STOP Intersex Genital Mutilations in Children's Clinics!

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Wednesday 8 October 2014

Ending IGM: Dialogue with ESPE Representatives, Dublin 19.09.2014

Just before heading out to the informal meeting with '53rd ESPE 2014' representatives:
Claudia, Daniela, Markus, Gavan, Patrick, Richard (photo), and the Open Letter
with over a hundred additional signatories
, Dublin 19.09.2014.

Last year in Milano (Italy), our peaceful vigil was kindly approached by former ESPE secretary general and then ESPE president Francesco Chiarelli (Italy), who, after making sure we were behaving civilly, suggested we should ask for a meeting with ESPE representatives during the next annual meeting in Dublin. So after finally securing tickets to Ireland, we gladly took him up on his offer (PDF). Since Chiarelli was no longer serving ESPE in an official function, he kindly forwarded our communications to the current secretary general as well as to current Irish president Hilary Hoey, who involved representatives of ESPE's DSD Working Group and kindly set up an informal half-hour meeting in a hotel bar near the Convention Centre, which took place on September 19th after lunch.

Partcipants were Hilary Hoey (ESPE President, Dean, Faculty of Paediatrics, RCPI, Ireland), S. Faisal Ahmed (ESPE DSD Working Group, DSDnet, I-DSD, Co-Signatory of Endocrinologists' Letter to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Scotland), Anna Nordenström (ESPE DSD Working Group, DSDnet, DSD-Life, Co-Signatory of Endocrinologists' Letter to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Sweden), and Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer for Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org, also handing in the hard copy of this year's Open Letter to ESPE.

We thank ESPE for facilitating this dialogue at rather short notice. It's noteworthy that, while as a result of our open letters we have been able to enter in a direct dialogue with several DSD clinics, this meeting marks the first time that a medical society rose to the occasion.

The following are Markus's memory minutes of topics broached (not necessarily in sequence):

Faisal Ahmed likened medicine to an oil tanker which can not make abrupt maneuvres and takes time to change directions. Both Faisal Ahmed and Anna Nordenström stressed that medicine is a part of society and cannot act outside societal expectations. Anna Nordenström brought up the example of Sweden rather unexpectedly no longer proscribing castration as a requirement for transsexuals to change gender in identity documents as an example how society can change. Regarding ESPE's position on surgery, Faisal Ahmed referred to the endocrinologists' letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Markus Bauer and Daniela Truffer stressed that non-consensual, medically unnecessary treatments of intersex children constitute serious human rights violations, as documented in the open letter, and that medicine should become more aware of human rights issues and its obligations under international law, which explicitly prohibits harmful practices justified by societal pressures. Also human rights are a vital part of society. Children are not the property of their parents to have them cut as they wish, they're human beings with innate human rights, unlike for example a chair whose legs, if deemed too long, may be shortened by a saw at its owner's desire. While UN bodies can also be likened to an oil tanker which may take time to reach travelling speed, human rights breaches by intersex treatments are currently being increasingly recognised across the board, with future increases in recognition to be expected.

Faisal Ahmed expressed discomfort with our protests outside medical congresses "painting all doctors with the same brush." Markus Bauer conceded that, as long as medical societies as a whole continue to advocate early surgeries, this was a political tactic to increase pressure and provoke discussions among different medical factions, asking not to take it personally.

Faisal Ahmed brought up the DSDnet Working Group 4 he's leading and which is tasked with ensuring consultation of intersex organisations, stressing how consultation is being increasingly recognised as important by doctors. He was impressed by the long list of signatories to the Open Letter, asking if we could represent these? Markus Bauer stressed that the intersex community is diverse and not a homogneous group, and that Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org could not speak for other groups having signed the letter, and suggested DSDnet should organise a meeting inviting all groups to discuss e.g. a memorandum of understanding of issues relevant to DSDnet, and perhaps a delegation for further contact, like this DSDnet could ensure to have actual (and not only pro-forma) consultation, but still wouldn't have to deal with dozens of individual groups all of the time. Also, while our group would welcome to be able to continue to participate a direct open dialogue, to avoid possible misunderstandings, this would not mean we would stop protesting peacefully. Faisal Ahmed agreed to stay in touch for further dialogue, and for us to make the intentions of DSDnet Working Group 4 known to other intersex organisations.

Hilary Hoey mentioned an actual case of 46,XX CAH in Ireland with complete virilisation incl. urethral opening at the tip of the penis, stating for her, and also for the parents, it would have been difficult letting this child grow up without surgery. Daniela Truffer cautioned that it is known that some of these children will later live as males, and that it's not legitimate to have surgery on a child to address parents' distress. Markus Bauer agreed that raising a child with atypical genitals is not always easy, and stressed the need for offering adequate psychosocial counseling for parents and persons concerned, and for health insurances to be able to cover for it, which, according to Hilary Hoey and Faisal Ahmed, in Ireland and the UK is not a problem. Markus Bauer asked Hilary Hoey how such children are treated in Ireland, referring to reports that they get transferred to UK clinics for surgery. Hilary Hoey replied also feminising surgeries were done in Ireland by two specialised paediatric surgeons.

>>> Open Letter to ESPE with 109 Signatories    >>> Flyer for the Rallies A4 (345 kb)
>>>
Photo Report: Peaceful Intersex Protest #1 kicking off, Dublin 18.09.2014 
>>> Press Release 19.09. "Genital Mutilations in Irish Children's Clinics Challenged"
 
>>> Press Release 10.09: "Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland: Info + Protests"    

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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

Thursday 25 September 2014

WHO, OHCHR, UNICEF + 4 More Condemn Intersex Sterilisations + IGM, Demand Apology + Redress!

click to enlarge!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Hip, hip! Yet another victory for the movement to end Intersex Genital Mutilations!

The World Healt Organisation (WHO) together with the
- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- UN Women,
- UNAIDS, the
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
issued a ground-breaking Interagency Statement on
>>> "Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization"
.

It criticises in no uncertain terms not only castrations of intersex children, but also IGMs in general.

And it contains equally clear-cut demands on state and institutional bodies, including

  • Independent and impartial investigation of all incidents
  • Recognize past or present policies, patterns or practices, issue statements of regret or apology to victims
  • Collection of data and monitoring
  • Provide appropriate and humane notification to people concerned
  • Access, including through legal aid, to administrative and judicial redress

Markus Bauer and Daniela Truffer (Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org) were consulted by the WHO for the interagency statement, together with representatives of other intersex organisations, including Anne Tamar-Mattis (Advocates for Informed Choice, USA) and Mauro Cabral (Argentinia). May similar explicit demands on all forms of IGMs be issued by ever more human rights bodies – and states forced to implement them! It's still a long way to go ...

