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Wednesday 16 October 2019

CCPR127 > Mexico Questioned About Intersex Genital Mutilation

CCPR 127nd Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 16.10.2019, 14:56h: Getting ready ...
Left row, upper third (half hidden): Mr. Christopher Arif Bulkan who asked about IGM.

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'This week, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the Treaty body monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) is examining the human rights record of Mexico during its 127nd Session in Geneva, transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org!

A thematic intersex NGO report by Brújula Intersexual, Vivir y Ser Intersex and StopIGM.org proves that IGM continues in Mexico with impunity – despite a previous reprimand by CEDAW – and further documents lack of effective and sustainable action to protect all intersex children, which was also highlighted in the bilingual Joint Intersex NGO Oral Statement (PDF) during the private NGO meeting on 14.10.2019 (excerpt):

“The high poverty rate in Mexico produces a deficient health system which not everyone can access, so there are cases of intersex people who escaped IGM, but do not have access to necessary medical treatment. Additionally, some intersex children are denied birth certificates, preventing them from enrolling in school.

While some official agencies, including the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City (CDHDF) and the Ministry of Health have expressed interest in protecting intersex human rights, this interest has remained mostly one-off and inconsequential. Notably, the 2019 CDHDF Report to this Committee keeps silent about IGM, despite raising medical violence and referring to the CEDAW Concluding Observations.”

StopIGM.org is reporting LIVE from Geneva, hoping the Committee will ask tough questions on IGM practices in Mexico!

Session 2, Thu 17 October 2019, 10-13h CEST

10:02h: Session and livestream resumed, if there is anything on intersex and IGM, we'll post it here!

10:10h: Delegation member Mr. Diego Ruiz Gayol (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Mexican Mission in Geneva) non-answers on IGM, claims all surgery is done to "improve the health" of the mutilated children! :-( Unofficial Transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original Spanish):

“For intersex individuals we can say that the health institutions are using international protocols on how to address the situation of children with sexual differentiation. The surgery is carried out only when it has been corroborated by medical evidence. They receive the consent of the person in question or the parents or guardians, and it so goes to improve the health of the person in question.” 

10:37h: YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Hélène Tigroudja raises lack of access to birth certificates for intersex children, notes this can result that they can't be enrolled in school, leading to multiple harm. :-) Unofficial Transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original Spanish):

“Now the third obstacle has to do with a category of population that was already addressed by Mr. Bulkan, this the intersex children. According to information that we have here also there is a registration problem, because we don't know in the end what sex to indicate at birth. And the dramatic consequence that raises from this is since there is no identity document, they're not going to schools, and then it's a double and triple victimisation for this sector.

So a very simple question: what are the statistics, the official statistic that the State could provide? We have numbers, but numbers that vary depending on the source, depending ont the CSO or NGO that provided this statistic. Also, are the measures taken to …” 

10:58h: YAY!! Committee expert Mr. Christopher Arif Bulkan follows-up on intersex children and “intersex genital mutilation”! Refers to reports indicating IGM is pervasive and unchallenged, notes regulations are not binding, further notes lack of legislative protections, are there any plans to legislate, as the legal prohibition of torture is not applied to intersex children? Further raises lack of access to needed health care due to poverty or in rural communities, any plans and strategies? (Full transcript to follow.)

12:30h: Delegation member Mr. Rafael Barcelo Durazo (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Subject: Deputy Director General for International Human Rights Policy, Secretary for Foreign Affairs) insults the intersex community gives more non-answers on intersex children or “sexual differentiation diseases”, respectively. Claims NGOs would use wrong definition of intersex, as “sexual differentiation diseases” would “need proper treatment” to help them with their “sexual and reproductive health”, repeats claim “we don't do unnecessary surgery”, insists it would be “corrective surgery”. :-( Unofficial Transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original Spanish):

“And I will conclude by answering the question Mr. Bulkan had on his concern saying that several Civil society organisations spoke about genital mutilation of intersex patients. Well, this concern arises from a confusion over the term intersex which has been used indiscreetly to refer to people with different gender identities or gender orientation or sexual differentiation diseases.

Intersex should not include people with sexual differentiation issues which are caused by congenital diseases that cause the [indiscernible] chromosomes to be different. That then requires proper treatment to improve their health, their life, and their sexual and reproductive health.

