

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookOn Intersex Awareness Day 2015 the Association of Intersex People Austria (VIMÖ) and the Danish intersex human rights defender Ditte Dyreborg in collaboration with Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org submitted two more thematic intersex NGO reports for the upcoming review of Austria and Denmark. Together with the earlier thematic intersex NGO report by BBKCI Hong Kong for the review of Hong Kong and China, the UN Committee against Torture will investigate Intersex Genital Mutilations in no less than 3 countries during their ongoing 56th session in Geneva.

This marks the very first time that ANY UN body investigates IGM practices in more than one country in a single session!

Also the Austrian and the Danish NGO reports are now available for download below or via intersex.shadowreport.org, as well as all the dates of the public state reviews, which will also be transmitted live at treatybodywebcast.org. The binding "Concluding Observations” by the Committee – hopefully with strong statements on IGM practices! – will be published on the CAT Session Homepage on (or soon after) 2 December.

NGO Report to the 6th Periodic Report of Austria on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

>>>  Blacked Out English (PDF 2.75 MB)
>>>  Unredacted English (PDF 3.33 MB)

Compiled by:
Verein Intersexueller Menschen Österreich VIMÖ
Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org

In the Blacked Out Edition all photos from medical textbooks are blacked out.
Review of Austria: Thu 12 Nov 10–13h + Fri 13 Nov 15–18h.

NGO Report to the 6th and 7th Periodic Report of Denmark on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

>>> Download English as a PDF (614 kb)

Compiled by:
Ditte Dyreborg
Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org

This report only contains information specific to Denmark and complements the thematic NGO report for Austria also submitted for the 56th session containing the general information on Intersex, IGM Practices and why they are in breach of the Convention against Torture.
Review of Denmark: Mon 16 Nov 10–13h + Tue 17 Nov 15–18h.

>>> Intersex NGO Report for Hong Kong + China 

Saturday 7 November 2015

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Hong Kong + China: 2015 NGO Report to UN Committee against Torture

2015 CAT Hong Kong + China NGO Report BBKCI Intersex>>> A 18-page thematic intersex NGO Report (PDF, 102 kb) by "Beyond the Boundary - Knowing and Concerns Intersex (BBKCI)" from Hong Kong documents IGM Practices in Hong Kong and China, as well as risk of abandonment or infanticide of intersex newborns, and how the authorities refuse to address these serious human rights violations.

The report was compiled by Hong Kong intersex activist Small Luk for the review of Hong Kong and China by the UN Committee agains Torture (CAT) during the Committee's 56th session starting next week in Geneva. Small will travel to Geneva to brief the Committee in person on the egregious human rights violations against intersex people in China, practces which have repeatedly been classified by the Committee as constituting at least Inhuman Treatment or even Torture in previous country examinations.

(See case file on p. 15 of NGO report)

This report was only the first of no less than 3 thematic intersex reports submitted for the 56th CAT session (the others coming from Austria and Denmark – more on these soon!). This marks the very first time that any UN Body examines more than one country regarding IGM Practices in one session!

The public review of Hong Kong and China will take place on Tuesday 17 November 10–13h CET + Wedneday 18 November 15–18h CET an will be transmitted live online via www.treatybodywebcast.org.

StopIGM.org congratulates BBKCI to this excellent report and hopes for strong Concluding Observations for all 3 states under examination during the 56th session!

See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices 

Friday 23 October 2015

Intersex Awareness Day 26.10.2015: Nonviolent Intersex Protest outside Zurich Cantonal Parliament, 07:30-15:00h

Hermaphrodites With Attitude, Boston 26.10.1996On 26 October, Intersex People, Survivors, Partners, Families, Friends and Allies around the globe celebrate Intersex Awareness Day, commemorating the very first INTERSEX PROTEST in Boston in 1996 against the Annual Convention of the American Academy of Padiatrics (AAP), and in support of over 20 Years of Organised Struggle to End INTERSEX GENITAL MUTILATIONS.

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

On Intersex Awareness Day 2009, the first Swiss parliamentary action on intersex and IGM practices was launched in the Zurich Cantonal Parliament (i.e. the state parliament, as opposed to Zurich City Parliament), see screengrab from the local newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, 26.10.2009:

"Children Made To Girls In The Operating Room:
Zurich Cantonal Government Has To Take Position"

These parliamentary questions instigated by Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org called on the Cantonal Government to inquire about the current practice at the Zurich University Children's Hospital, and to state their position on the non-consensual "cosmetic genital surgeries" on intersex children there. This ground-breaking parliamentary action was made possible by the repeated local, national and regional media coverage on the issue resulting from an earlier nonviolent protest outside the Zurich University Childrens Clinic and an open letter (see screengrab of news report by the national german-language TV evening news below).


1st Intersex Protest @ Zurich University Children's Clinic, 8.7.2008
>>>
Video (German)  >>> Rally Report + Pictures  >>> Transkript

A further result of this initial protest targetting the clinic and subsequent talks with doctors was a ground-breaking exploratory study leading to the now-famous and much referenced publication of "Shaping parents (2013)", illustrating how directive counselling leads to parents 'consenting' to mutilating treatments on their intersex children which they later often regret.


The 2012 Swiss National Ethics Commission's recommendations in a nutshell (click to downoad PDF).

And after more annual protests outside cantonal university children's clinics, again resulting in local, regional, national and even international media coverage as well as 3 more parliamentary questions, in 2010 we followed up with parliamentary questions in the national parliament, which led to the Federal Gov tasking the Swiss National Ethics Commission (NEK-CNE) to elaborate their ground-breaking 2012 recommendations, which in turn were referenced both by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and by the Committee angainst Torture in their 2015 statements, classifying Intersex Genital Mutilations as a "harmful practice" and "inhuman treatment", respectively.

2013 protest outside Zurich University Children's Hospital featured on Al Jazeera.

Plus last but not least, after two more protests targetting the Zurich University and its Children's Clinic calling for a historic reappraisal of past treatments including clitoridectomies, lading to more media coverage and pressure, in summer 2015 the clinic published an historical pilot study of the treatments 1913-1969, and publicly announced a regular study now taking off.

However, the Canton of Zurich still refuses to acknowledge the suffering experienced by intersex people as a result of IGM practices (as explicitly called for by NEK-CNE), and so far doesn't consider to support the study started by the Zurich University Children's Hospital, namely to ensure that it covers all relevant practices 1913-1969. What's more, the Cantonal Government is still complicit in the ongoing IGM practices at the Cantonal University Children's Hospital.

Therefore, during the 26 October 2015 session of the Zurich Cantonal Parliament, Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org will hold a peaceful vigil outside from 07:30–15:00h, to commemorate the victims of IGM practices, and to ensure that the parliament can no longer conveniently ignore its historical and ongoing responsibilities resulting from the past and current practice at its University Children's Hopsital run by the Canton of Zurich. See you where the action is!

Boston '96 was a PROTEST! Happy 12th Intersex Awareness Day 2015!

           When was the last time YOU talked or wrote about INTERSEX PROTESTS?
           When was the last time YOU gave credit to those facilitating the protests?

           When was the last time YOU talked or wrote about IGM?
           When was the last time YOU named names of doctors and clinics?

           When was the last time YOU participated in an INTERSEX PROTEST?
 
STOP IGM Primer:  What everyone should know about Intersex Genital Mutilations,  
the ongoing 20 Year Fight to End it,
and today's 19 Years of Peaceful Intersex Protests!

>>> Download (PDF 1.95 MB)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Be informed – Take part in ending IGM!

Intersex Genital Mutilations – The 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
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