After the break: Relevant excerpts from the interagency statement!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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

>>> Download full WHO Interagency Statement on "Involuntary sterilization"

Continue reading...

Saturday 20 September 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Genital Mutilations in Irish Children's Clinics Challenged by Survivors

600 hard copies of the Open Letter with 109 Signatures were distributed at both entrances

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 19.09.2014:

At the very first Intersex Protests in Ireland in front of the Convention Centre Dublin, survivors of Intersex Genital Mutilations in Children's Clinics are protesting doctors advocating medically unnecessary genital surgery on children born with variations of sex anatomy.

Today, they will hand in an Open Letter of Concern with 93 signatories from all continents to the doctors gathered for a three day international medical congress. The peaceful protests will continue until Saturday.

Intersex Genital Mutilations are serious human rights violations, criticised by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Council of Europe, and several other human rights bodies. Nonetheless, IGMs are common in Ireland, and are performed regularly for example at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, The National Children's Hospital, Talaght, The Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Limerick, and The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

>>> Open Letter with 109 Signatories       >>> Intersex Protests + Info '53rd ESPE 2014'

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 

Friday 19 September 2014

Open Letter of Concern to '53rd ESPE 2014' + Irish DSD Universities and Children's Clinics

StopIGM.org on Facebook>>> Fulltext with 109 Signatories        >>> Intersex Protests + Info '53rd ESPE 2014'

[...] We’d like to respectfully remind you that such non-consensual procedures

     constitute fundamental human rights
      violations (see below),
  
  constitute violations of civil, criminal,
      constitutional and international law, [1]
  
  constitute violations of ethics
      principles and regulations, [2]
  
  have been criticised by survivors as
      harmful and mutilating for more than
      20 years. [3] [...]

We therefore would like to reiterate our pleas to ESPE and its affiliates, including Irish Universities and Children’s Clinics,

  • to kindly reconsider non-consensual cosmetic treatments of children and adolescents with intersex variations (including hypospadias and CAH) unfortunately still advocated at the 53rd Annual Meeting in Dublin
  • to kindly reconsider the stigmatising nomenclature ‘Disorders of Sex Development’
  • to do so in consultation with intersex organisations
  • to acknowledge the harm and suffering inadvertently caused by non-consensual treatments of children and adolescents with intersex variations (including hypospadias and CAH)
  • to initiate a process of coming to terms with the past as a necessary first step towards reconciliation. [...]

>>> Fulltext: Open Letter of Concern to 'ESPE 2014' with 109 Signatories

Thursday 18 September 2014

Flyer "53rd ESPE 2014" - Peaceful Intersex Protests Starting Today

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook>>> The Flyer (PFD, 345 kb) for the peaceful rallies against international Intersex Genital Mutilators' "53rd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE)" starting today at the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD). The all day long nonviolent protests will continue until Saturday.

On Friday we will hand in another Open Letter to ESPE and Irish IGM Universities and Children's Clinics
>>> Open Letter of Concern to 'ESPE 2014'

>>> Photo Report: Intersex Protest #1, Dublin 18.09.2014 
>>> 4 Peaceful Protests: All the Dates  

Dublin: Intersex Protest #1 vs. '53rd ESPE 2014' kicking off ...

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook We hardly had put our T-shirts on and were still working on the placards, when already the first visitor of "53rd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE)" gave us a thumbs up, "I'm on your side." So it's fair to say that the first intersex protest (of all in all 4 until Saturday) kicked off quite nicely. While of course some of the doctors were less amused to have to get past us to enter the Convention Centre, with facial expressions we've come to described as "adequately disturbed", as per usual there were surprisingly many others openly appreciating our presence, stopping for an open conversation on their way in, and/or taking photos. A reknown surgeon which we've already met at another recent protest even affirmed again that it's good we're here to make them think. We also learned that later this morning there will be a meeting where a pending revision of the infamous 2006 "D$D Consensus Statement" will be discussed, and for tomorrow – a first! – we got an invitation for a short informal meeting with ESPE representants. And all the while, there are still more signatures coming in for the in the meantime traditional Open Letter to ESPE and Irish D$D Universities and Children's Clinics (the deadline will be in about 2 hours, so if you hurry, you can still sign up!), with the count now already approaching 70 signatures from all over, including many sympathetic doctors. Later today we're gonna do another peaceful protest at Trinity College, with 2 all day protests back in front of ESPE to follow on Friday and Saturday! See you where the action is!

>>> "53rd ESPE 2014" – 4 Peaceful Intersex Protests: All the Dates

>>> Call to sign the Open Letter to ESPE    >>> Flyer for the Rallies A4 (345 kb)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 Global, Inc – Why we are targeting ESPE
ESPE: Preaching CAIS Castrations and Supposedly 'High Cancer Risk'   

Monday 15 September 2014

Intersex Protests + Info: '53rd ESPE 2014' - Dublin, Sept 16-20

Photo: Peaceful Vigil #3 vs. "DGKCH 2014" Intersex Genital Mutilators, Berlin 28.03.2014

>>> Open Letter to ESPE with 109 Signatories    >>> Flyer for the Rallies A4 (345 kb)
>>>
Photo Report: Peaceful Intersex Protest #1 kicking off, Dublin 18.09.2014 
>>> Press Release 19.09. "Genital Mutilations in Irish Children's Clinics Challenged"

Press Release by StopIGM.org, 10.09.2014:
"Intersex Genital Mutilations in Ireland: Info + Protests, Dublin Sept 16-20"

INFO EVENING: Tue 16 Sept 5.30 pm @ National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI)
4 PEACEFUL VIGILS + OPEN LETTERS: Thu 18th - Sat 20th @ CCD + Trinity (see below)

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIntersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs), i.e. non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible, cosmetic genital surgeries, and other invasive 'therapies' on children with variations of sex anatomy, have been perpetrated systematically since 1950 all over the 'developed' world.

IGMs include clitoris amputation/'reduction', castration, 'masculinising genitoplasty', forced vaginal dilatation, imposition of hormones, human experimentation, forced excessive genital exams, photography, and medical display.

IGMs cause lifelong serious physical and psychological suffering and trauma, including loss or impairment of sexual sensation, painful scarring, impairment or loss of reproductive capabilities, lifelong dependency of artificial hormones, significantly elevated rates of self-harming behaviour and suicidal tendencies, and lifelong mental suffering and trauma.