In our countries' institutions we don't carry out unnecessary surgeries to intersex individuals, and those surgeries that are carried out on patients always follow the criteria of necessity and it is also ment to be corrective when it is corroborated by scientific evidence.”

12:38h: Answer on birth certificates (but probably not re: intersex children as far as I heard, full transcript to follow.)
 

 

 

Session 1, Wed 16 October 2019, 15-18h CEST

15:58h: YAY!! Committee expert Mr. Christopher Arif Bulkan raises “intersex genital mutilation”! Asks about steps undertaken to prohibit IGM, and guarantee access to adequate counselling and support! (Full transcript to follow)

18:03h: Session closing ... As the delegation didn't answer yet on intersex, they will have tomorrow. Watch this space ... 

2019-CCPR-Mexico-NGO-Intersex-Brujula-StopIGM

Country: Mexico
Treaty Body: Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR)
Convention: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)
Download Intersex NGO Report: English (PDF, 636 kb) | ESP
Report by:
Brújula Intersexual, Vivir y Ser Intersex, StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CCPR 127th Session, 16.-17.10.2019; Concluding Observations due November  >>> Full Timeline
Previous UN Reprimands: CEDAW (2018)

See also:
46 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

CCPR127 > Belgium Questioned About Intersex Genital Mutilation

CCPR 127nd Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 15.10.2019, 15:04h: Getting ready ...
Right row, center (reading in a blue folder): Ms. Vasilka Sancin who asked about IGM.

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'This week, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the Treaty body monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) is examining the human rights record of Belgium during its 127nd Session in Geneva, transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org!

A thematic intersex NGO report by Intersex Belgium and StopIGM.org proves that IGM continues in Belgium with impunity – despite a previous reprimand by CRC – and documents lack of meaningful consultation with intersex NGOs, as Belgium authorities in fact only consult with IGM doctors, IGM-associated researchers and LGBT organisations, which was also highlighted in the Joint Intersex NGO Oral Statement during the private NGO meeting on 14.10.2019 (excerpt):

“The Government exclusively frames intersex in medical and LGBT terms and as a discrimination, diversity or health care issue, but conveniently ignores the ongoing IGM practices, which is also evident in the State report.

Since 2016 the Government has spent a lot of money on meetings and publications on intersex, but all the money went to researchers affiliated with IGM practitioners and intersex people were excluded and marginalised.”

StopIGM.org reported LIVE from Geneva, hoping the Committee will ask tough questions on IGM practices in Belgium!

Session 1, Tue 15 October 2019, 15-18h CEST

15:37h (Video @ 37:28): YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Vasilka Sancin raises intersex children! Notes lack of action to protect intersex persons, and the lack of remedies for those who suffered! :-) Unofficial Transcript:

“And we also heard some concerns about the lack of action by the Belgian authorities when it comes to the rights of intersex persons, especially when they're subjected to irreversibles surgical operations. So I would appreciate also some information on the steps taken in Belgium to ensure the appropriate protection of intersex persons in Belgium and also whether there are some measures developed in order to ensure the necessary and appropriate assistance to persons who suffered from these practices.”

17:38h (Video): Delegation member Mr. Philippe Wéry (Adviser, Human Rights Department, Directorate General Legislation, Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Federal Public Service Justice) (non-)answers on IGM, claims government is aware of the problem, is listening to cicil society, is convinced further measures are necessary, namely awareness training, mentions law on the rights of patients, right to consent of the child exercised by parents, discusses LGBT“I” action plan, actions conducted, studies on terms used and care provided, refers to “dialogues” and “sounding bords”, website “Idem” (all this is documented and discussed in the NGO report (PDF, p. 9-13) as insufficient and counter-productice measures!), further mentions upcoming project of short film funded by gov (but concerning which intersex NGOs were again not consulted).  :-( Unofficial Translation (from original French):

“On the aspects related to intersex people, so the federal government is obviously aware of the problems faced by intersex people. He has taken note with great interest of the recommendations of civil society and is listening to their concerns. The federal government is convinced that measures are needed to ensure better protection against discrimination of intersex people and recognizes the importance of raising public awareness and training experts and wants to prevent and pursue actions to this end. Finally, the government wishes to continue to rely on dialogue with civil society to ensure the development of policies adapted to the real needs of intersex people and respectful of human rights.

The point you also made is, and I think it's also important, that the law does not require the use of treatment to end intersex. As a reminder, children remain under the authority of their parents until they reach the age of majority. It is therefore up to them to take the necessary decisions regarding the health of their child, and the law on patients' rights states that this is done by parents or guardians.

But it is quite clear that the issue of finally medical normalization operations, as some call it, cannot be limited to this question of parental authority in medical matters, and that government initiatives are necessary, as I mentioned just before, for the information, awareness and training of all the actors concerned by this issue.

So, during the last legislature by adopting the inter-federal action plan against discrimination and violence against LGBTI people, therefore 2018-2019 the governments of the different levels of power have committed themselves to preventing and combating discrimination and violence against people on the basis of their intersex condition. And to achieve this objective, several actions have been carried out, and emphasis has been placed both on improving knowledge of the situation of intersex people [indiscernable] and on studies on terminology and the discourse of care relating to intersex people and on the quality of life of intersex people.

The second element is the establishment of resonance groups that aim to improve dialogue with intersex people and equal rights. This resonance group is composed of civil society, intersex people, parents of intersex children, researchers, members of the medical profession and the corresponding administration. They deal in particular with the themes of terminology, access to healthcare in Belgium and public awareness, visibility and information provision.

Last but not least, the funding of tools, a short film for young people and an information brochure for parents of intersex children will be published soon, which have been funded by the federal government, and an information website on intersex issues called www.ideminfo.be was launched in 2018 with funding from the Flemish government. That is what I wanted to say in this regard.”

Session 2, Wed 16 October 2019, 10-13h CEST

10:02h: Session resumed, if there is any follow-up on intersex and IGM, we'll post it here!

10:46h: YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Vasilka Sancin follows-up on “intersex genital mutilation”! Notes efforts of government detailled by delegation yesterday, raises CRC recommendations to prohibit IGM and lift statutes of limitations, as well as remedies, counselling and support, including to adult IGM survivors! :-) Unofficial Transcript:

“I would like to first return to the issue number 10, follow-up question to our yesterday's discussion. And I would like to welcome all the policy measures and the dialogue that the State party entered into with the Civil society, with the medical community when it comes to this intersex genital mutilation.

However, I would also like to note that in the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child earlier this year, the Committee urged the State party to enter into some legislative measures, to consider prohibiting any unnecessary medical or surgical treatment of intersex children especially when these are irrevocable.

And furthermore the State party was also asked to consider to lift the statutes of limitations for such violations especially when they're committed in a very early age.

I would also like to know whether in addition to dialogue with Civil society there are also any undertakings under way where you would provide some councelling and support as effective remedies not only to children but also to adults who were victims of such violations in their early age.”

11:40h: Delegation member Mr. Eric van den Bosch non-answers on “intersex medical normalisation”. Basically repeats non-answer by his colleague yesterday, reiterates all the insufficient and counter-productive gov initiatives, says government wants to do more awareness-raising to foster respectful approach to transgender identity, again claims gov would insult consult with intersex civil society, mentions a “trans and inter network”no answer to the actual question on legislative measures at all! What an outrage!!  :-( Unofficial Transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original French):

“Thank you very much, good morning to all. So to come back to Mrs Sancin's question with regard to the issue of medical normalisation.

I think we answered it yesterday. I will not go back to this more specifically, except to mention that we had indeed stressed the need for more information and awareness on the subject. I would just like to remind you that a short film for young people and an information brochure for parents of intersex children will be published soon. They have been funded by the Federal Government and that an information website on intersex issues has been launched in 2018 and is funded by the Flemish Government.

In addition, I would like to add that civil society is indeed working on this issue, in particular to raise awareness of psycho-medico-social services, which will be based on an approach that respects transgender identities and and intersex.

More specifically, I would like to talk about Plural Genres, which created the trans and inter-Belgian psycho-medico-social network and which aims at the best access to trans and inter-specific health care. In particular, they aim at a more respectful and adapted and depathologising approach and an exchange of knowledge between its professionals, so this would be an action by civil society on this theme which aims at a better approach and a better awareness. Thank you.”