For 21 years now, survivors as well as human rights and ethics bodies have denounced IGMs as fundamental human rights violations, and called for legislation to end them.

IGMs at '53rd ESPE 2014' Paediatric Convention in Dublin

The '53rd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE)' held at the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) promotes the entire range of IGMs, and its speakers include not only some of the world's most notorious IGM paediatric endocrinologist, e.g. Peter Lee (Pennsylvania, USA), Olaf Hiort (Lübeck, Germany), and Nils Krone (Birmingham, UK), but also leading specialised IGM paediatric surgeons, e.g. Alaa El-Ghoneimi (Paris, France), and Joao Pippi Salle (Toronto, Canada).

Despite not wielding the scalpel themselves, paediatric endocrinologists have been the originators and leaders of systematic IGM 'treatments', and ESPE's 'DSD Working Group' is a leading global player in setting national and international IGM 'medical guidelines' propagating 'early corrective surgeries', e.g. 'to relieve parental distress'.

Help reminding the perpetrators that it is NOT OK to mutilate defenceless children!

• INFO EVENING:
Tue 16 Sept 5.30 pm @ National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI)

100 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7
"Intersex Genital Mutilations – and the struggle to end them" 
Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org)
Presentation followed by Q&A / Discussion

• 4 PEACEFUL VIGILS + OPEN LETTERS: Thu 18th - Sat 20th
"STOP Intersex Genital Mutilations!"

Thursday 18.09.2014: CCD, Trinity
#1: 07:00-12:30    The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
#2: 13:00-17:00    Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2

Friday 19.09.2014: CCD
#3: 07:00-16:30    The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1

Saturday 20.09.2014: CCD
#4: 07:00-18:30    The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1

>>> Open Letter to ESPE with 109 Signatories     >>> Flyer for the Rallies A4 (345 kb)
>>>
Photo Report: Peaceful Intersex Protest #1 kicking off, Dublin 18.09.2014
>>> Press Release 19.09. "Genital Mutilations in Irish Children's Clinics Challenged"

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 Global, Inc – Why we are targeting ESPE
ESPE: Preaching CAIS Castrations and Supposedly 'High Cancer Risk'

LWPES, ESPE: Originators of Systematic Intersex Mass Mutilations
Lawson Wilkins, Andrea Prader 1950: From Experimentation to Extermination 
Lawson Wilkins 1950s: 'Amputation of the clitoris at the earliest possible time'
  
to prevent 'anxiety in parents' 
Lawson Wilkins et al. 1958: 'Corrective procedures on large numbers of patients'
Andrea Prader, LWPES 1973: 'Hereditary Defects Causing Male Pseudohermaphroditism'   

See also:
Open Letter of Concern to '4th WOFAPS' Berlin 2013
Open Letter of Concern to '9th Joint Meeting' (ESPE/LWPES) Milano 2013
Open Letter of Concern to '4th I-DSD Symposium' Glasgow 2013
Open Letter of Concern to '51st Annual Meeting of ESPE' Leipzig 2012
Open Letter of Concern to '23rd ESPU' Zurich 2012
Open Letter of Concern to 'ISHID' Live Genital Mutilators London 2011

Open Letter of Concern to '3rd EuroDSD Symposium' Lübeck 2011
Open Letter of Concern to '11th EMBL/EMBO Conference' Heidelberg 2010

Friday 12 September 2014

Germany: UN calls for data collection and "Plan to Stop this Practice" of Intersex Genital Mutilations and Forced Sterilisation

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!' - UNHRC Geneva 20.10.2012The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is examining Germany for the first time, the (postponed) final examination taking place in April 2015.

An important step in this process is the so called List of Issues (LoI) CRPD/C/DEU/Q/1 published by the Committee, containing questions to the respective Government focusing on the different articles of the convention.

Regarding Intersex and IGMs, CRPD's questions 11–14 are sensational:

Continue reading...

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Video + IGM Documentation: "Intersex People and Human Rights: Violations, Voices and Visions" - NGO Panel, Geneva 11.03.2014

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

>>> VIDEO Intersex Side Event + Discussion (1:24:17)

>>> IGM Slides + Transcript (PDF) 

>>> Flyer (PDF)      >>> Media Advisory (PDF)     

Panelists include:
Holly Greenberry, Intersex UK
Mauro Cabral, GATE
Morgan Carpenter, OII Australia
Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer, Zwischengeschlecht.org

1st ever exclusively Intersex Side Event on occasion of the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Facilitated by ARC International, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Gate, and ILGA. Thank you!

>>> VIDEO (1:24:17)  >>> IGM Transcript (PDF)  >>> Flyer (PDF)  >>> Media Advis. (PDF)

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

Extensive 2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents   

Tuesday 19 August 2014

2014 - The Year Intersex Docs started Feeling the Pain: New German D$D Guidelines to "postpone" IGMs, citing "massive public protests"

Nonviolent Protest + Open Letter @ 64th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Urology (DGU),
Leipzig 28.09.2012

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Unsurprisingly, for the 3 German Societies for Paediatric Endocrinology (DGKED), Paediatric Surgery (DGKCH), and Urology (DGU) taking the lead in the new guidelines, that means NOT finally ending Intersex Genital Mutilations – but merely "postponing" IGMs "until before or at puberty", or "10 to 12 years", after then allegedly having "obtained informed consent" from the "patients", according to a German media release and interviews (rbb Kulturradio | Der Spiegel) on behalf on the guidelines consortium, in an obvious attempt to address the docs' ever-increasing problem of mounting public criticism of IGMs.

Intersex Social Movement Victory!

Nonetheless, these proposed new German guidelines remain arguably by far the GREATEST concession EVER considered, let alone "voluntarily" announced to bring in effect, by ANY official perpetrators medical society – and arguably the first major victory of a burgeoning Intersex Social Movement systematically pressuring the doctors on all available levels, including ongoing nonviolent protests in front of relevant annual and other meetings of medical and other bodies involved in perpetrating and promoting IGMs.