12:50h: YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Vasilka Sancin again follows-up on “intersex genital mutilation”! Notes she did not receive an answer on legal prohibition of IGM, nor on lifting the statutes of limitations. :-) Unofficial Transcript:

“I would like to note that while some answer was repeated with regard to intersex genital mutilation I have not received the answer to my question whether there are some legislative measures considered since such practices should be prohibited and at least there should be some consideration of a possibility to withdraw the statutes of limitations for such offences.”


2019-CCPR-Belgium-NGO-Intersex-StopIGM

Country: Belgium
Treaty Body: Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR)
Convention: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (581 kb)
Report by: Intersex Belgium, StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CCPR 127th Session, 15.-16.10.2019; Concluding Observations due November  >>> Full Timeline
Previous UN Reprimands: CRC (2019)

See also:
46 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Thursday 3 October 2019

UN-CRC reprimands Portugal for Intersex Genital Mutilation

Photo: Markus Bauer and Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org) with the thematic intersex NGO report on Portugal
at the 82nd CRC Session, Palais Wilson, Geneva 20.09.2019

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 03.10.2019:

Portugal is another self-declared "intersex human rights champion" that, after recently having adopted legislation aimed at protecting intersex children from IGM practices, now claims to have abolished the practice altogether, echoing similar legislation and claims from Malta.

However, as documented in evidence submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by StopIGM.org, in both countries all forms of IGM persist with impunity, advocated and paid for by the State. When asked about the obviously continuing mutilations by CRC in Geneva, both Portugal and Malta tried to change the subject, non-answering on "international medical standards" and "transgender legislation" instead. Fortunately, the Committee refused to have the wool pulled over its eyes.

After concluding its 82nd session, CRC has now reprimanded Portugal (and Australia) for IGM practices – just like Malta after the previous session.

In its binding Concluding Observations, the Committee unmistakably condemns IGM in Portugal as a "harmful practice" according to art. 24 (3) of the Convention (just like FGM, which is also covered in the same paragraph of the Concluding Observations), further referring to the CRC-CEDAW Joint General Comment No. 18/31 "on harmful practices" and target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals ("eliminate all harmful practices").

StopIGM.org welcomes these clear verdicts, marking

  • the very 1st UN reprimand for IGM to Portugal
  • the 23rd UN reprimand for IGM to an EU country
  • now 13 EU countries reprimanded for IGM
  • the 15th and 16th reprimand for IGM by UN CRC
  • in total 46 UN Treaty body reprimands for IGM so far 
  • now 26 states reprimanded in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

With now both alleged "intersex human rights champions" Malta and Portugal unmasked and reprimanded by CRC, the question remains:

All those who so far inconsiderately and uncritically praised Malta's and Portugal's (and others') tokenist legislation claiming to help but in fact harming intersex children – will they now finally do the right thing and demand effective legislation criminalising IGM and addressing obstacles to redress and justice for IGM survivors, namely the statutes of limitation, in line with CRC, CEDAW, CAT, CRPD, CCPR, the Joint General Comment "on harmful practices", ... ?

CRC82: Full Binding Intersex Recommendations to Portugal

>>> Download full Concl Obs: CRC/C/PRT/CO/5-6 --> para 28 (b)
>>> Full Intersex NGO Report by StopIGM.org (PDF, 942 kb)
>>> Report from Session in Geneva   >>> UN Press Release on Session
>>> Open Letter of Concern about Malta and Portugal to EU Commission

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

Harmful practices  [art. 24 (3)]

28. With reference to its joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices (2014) and taking note of target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee urges the State party to:

[...]

(b) Continue to implement measures, including legal and administrative, to guarantee that no child, including intersex, is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment, during infancy or childhood, in line with the rights of children to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination, and provide social, medical and psychological services, where necessary, as well as adequate counselling, support and reparations to families with intersex children.'

CRC82: Full Binding Intersex Recommendations to Australia

>>> Download full Concl Obs: CRC/C/AUS/CO/5-6 --> para 31 (b)

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

Harmful practices  [art. 24 (3)]

31. The Committee welcomes the criminalization of forced marriage and taking note of target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, urges the State party to:

[...]

(b) Enact legislation explicitly prohibiting coerced sterilisation or unnecessary medical or surgical treatment, guaranteeing bodily integrity and autonomy to intersex children as well as adequate support and counselling to families of intersex children.'

See also:
'Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change'
• 'Harmful Medical Practice': UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
46 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>>Download PDF (831kb)

Monday 30 September 2019

Communiqué de presse de l'ONU > Comment le Portugal défend la mutilation génitale intersexe (MGI)

[ English ]

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Lors de sa 82ème session à Genève, le Comité des droits de l'enfant (CRC) de l'ONU a interrogé le Portugal sur les mutilations génitales intersexes (MGI), sur la base des preuves accablantes fournies par StopIGM.org dans un rapport d'ONG au Comité.

La délégation portugaise, qui s'est présentée dans une déclaration introductive en tant que championne des droits humains des intersexes prétendument " protéger les caractéristiques sexuelles de chaque personne ", a semblé avoir du mal à répondre aux questions du Comité sur les MGI, mais s'en tenir plutôt aux MGF.

Ce n'est qu'après que le président du Comité des droits de l'enfant eut rappelé que la question concernait les enfants intersexués et non les mutilations génitales féminines, que le Portugal a finalement (non) répondu sur les enfants intersexes et les MGI, le communiqué de presse des Nations Unies résumant l'examen donnant un aperçu de la détermination du Portugal à continuer à mutiler des enfants intersexués sans défense :

“Le Comité des droits de l’enfant s’inquiète des nombres élevés d’enfants en situation de pauvreté et d’enfants placés en institutions au Portugal”
>>> Communiqué de presse de l'ONU (27.09.2019)

“ Les enfants nés intersexes sont suivis par les services nationaux de santé – notamment par les services pédiatriques – et les parents sont consultés et informés au sujet des conséquences que peuvent avoir certains traitements sur l'avenir de leur enfant; les parents sont impliqués dans les décisions, a insisté la délégation. ”

La (non-)réponse du Portugal fait écho à la défensive de Malte lors de la dernière session du CRC, un autre "champion des droits humains intersexes" autoproclamé qui continue néanmoins à mutiler les enfants intersexes, soutenu et payé par l'Etat. En conséquence, Malte a été sévèrement réprimandée pour continuer à pratiquer les MGI dans les observations finales du Comité, avec des recommandations contraignantes à l'État partie.

Les défenseurs des droits humains intersexes, y compris StopIGM.org, espèrent maintenant une réprimande tout aussi sévère de la part du CRC pour le Portugal également, qui est prévue jeudi prochain. A suivre ....

2019-CRC-Portugal-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM

Country: Portugal
Treaty Body: Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Convention: Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (942 kb)
Report by: StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CRC 82nd Session, 19.-20.09.2019; Concluding Observations due Thursday 3 October 
>>> Full Timeline

Previous UN Reprimands: none

>>> StopIGM.org > Pages françaises

UN Press Release > How Portugal Defends Intersex Genital Mutilation

[ Français ]

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook During its 82nd Session in Geneva, the UN Committee o the Rights of the Child (CRC) questioned Portugal about Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM), based on damning evidence provided by StopIGM.org in an NGO report to the Committee.

The Portuguese Delegation, which presented themselves in an opening statement as a intersex human rights champion allegedly “protecting the sexual characteristics of every person”, seemed to struggle with answering the Committee's questions about IGM, droning on about FGM instead.

Only after a reminder by the CRC chairperson, that the question was about intersex children, not FGM, Portugal finally (non-)answered on intersex and IGM, with the UN Press Release summarising the examination offering a glimpse of Portugal's insistence on continuing with mutilating defenseless intersex children:

“Experts of the Committee on the rights of the child note good laws in Portugal but raise questions about their effective implementation”
>>> UN Press Release (27.09.2019)

“Responding to these questions and comments, the delegation said that [...] Intersex children and female genital mutilation were completely different issues. Interventions on intersex children were carried out by health professionals and had to be suited and tailored to each case. There had been five cases detected last year. Extremely specialized paediatric teams were seized of the matter, in conjunction with the families. The best course of action for each child was determined in light of the latest scientific knowledge. Interventions were only made when they were in line with the best interest of the child. They were not carried out at random.”

Portugal's (non-) answer echoed the defensiveness of Malta in the last CRC session, another self-declared “intersex human rights champion” that continues to mutilate intersex children noetheless, advocated and paid for by the state. Accordingly, Malta was strongly reprimanded for continuing with IGM practices in the Committee's Concluding Observation with binding recommendations to the State party.