"Persons concerned protested against me and fellow surgeons" - Guidelines Speaker Krege

What's more, paediatric urologist and serial IGM surgeon Susanne Krege, co-coordinator of the proposed guidelines and spokesperson for the German medical societies involved, leaves little doubt to what eventually tipped the scale:

  • "Massive public protests" (DGU press release)
  • "massive accusations by persons concerned going public" (rbb)
  • "persons concerned coming to medical congresses, protesting against me and other surgeons"! (Spiegel)

Nonviolent Protest + Open Letter @ 2010 Annual Meetings of the German Societies for Paediatrics (DGKJ),
and Paediatric Surgery (DGKCH)
, Postdam 18.09.2010 (Photo: A. Klaer © Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten)

When Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org started out to become an international Human Rights NGO in 2007, soon organising our first nonviolent protest on occasion of the first day in court of an Intersex Genital Mutilator in Cologne (Germany), sued by survivor Christiane Völling (who in the end won € 100.000,- damages), it was under the clear premise, if doctors would voluntarily stop mutilating intersex children just because survivors asked them to, they would have done so 20 years ago.

"Doctors need to feel the pain, too" - Daniela "Nella" Truffer (PDF)

Some hundred nonviolent protests, media interviews, public debates, parliamentary questions, NGO reports, and so on later, and after the "ground-breaking" recommendations by the Swiss National Ethic Committe NEK-CNE in 2012, when for the first time an official national body recognised the imminent need of legal review to effectively end IGMs, the proposed new German guidelines stress again how, at the end of the day, a "social movement style" systematic and coordinated effort on all levels, combining public pressure, mass media presence, local, state, and federal parliament pressure, pressure by international human rights bodies, and last but not least ongoing public nonviolent protests – is together most effective in achieving actual change – also when it comes to directly pressuring the perpetrators themselves. 

Nonviolent Protest + Open Letter @ 5th Annual Meeting of the German Society for
Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (
DGKED), Augsburg 05.11.2010

While from an activist's perspective the scale of the then and current nonviolent intersex protests can hardly be considered as "massive", obviously for the bad conscience of the perpetrators such protests are still sufficiently triggering every time they are unmistakably called on the illegality and human rights breaches of medically unnecessary and non-consenual Intersex Genital Mutilations, and get publicly noticed.

Nonviolent Protest + Open Letter @ "Ethics Lecture" by serial IGM surgeon Susanne Krege:
Christiane Völling protesting the future Guidelines Speaker Krege (arrow), Aachen 30.05.2011

However, as the proposed new German D$D guidelines show, still a lot more continuous and coordinated pressure on all levels will be needed to eventually end Intersex Genital Mutilations not only in Germany, but wherever negligent doctors wilfully discard the human rights of intersex babies and minors ...

VIDEO: Action vs. 'I-D$D' Genital Mutilators!
Protest + Open Letter '3rd I-D$D Symposium', Glasgow 2013
Thanks to Richard Duncker (MenDoComplain)

>>> on Vimeo

VIDEO: Action vs. 'ISHID' Live Mutilators!
Protest + Open Letter 'IV ISHID World Congress', London 2012
Thanks to Richard Duncker (MenDoComplain)
>>> on Youtube

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents

Sunday 17 August 2014

Anti-Circumcision Protest Criticises IGMs - Twice!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook In this >>> youtube video of an anti-circumcision protest in Denver (Colorado) following the "Genital Autonomy 2014" conference, Intersex Genital Mutilations are explicitly criticised – twice!

THANK YOU, Bloodstained Men & Friends, Jonathan Friedman, Katherine, Brother K, James Loewen!

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents

Monday 28 July 2014

IGM: "I spent my life in fear, pain and shame"

>>> Video on Aljazeera | Whole Interview (Transcript)
>>> Intersex Fact Check: '3rd Gender in Germany' - true or false? 

Continue reading...

Friday 30 May 2014

Intersex ("25th ESPU 2014"): "Uncorrected" Undescended Testes Provide Vital Hormones – And Often Complete Spermatogenesis!

Peaceful Vigil #6 vs. "ESPU 2014" Mutilators, Innsbruck 10.05.2014

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Human Rights For Hermaphrodites, Too!One abstract stuck out from the presentations at the "25th Anniversary Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Urology": Doctors at Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology Münster (Germany) for once made the effort to actually put the old medical fairy tale purported by the mutilators guild until today, "Undescended testes can't produce hormones and are sterile anyway" to a practical test by examining 8 persons with "uncorrected abdominal undescended testes" aged 14–36.

Lo and behold: Their results defied current medical "knowledge" – but confirmed what intersex persons and their organsiations have been claiming for decades: Abdominal testes usually have normal hormone production – and in many cases (in patients aged 14, 16 and 30 (!)) even spermatogenesis sufficient for fatherhood!

For the authors of the presentation these findings were the reason enough to actually call for a review of the current medical practice for "undescended testes". If the mutilator's guild will heed this call and take appropriate action remains to be seen.

During one of our peaceful vigils, we had the opportunity to briefly discuss the findings with presenter Karen Czeloth and to thank her for this courageous effort. She personally confirmirmed the findings, and told us, when extracting sperms direcly from the testes, also many klinefelter persons have a chance of fatherhood.

These explosive findings presented at the "25th ESPU 2014" will hopefully increase the pressure on "know all" IGM doctors who (now against better knowledge!) continue to allege that all abdominal testes must be immediately removed or surgically "brought down" and transfixed to the scrotum in the name of fertility and an (allegedly) "high cancer risk", as well as providing human rights bodies (e.g. WHO, CAT, SRT) with additional ammunition to criticise systematic catrations of intersex children (often under eugenic-racist-nazi implications). And last but not least open the floodgates for lawsuits against mutilators, who incurably choose to continue to castrate intersex persons without actual medical need!

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Markus Bauer @ Genital Autonomy 2014: "Legislation to end Intersex Genital Mutilation: A social movement whose time has come?"

Markus Bauer (Zwischengeschlecht.org) is an invited speaker at "Genital Autonomy 2014" / Abstracts (PDF) in Boulder (Colorado), July 24-26. Together with fellow activist Hida Viloria (OII), Markus will represent intersex issues at GA 2014.
"Genital Autonomy", established in 1989, is a bi-annual international symposium on children’s rights promoting interdisciplinary dialogue about genital cutting practices of male, female, and intersex children. The last symposium's (abstracts, PDF) speakers on intersex in 2012 were Julius Kaggwa (SIPD, Uganda) and Mika Venhola (youtube-interview), and the symposium issued the 2012 "Helsinki Declaration of the Right to Genital Autonomy".

Abstract: "Legislation to end Intersex Genital Mutilation: A social movement whose time has come?"