Intersex advocates including StopIGM.org are now hoping for a similarly stern reprimand by CRC for Portugal too, due next Thursday. To be continued ...

2019-CRC-Portugal-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM

Country: Portugal
Treaty Body: Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Convention: Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (942 kb)
Report by: StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CRC 82nd Session, 19.-20.09.2019; Concluding Observations due November 
>>> Full Timeline

Previous UN Reprimands: none

See also:
'Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change'
• 'Harmful Medical Practice': UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
42 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR): IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>>Download PDF (831kb)

Thursday 26 September 2019

Open Letter to EU Commission: Stop Downgrading Intersex Rights!

UPDATE!  Now 44 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – And Counting ...

Photo: Intersex Protest + Open Letter to EU Commission + 115 EU-funded IGM clinics, Copenhagen 29.06.2017

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookAn Intersex Tale of Two Cities:

This week in Brussels, the EU Commission, Malta, Portugal and others praised each other to the skies as champions of intersex human rights, while at the same time downplaying the systematic and massive, EU-sponsored medical abuse of intersex children as a mere "discrimination" and "health care" issue.

Next week in Geneva, the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC) publishes its findings on Portugal – most likely including a stern reprimand for harmful practices on intersex children. Already last session, CRC unmistakably condemned "unnecessary medical or surgical procedures" on intersex children in Malta, and called to "[e]ffectively investigate incidents" and "provide redress to victims [...] including adequate compensation and rehabilitation".

Now – how on earth could Brussels have gotten it so completely wrong (and not for the first time!) about intersex human rights and about intersex children in Malta and Portugal allegedly being protected from genital mutilation when – as documented in Geneva – in fact they're not, and IGM persists with impunity!??

Well, that's exactly what StopIGM.org wanted to know.

Therefore, before the European Commission's "High level Conference on Advancing LGBTI equality in the EU: from 2020 and beyond", we sent them an Open Letter (PDF, or below the break) documenting above and further remarkable discrepancies between the EU's caual downgrading of intersex rights vs. the meanwhile 44 clear and unmistakable UN verdicts, kindly asking for an explanation.

Currently, we're still waiting for a reply.

To be continued ...     [ Full Open letter after the break ]     [ as PDF ]   

Continue reading...

Friday 20 September 2019

CRC82 > Portugal questioned about intersex mutilation by UN - Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland next

[ Deutsch ]

Photo: UNHRC UPR #14, Geneva 20.10.2012

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Equality'!In Geneva, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is currently examining the human rights record of Portugal, repeatedly asking the State party why harmful practices against intersex children were allowed to continue, and why IGM survivors were denied access to redress and justice?
When Portugal tried to change the subject, discussing "international medical standards" and "transgender legislation" instead, Committee members asked follow-up questions, which Portugal will have to answer today (10-13h CEST).

UPDATE: UN Press Release: Portugal Defends Intersex Genital Mutilation

On the shiny outside, Portugal has recently adopted legislation aimed at protecting intersex children from IGM practices, claiming to have abolished the practice altogether, echoing similar legislation and claims from Malta – coincidentally, next week in Brussels, both countries will be praised once more as intersex human rights pioneers at a EU "High level Conference on Advancing LGBTI equality".

However, as documented in NGO Reports, both in Malta and Portugal, all forms of IGM persist with impunity, advocated and paid for by the State party. In a previous session earlier this year, CRC already considered IGM in Malta as a harmful practice. Yesterday in Geneva, Portugal's answers were hardly more than the known usual excuses and denials right in the face of documented facts.

Based on evidence submitted by StopIGM.org in collaboration with local and regional intersex NGOs, UN Treaty bodies CRC, CAT, HRCttee-CCPR, CRPD and CEDAW have so far reprimanded 12 EU countries for failing to effectively protect intersex children from non-consensual, unnecessary genital surgery, forced sterilisation and other involuntary, non-urgent procedures which the UN Committees consider to amount to serious violations of non-derogable human rights under multiple Treaties, namely cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment falling under the absolute prohibition of torture (CAT, CCPR, CRPD), a harmful cultural practice just like FGM (CRC, CEDAW), involuntary medical or scientific experimentation (CCPR), and a violation of the integrity of the person (CRPD). Globally, we're currently at 42 UN reprimands for IGM practices to 24 countries (see list).