In 1950, systematic early cosmetic genital surgeries on children with variations of sex anatomy were introduced in North America and Europe, and eventually became the de-facto medical standard all over the ‘developed world’. In 1993, survivors started organising against this practice, deploring loss of sexual sensation, framing the non-consensual surgeries as grave human rights violations, namely against the right to physical integrity, and as Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM), calling for legislation.

Since 2012, after a resurgence of political intersex activism including use of nonviolent action, human rights mechanisms, and lawsuits against perpetrators, this call for legislation has finally been recognised as legitimate and necessary by national and international ethics and human rights bodies, and echoed in parliament.

I’ll analyse the ongoing 20-year-struggle to end IGM in terms of grassroots’ models of social movements, and discuss how an emerging global intersex social movement can succeed in banning IGM within the next decade.

Markus Bauer is the co-founder and campaign organiser of the international human rights NGO Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org, and legally responsible for their online presence. He is the partner of an intersex person, and a decade-long writer, editor, performing artist, political activist, and social organiser. Since 2007, he facilitated countless nonviolent intersex protests in front of mutilators’ clinics and medical congresses, as well as parliamentary motions, submissions and testimonies for ethics and human rights bodies. He has spoken and published internationally on IGM at universities and symposia, and appeared on radio and television, and in newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal. Zurich, Switzerland.

VIDEO Action vs. 'I-D$D' Genital Mutilators!
3rd I-D$D Symposium, Glasgow 2013
Thanks to Richard Duncker (MenDoComplain)

>>> on Vimeo

VIDEO Action vs. 'ISHID' Live Mutilators!
IV ISHID World Congress, London 2012
Thanks to Richard Duncker (MenDoComplain)
>>> on Youtube

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents

Thursday 1 May 2014

IGM - A Human Rights Issue!

>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)  >>> Table of Contents  >>> Collective NGO Report on IGMs

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook D.  The Treatment of Intersex Persons as a Violation of International Law

“Genital mutilation of intersex children damages genital sensitivity in irreversible ways; it causes post-surgical trauma, and the internalization of brutal prejudices denying or stigmatizing the diversity that in reality human bodies show. [...] The difference in genitalia cannot justify, under any pretext whatsoever, ethical and political hierarchies: cannot justify mutilation, because it never normalizes but does the opposite. For us, mutilation creates a permanent status of human rights violation and inhumanity.” 
Mauro Cabral, CESCR NGO Statement 2004 [66]

For 21 years now, intersex people from all over the world, and their organisations have been publicly denouncing IGMs as destructive of sexual sensation, and as a violation of basic human rights, notably the right to physical integrity. [67] For 18 years, they have lobbied for legislation against IGMs to end the impunity of perpetrators due to statutes of limitation. [68] For 17 years, they have been invoking the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to fight IGMs, [69] and for 10 years they have been reporting IGM to the UN as a human rights violation. [70] This NGO report marks the 5th time that persons concerned, NGOs and/or a NHRI report IGMs as a relevant issue to the Commission on the Rights of the Child, and the 3rd Swiss NGO report to an UN commission to highlight IGMs (see Bibliography, p. 30).

In Switzerland, like in every intersex community, meanwhile several generations of intersex persons, their partners and families, as well as NGOs and other human rights and bioethics experts, have again and again described IGM as a human rights issue, [71] as harmful and traumatising, [72] as a western form of genital mutilation, [73] as child sexual abuse, [74] and have called for legislation to end it. [75] (Cases No. 1–6)

The UN Committees CEDAW, CESCR and CAT, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Council of Europe (COE), and last but not least the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK) have already recognised the human rights violations perpetrated on intersex children, and demanded legislative measures (NEK, SRT, COE), historical reappraisal, acknowledgement by society of suffering inflicted (NEK) and compensation for victims (NEK, CAT) (see Bibliography, p. 28).

66 Mauro Cabral (2004), NGO Statement: Intersexuality, http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/61
67 Cheryl Chase (1993), Letter to The Sciences RE: The Five Sexes, http://www.isna.org/articles/chase1995a
68 Cheryl Chase (1996), Female Genital Mutilation in the U.S. Discussion, https://www.h-net.org/~women/threads/mut.html
69 Cheryl Chase (1998), ISNA’s Amicus Brief on Intersex Genital Surgery, http://www.isna.org/node/97
70 Mauro Cabral (2004), NGO Statement: Intersexuality, http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/61
71 Clare O’Dea (2009), Doctors “playing God with children’s sex”, swissinfo 26.08.2009, http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Home/Archive/Doctors_playing_God_with_childrens_sex.html?cid=981950
72 Nikola Biller-Andorno (2006), Zum Umgang mit Intersex: Gibt es Wege jenseits der Zuordnung des «richtigen Geschlechts»? Schweizerische Ärztezeitung 47:2047-2048, at 2047, http://www.saez.ch/docs/saez/archiv/de/2006/2006-47/2006-47-283.PDF
73 Mirjam Werlen (2008), Rechtlicher Schutz für Kinder mit uneindeutigem Geschlecht, in: Michael Groneberg, Kathrin Zehnder (eds.) (2008), «Intersex». Geschlechtsanpassungen zum Wohle des Kindes? Erfahrungen und Analysen:178–215, at 184
74 Kathrin Zehnder (2010), Zwitter beim Namen nennen. Intersexualität zwischen Pathologie, Selbstbestimmung und leiblicher Erfahrung, at 201
75 Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics NEK-CNE (2012), On the management of differences of sex development. Ethical issues relating to “intersexuality”, Opinion No. 20/2012, Recommendation 15, at 19, online

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents

  >>> Collective CRC NGO Report on IGMs

Thursday 24 April 2014

VIDEO: Intersex-Protests vs. '4th I-D$D Genital Mutilators', Glasgow

Still: Claudia @ Protest #7, 08:30-14:00, 09.06.2013, Sir Charles Wilson Building
(Venue '4th I-DSD Symposium')

>>> Video on occasion of the protests, courtesy of Richard of MenDoComplain, featuring Claudia, Daniela "Nella" and your's truly. Many thanks!

FOR THE MUTILATORS, international 'D$D' or rather IGM Conferences are usually a bit like a paid holiday. They get to travel, sightseeing, shopping, as well as meeting fellow mutilators. Not to mention the everlasting academic pissing contests, which IGM clinics and clinicians snipped, and snapped, and published the most and the bestest. All paid for. No wonder are so many mutilators always looking forward to next year's IGM destinations!