Together with fellow intersex NGOs Brújula Intersexual, Intersex Belgium, Vivir y Ser Intersex, Intersex.ch and SI-Global, StopIGM recently submitted 5 Intersex Shadow Reports to different Treaty bodies, besides Portugal also for Belgium, Mexico, Spain and Switzerland – all of them up for review in Geneva:

2019-CRC-Portugal-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM

Country: Portugal
Treaty Body: Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Convention: Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (942 kb)
Report by: StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CRC 82nd Session, 19.-20.09.2019; Concluding Observations due November 
>>> Full Timeline

Previous UN Reprimands: none

2019-CCPR-Belgium-NGO-Intersex-StopIGM

Country: Belgium
Treaty Body: Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR)
Convention: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (581 kb)
Report by: Intersex Belgium, StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CCPR 127th Session, 15.-16.10.2019; Concluding Observations due November  >>> Full Timeline
Previous UN Reprimands: CRC (2019)

2019-CCPR-Mexico-NGO-Intersex-Brujula-StopIGM

Country: Mexico
Treaty Body: Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR)
Convention: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (636 kb)
Report by: Brújula Intersexual, Vivir y Ser Intersex, StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CCPR 127th Session, 16.-17.10.2019; Concluding Observations due November  >>> Full Timeline
Previous UN Reprimands: CEDAW (2018)

2019-CCPR-LOIPR-Spain-Intersex-Brujula-StopIGM

Country: Spain
Treaty Body: Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR)
Convention: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (377 kb)
Report by: StopIGM.org, Brújula Intersexual
Next Steps in Review Cycle: List of Issues Prior to Reporting (LOIPR) @ CCPR 127th Session, due November; State Report with replies to LOIPR due 2020  >>> Full Timeline
Previous UN Reprimands: CRC (2018)

2019-CRC-LOIPR-Swiss-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM

Country: Switzerland
Treaty Body: Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disablities (CRPD)
Convention: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disablities (CRPD)
Download Intersex NGO Report: DOCX (246 kb) | PDF (333 kb)
Report by: StopIGM.org, Intersex.ch, SI-Global
Next Step in Review Cycle: List of Issues Prior to Reporting (LOIPR) @ CRPD 12th Pre-Sessional Working Group, due November; State Report with replies due 2020  >>> Full Timeline
Previous UN Reprimands: CRC (2015), CAT (2015), CEDAW (2016), CCPR (2017)

>>> intersex.shadowreport.org

See also:
'Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change'
• 'Harmful Medical Practice': UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
42 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR): IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>>Download PDF (831kb)

Thursday 19 September 2019

ESPE 2019 in Austria > "Clitoral surgery been performed in 231 (92%)"

[ Deutsch ]

Intersex protest + Open Letter vs. 'ESPE 9th Joint Meeting', Milano (Italy) 19.09.2013

"Contemporary Surgical Approach in CAH 46XX – Results from the I-DSD/I-CAH Registries"
Presentation @ 58th Annual of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology ESPE, starting in Vienna (Austria) today (see Abstract Book (PDF), p. 96):

"Genital surgery has been performed in 251 (76%). Clitoral surgery been performed in 231 (92%), vaginal surgery in 204 (81%) and a combination of clitoral and vaginal surgery had been performed in 186 (74%). Of the 251 who had surgery, 18 (7%) had vaginal but no clitoral surgery whilst 42 (17%) had clitoral but no vaginal surgery. Mean age at first surgery was 2.5 years (0-15), with clitoral surgery and vaginal surgery at 2.6 years (range) and 3.2 years (range), respectively. In a logistic regression model it could be shown that there was a negative trend for surgery over time. Moreover, there was a significant trend towards surgery before 24 months of life over time. However, there were significant geographic differences in the probability/incidence of genital surgery: Europe 64%, Asia 97%, South America 89%. The Chicago Consensus Statement on DSD (comparison of data before and after 2006) did not have any significant influence on the timing or probability of surgery."

Of course these figures are not new or unexpected. In fact, a presentation 2 years earlier by partly the same Austrian IGM doctors, "Current surgical practice in DSD" showed similar figures and the same tendencies.

This year's ESPE features particularly many and particularly ugly D$D presentations.