Unless they find themselves confronted by fierce nonviolent protesters picketing their prestigious meetings – all day long, all conference long – whenever they come or leave or go for a smoke, they have to face the facts that their crimes are being noticed. That survivors are NOT happy. That these facts are becoming better reported in the media, better known in the public, and better recognised by human rights bodies. How surprisingly many of their peers appreciate and support the concerns at the heart of the protests. 

While there's still only a small group of survivors and supporters undertaking the hardships and exposure associated with nonviolent protests, and we obviously can't cover all IGM conferences and meetings, still the mutilators can never be too sure when and where to expect confrontation next – as well as being challenged inside their playgrounds, too!

It's important putting up the pressure on the perpetrators. On all levels. Left on their own devices, the mutilators will never stop ...

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents  

>>> Open Letter of Concern to '4th I-DSD Symposium 2013' (PDF)
>>> 'I-DSD': 'Cruel and inhuman' surgeries - Press Release 07.06.2013

Friday 18 April 2014

The Proof: IOC + IAAF + FIFA = Intersex Genital Mutilators!

IOC-Protest, Lausanne, Nov. 19, 2009 (Photo: Ärger)   --> Open Letter

IOC IAAF: Stop Intersex Discrimination!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Since 2010, Zwischengeschlecht.org has warned that global sports bodies International Olympic Committeee (IOC), International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) are letting well-known Intersex Genital Mutilators loose on unsuspecting (alleged) intersex athletes, and that the new gender testing rules that came into force in 2012 with discretionary tests for individual athletes on grounds of "suspicion" or "challenge" (as the IAAF policy tellingly put it) are used as a means to coerce especially intersex athletes from the global south to "consent" to medically unnecessary Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs), according to a verdict by the chairman of IOC's Medical Commission, "Most cases, Ljungqvist said, require treatment such as surgery or hormone therapy"  (see e.g. Background Report 2009, Press Release 17.01.2010, Press Release 22.01.2010).

A recent >>> New York Times article by Katrina Karkazis und Rebecca Jordan-Young now confirmed this, referring to a (in the article not referenced) >>> 2013 publication in "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism" (PDF) (doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-3893):

Therein, Intersex Genital Mutilators Patrick Fénichel, Françoise Paris, Pascal Philibert, Sylvie Hiéronimus, Laura Gaspari, Jean-Yves Kurzenne, Patrick Chevallier, Stéphane Bermon, Nicolas Chevalier, and Charles Sultan report how unnamed sports representatives sent them "4 young [...] women [aged 18–21] years [...] from rural or mountainous regions of developing countries" suspected of "hyperandrogenism" for screening in clinics in France (Nice, Montpellier) and Monaco. All 4 athletes were described to have undescended inguinal testes and "enlarged clitorises" ("clitoromegaly"), and eventually were diagnosed with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency. After further invasive testing, they were attested to have "elevated" testosterone levels.

Subsequently, all 4 athletes were coerced to submit to castration and partial clitoris amputation, surgical widening of the vagina and hormone "replacement theapy" with estrogens ("partial clitoridectomy with a bilateral gonadectomy, followed by a deferred feminizing vaginoplasty and estrogen replacement therapy"). According to the mutilators, all 4 athletes "consented" to the procedures explicitly described as medically unnecessary, in order to be able to be cleared for competition one year later. However, the report doesn't mention if the athletes were informed about all the "side effects" of the mutilating procedures, as well as that most survivors later regret having these procedures done on them, and it also doesn't mention whether or not the athletes were offered access to peer support – serving as a strong indicator that, as per usual, in fact they were NOT.

While there are still no ideal gender testing rules in sight, and therefore possible future revisions will mostly also remain imperfect, the above confirmed blatant human rights violations of intersex athletes from the global south by the global sports bodies once more highlight the urgent need for TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY in current and future gender testing, including mandatory DISCLOSURE of all cases of testing, banning, and enforced "medical" treatments (while of course respecting the privacy of the athletes concerned), as well as independent MONITORING including collaboration with intersex organisations.

See also: Discrimination & Intersex Genital Mutilations in Sports 

Sunday 13 April 2014

Council of Europe (COE) condemns Intersex Genital Mutilations!

>>> Open Letter of Concern to 'WOFAPS 2013' Surgeons (PDF) 

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Hip, hip!  On October 1, 2013 the Council of Europe in Strassbourg (COE) - not to be confused with the EU in Brussels – during their 31st session passed the  >>> Resolution 1952 (2013) "Children’s right to physical integrity" (PDF) with a good majority (78 Yay, 13 Nay, 15 Abstentions). 

The resolution unmistakably criticises Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM)WITHOUT any gender-sexology-etc.-fuss, but with a clear, human rights based distinction between medically necessary vs. cosmetic procedures, and incl. a call for legislation! Following the example set by the Swiss National Ethics Commission (NEK-CNE) and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Zwischengeschlecht.org, amongst other organisations, has been lobbying Members of the COE, providing often neglected facts about the ongoing mutilations as grave violations of basic human rights. Big thanks to everybody contributing to the final result!

Relevant excerpts from the resolution (emphasis added by Zwischengeschlecht.org):

"[...] 2. The Parliamentary Assembly is particularly worried about a category of violation of the physical integrity of children, which supporters of the procedures tend to present as beneficial to the children themselves despite clear evidence to the contrary. This includes, amongst others, female genital mutilation, the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, early childhood medical interventions in the case of intersexual children and the submission to or coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery.

[...]

6. The Assembly strongly recommends that member States promote further awareness in their societies of the potential risks that some of the above mentioned procedures may have on children's physical and mental health, and take legislative and policy measures that help reinforce child protection in this context.

[...]

7. The Assembly therefore calls on member States to:

7.1. examine the prevalence of different categories of non-medically justified operations and interventions impacting on the physical integrity of children in their respective countries, as well as the specific practices related to them, and to carefully consider them in light of the best interests of the child in order to define specific lines of action for each of them;

7.2. initiate focused awareness-raising measures for each of these categories of violation of the physical integrity of children, to be carried out in [...] the medical sector (hospitals and individual practitioners) [...];

[...]

7.4. initiate a public debate [...], aimed at reaching a large consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards;

7.5. take the following measures with regard to specific categories of violation of children’s physical integrity:

[...]

7.5.3. undertake further research to increase knowledge about the specific situation of intersex people, ensure that no-one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment that is cosmetic rather than vital for health during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to persons concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;

[...]

7.7. raise awareness about the need to ensure the participation of children in decisions concerning their physical integrity wherever appropriate and possible, and to adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted."

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents  

STOP IGM Primer:
What everyone should know about Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM)!

>>> Download (PDF, 1.95 MB) 

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Intersex Genital Mutilations - 2014 NGO Report to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) - Executive Summary

Photo: UNHRC UPR #14, Geneva 20.10.2012

>>> Table of Contents        >>> Download PDF (3.65 MB) 
>>>  Collective Child Rights Network Switzerland NGO Report on IGMs 

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Executive Summary

Intersex children are born with variations of sex anatomy, including atypical genetic make-up, atypical sex hormone producing organs, atypical response to sex hormones, atypical genitals, atypical secondary sex markers. While intersex children may face several problems, in the “developed world” the most pressing are the ongoing Intersex Genital Mutilations, which present a distinct and unique issue constituting significant human rights violations (A).

IGMs include non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible, cosmetic genital surgeries, and/or other harmful medical treatments that would not be considered for “normal” children, without evidence of benefit for the children concerned, but justified by societal and cultural norms and beliefs. (B 1.) Typical forms of IGMs include “masculinising” and “feminising” genital “correction”, castration, sterilisation, imposition of hormones, forced genital exams, vaginal dilations and medical display, human experimentation and selective abortion (B 2., Supplements “Historical Overview”, “Medical Textbooks”).

Since 1950, IGMs have been practised systematically and on an increasingly industrial scale allover the “developed world”, with Switzerland taking a leading role in the global dissemination, and all typical forms still practised in Switzerland today. Because “a hole” is surgically easier to shape than “a pole”, most “ambiguous” children were made into girls, until the 1990s often by amputation of their “enlarged clitoris.” Parents and children are misinformed, kept in the dark, sworn to secrecy and denied appropriate support (B 2.–3., Cases No. 1–6, Supplements “Historical Overview”, “Medical Textbooks”).

With Swiss government, health departments, health care providers, and health assurances refusing to disclose statistics, no actual numbers are available neither on the frequency of intersex births, estimated at 1:500–1:1000 (A 4.), nor on the frequency of IGMs, estimated at 90% of all intersex children and youths (B 3.).

IGMs cause lifelong serious physical and psychological complications, including loss or impairment of sexual sensation, painful scarring, painful intercourse, incontinence, serious problems with passing urine, increased sexual anxieties, less sexual activity, dissatisfaction with functional and aesthetic results, 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. (B, Cases No. 1–6)

For more than 20 years, intersex people, NGOs, human rights and bioethics experts have criticised IGMs as harmful and traumatising, as a fundamental human rights violation, as western genital mutilation, and child sexual abuse, and called for legislation to end it (B, D).

The Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK), the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), the UN-Committees CEDAW and CAT, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Council of Europe (COE) criticise these interventions as a violation of human rights, demand legislative measures (NEK, SRT, COE), historical reappraisal, acknowledgement by society of suffering inflicted (NEK) and compensation for victims (NEK, CAT) (D).

The Swiss Federal Government, Cantonal Health Departments and National Medical Bodies still refuse to take action, but allow the human rights violations of intersex children and adolescents to continue unhindered (B 3., C, D, E, Annexe 2).

This NGO Report to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Swiss state report was compiled by Zwischengeschlecht.org, Intersex.ch, and SI Selbsthilfe Intersexualität. Elaborating on the paragraphs on IGM in the Child Rights Network Switzerland NGO Report (p. 25–26), it contains concluding recommendations (F).

>>> Table of Contents  >>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)  >>> Collective NGO Report on IGMs 

Monday 7 April 2014

IGM Primer #1: Clitoris Amputations & Intersex Genital Mutilations

Click to enlarge!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents  

STOP IGM Primer:
What everyone should know about Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM)!

>>> Download (PDF, 1.95 MB) 

Thursday 20 March 2014

Intersex Genital Mutilations criticised in Swiss Child Rights Network NGO Report to UN CRC - Upcoming thematic Intersex Report on IGMs

Foto: UNHRC Intersex Side Event, Geneva 11.03.2014  >>> Flyer (PDF) >>> Press (PDF)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Zwischengeschlecht.org's contribution to the Joint Swiss NGO CRC Report 2014 (PDF), on p. 25–26:

Child Rights Network Switzerland:
Second and third NGO report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

4.6 Protection against abuse: Genital mutilation

Assessment by the Child Rights Network Switzerland

[Intersex Genital Mutilations]

Since 1950, children with atypical sex anatomies (intersex, DSD, hermaphrodites) are systematically subjected to irreversible, medically unnecessary interventions in an attempt to fix their sex. Such interventions include cosmetic genital surgery, castration, sterilisation and hormone treatment. Swiss clinics were significantly involved in the global propagation of “genital correction surgeries”. As female sex organs are surgically easier to shape than male organs, most children were made into girls, often by amputating their “enlarged” clitoris. Parents were misinformed, kept in the dark and received no appropriate support. Treatment of such nature leads to serious physical and psychological complications. For the last 20 years, victims and NGOs have been criticising these interventions as a massive violation of human rights, including the right to physical integrity, denouncing them as “intersex genital mutilation”. The UN-Committees CEDAW and CAT, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the Council of Europe (COE) and the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK) criticise these interventions as a violation of human rights and demand legislative measures (NEK, SRT, COE), historical reappraisal, acknowledgement by society of suffering inflicted (NEK) and compensation for victims (NEK, CAT).

The Child Rights Network Switzerland recommends that the Committee oblige Switzerland:

–– to implement the full range of recommendations by the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics “On the management of differences of sex development” (intersex, DSD), to consider legislative measures banning cosmetic genital surgery on intersex children, to conduct a historical appraisal of the human rights violations inflicted on intersex children and youth in society, and to compensate victims in an appropriate manner;

(Unfortunately, all the subheaders in the section on mutilation were 'lost in translation.')

In addition, we made sure that on p. 15 of the report "Intersex" was not only mentioned in the assessment, but the "I" also added in the subheading and in the recommendations. ;-)

Thanks to everybody who contributed to make this happen! As far as we know, this is the 4th time in a NGO/NHI Report to the CRC that cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex children were criticised as a serious human rights violation, and the 2nd time that IGM was actually named and spelled out!

What's more, an additional specific Intersex CRC NGO Report, prepared together with Swiss peer support group Intersex.ch and Swiss parents peer support group SI Selbsthilfe Intersexualität, including supplemental General information on IGMs is now available!    >>> Download    >>> Executive Summary

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Intersex Protests + Info: "25th ESPU 2014", Innsbruck (Austria), May 6–10

Photo: 1. Peaceful Protest vs. "23rd ESPU 2012", Zurich 09.05.2012   >>> Open Letter (PDF)

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIntersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs), i.e. non-consenual, medically unnecessary genital surgeries, castrations and other invasive 'therapies' on children with variations of sex anatomy, have been perpetrated systematically since 1950 all over the 'developed' world.

Paediatric urologists are particularly do-or-die perpetrators of these 'treatments' violating the human rights of the children concerned, and in Austria, the Innsbruck Medical University and their children's clinics are particularly infamous institutions.

What's more, Austria is the country of origin of the racist and later official nazi diagnosis 'Intersexual Constitution', introducing the term 'Intersex' in human medicine in the 1920s, and moulding the medical discourse of intersex as 'degenerated', 'pathological' and 'inferior' until today, and the person coining the term was a professor of gynaecology in Innsbruck.

The '25th Anniversary Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Urologists (ESPU)' promotes an abundance of IGMs, and its programme includes some of the world's most notorious mutilators from all over, e.g. John Gearhart (Baltimore), Warren Snodgrass (Dallas), Pierre Mouriquand (Bron, France), Peter Cuckow (London), Christian Radmayr (Innsbruck), Joao Pippi Salle (Toronto), Berenice Bilharinho de Mendonça (São Paulo), Alaa El-Ghoneimi (Paris), etc.

Help reminding the perpetrators that it is NOT OK to mutilate defenceless children!

>>> All the dates here!

2 INFO NIGHTS Tue 6 + Wed 7   –   6 PEACEFUL PROTESTS Wed 7 – Sat 10

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents 

>>> John Gearhart ('ESPU 2014'): 'female orgasm = successful vaginal penetration'
>>>
John Gearhart ('ESPU 2014'): 'Western Cutting of Clitorises is no Mutilation!' 

See also:
Open Letter of Concern to '4th WOFAPS' 2013
Open Letter of Concern to '9th Joint Meeting' 2013
Open Letter to '4th I-DSD Symposium' 2013
Open Letter to '51st Annual Meeting of ESPE' 2012
Open Letter to '4th ISHID' 2011
Open Letter to '3rd EuroDSD Symposium 2011'
Documentation 'Intersex Genital Mutilations' (PDF, 2.4 MB) 
  [ TRIGGER WARNING!!! ]

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Study: How Parents 'Consenting' to Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs) do so because of Biased Information given by Doctors

>>> A recent Exploratory Study illustrates how parents who 'decide' to 'consent' to submitting healthy intersexed infants to mutilating cosmetic genital surgeries do so heavily due to biased medicalised information provided by doctors:

Streuli JC, Vayena E, Cavicchia-Balmer Y, and Huber J. Shaping parents: Impact of contrasting professional counseling on parents' decision making for children with disorders of sex development. J Sex Med 2013;10:1953–1960.

Zwischengeschlecht.org is pleased to have contributed to this study, directly by taking part in the initial focus group to identify demedicalised vs. medicalised counseling (the 'activists' credited in the paper), as well as indirectly since the focus group as well as the whole project taking off were not least a result of increased public pressure due to our nonviolent protest in front of the Zurich University Children's Hospital which attracted considerable media coverage.   More on the study after the break ...

Continue reading...

Wednesday 25 December 2013

"May your hand rot off, which you used to mutilate defenceless children!"

Kinderspital Zürich - Universitäts-Kinderklinik "Human Rights for Hermaphrodites too!" - Zurich, July 6, 2008 (Photo: Ärger)

From a speech by Daniela "Nella" Truffer to future doctors:

At two and a half months, they castrated me, threw my healthy testicles into the dust bin. The doctors decided, I should grow up as a girl, my parents were instructed accordingly. At seven, they shortened my ambiguous genital. After the surgery I went into shock, developed multiple haematoma and necrotic tissue. Pain and scars remained. That I could have died during these surgeries because of a serious heart condition, was of no interest to the doctors. At eighteen, a vagina was tinkered, where there was nothing before.

Personally, I don't want to resort to an eye for an eye, though I admit to having thought about it, and I don't want to have to be imprisoned even more on behalf of my castrators and genital mutilators.

So the only thing left for me is finding other ways of standing up for hermaphrodite children, so that at least they may live in the future. To be a voice for your future patients, to convince you, that cosmetic genital surgeries and other medically not necessary interventions violate human rights and must stop.

To all those among you, who in spite still choose pursuing a career as genital mutilators, to you I wish with all my heart, may a horde of crazed hermaphrodites find you, who will direct their anger not at themselves, but against you. May they turn your lives into hell with lawsuits for grievous bodily harm, may they ruin your reputation and plunder your bank accounts! And to those, who even then still don't have enough, may your hand rot off, which you used to mutilate defenceless children! And perhaps, one day even a hermaphrodite will come to you with a pair of hedge shears, and will teach you what it feels like having to scrape a living with scarred genitals! And the same also to all of you, who, though you don't perpetrate the mutilations by yourselves, still participate or look the other way.

However, to all those among you, who will abide by "first do no harm", and one day will enter the medical profession in the name of humanity, to you, even more with all my heart, I wish you all the best for your future.

>>> Full Text: "May your hand rot off, which you used to mutilate defenceless children!" 

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs): "At seven, they cut my genital to make me look more like a girl" - Al Jazeera English, 01.11.2013

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook>>> TV-Interview with Daniela "Nella" Truffer (Zwischengeschlecht.org) on occasion of the "3rd Gender Hoax in Germany" media frenzy during the first half of this soundbite-sized news-clip. As always, Daniela says it as it is, bearing witness to western genital mutilation no matter how hard it is, year after year, exposing the gruesome practices usually hidden from the view of ordinary citicens, calling for justice. A transcript of the whole Interview can be found after the break.

Below the video there's an AFP news report, featuring Lucie Veith (Intersexuelle Menschen e.V.) stating clearly that "the cosmetic genital surgeries for newborns must be forbidden altogether". The Report also quotes the recent resolution by the Council of Europe, calling for legislation as well.

(Note in contrast the German Green Party MP and gay spokesman Volker Beck during the 2nd half of the video, beating around the bush, calling for nice and comfy chats with the perpetrators and that's it. Fortunately the rest of the German Green Party has moved much faster than Beck, actually calling for legislation in parliament!)

Many thanks to everybody who spoke true to the media about the mutilations!

Continue reading...

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