StopIGM.org organised non-violent intersex protests against ESPE annual meetings in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, thanks to local solidarity and support. Unfortunately, when we asked Austrian intersex organisations they said they couldn't provide any practical support. As StopIGM.org has no funding and this week is also the 82nd CRC Session in Geneva where the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will examine IGM in Portugal, unfortunately, the ESPE mutilators will be able to promote their trade unchallenged.

See also:
Open Letter of Concern to EU Committee on Civil Liberties 2018
Spain > 2 Days of Live Intersex Genital Mutilation - Unchallenged
Open Letter of Concern to '6th I-DSD Symposium' Copenhagen 2017
USA > ESPE et al. Celebrating End of Intersex Human Rights – Unchallenged
Open Letter of Concern to '55th ESPE' Paris 2016
Open Letter of Concern to '6th ISHID Hypospadias Workshop', Seligenstadt 2015
Open Letter of Concern to '53rd ESPE' Dublin 2014
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

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Autriche > Communiqué de presse de l'ONU met l'accent sur la mutilation génitale des enfants intersexes

 [ English ]

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Lors de sa 73ème session à Genève, le Comité des Nations Unies pour l'élimination de la discrimination à l'égard des femmes (CEDAW) examinera la situation des droits de l'homme en Autriche. StopIGM.org et l'Association des personnes intersexuées en Autriche VIMÖ ont fourni au Comité des preuves de mutilations génitales intersexes (MGI) en cours. Avant l'examen, les ONG ont eu l'occasion d'informer le Comité en séance publique à Genève.

La déclaration sur les MGI présentée par Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org) a été soulignée dans le communiqué de presse de l'ONU sur le briefing des ONG :

"Le Comité pour l'élimination de la discrimination à l'égard des femmes auditione la societé civile"
>>> Communiqué de presse de l'ONU (08.07.2019)

StopIGM a déploré que les enfants nés intersexes en Autriche, dotés d’organes génitaux « ambigus », soient toujours soumis à des interventions chirurgicales génitales superflues, y compris l’amputation partielle du clitoris, des procédures de stérilisation et des expérimentations humaines, sur la base des stéréotypes sociétaux et culturels sur ce qui constitue un corps masculin ou féminin acceptable. Pourtant, a dit l’ONG, la Cour constitutionnelle autrichienne a explicitement reconnu en 2018 que le fait d’être intersexe constitue une « variation » et non « un développement pathologique » et a conclu que le fait que les familles craignent la stigmatisation ne saurait en aucun cas justifier de telles interventions.

>>> Full Intersex NGO Statement (PDF) | (DOCX) 
>>>
Austria: Intersex, IGM, Gender Stereotypes and Racism (PDF) | DOCX 

See also:
'Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change'
• 'Harmful Medical Practice': UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
42 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

Austria > UN Press Release Highlights Intersex Genital Mutilation

 [ Français ]

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!During its 73rd Session in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) will examine the human rights record of Austria. StopIGM.org and the Austrian Association of Intersex People VIMÖ provided the Committee with evidence of ongoing Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM). Prior to the examination, NGOs had the opportunity to brief the Committee in a public session in Geneva.

The statement on IGM presented by Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org) was highlighted in the UN press release on the NGO Briefing:

"Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women hears from civil society organizations from Democratic Republic of the Congo, Austria, Cabo Verde and Guyana"
>>> UN Press Release (08.07.2019)

StopIGM said that, in Austria, intersex children born with so-called “ambiguous” genitalia continued to be submitted to unnecessary genital surgeries -- including partial clitoris amputation, sterilizing procedures and human experimentation.  Such surgeries were based on societal and cultural stereotypes of what constituted female or male bodies, and were nevertheless advocated and paid for by the public health system.  To this day, rather than combat, investigate and monitor intersex genitalia mutilations, the State party refused to disclose statistics on this matter, and had tried to misrepresent this practice as supposedly genuine health care, despite the severe pain and suffering it caused.

>>> Full Intersex NGO Statement (PDF) | (DOCX) 
>>>
Austria: Intersex, IGM, Gender Stereotypes and Racism (PDF) | DOCX 

See also:
'Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change'
• 'Harmful Medical Practice': UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
42 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

Friday 7 June 2019

UN Child Rights Committee reprimands Malta for Intersex Genital Mutilation

Photo: Markus Bauer and Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org) with the thematic intersex NGO report on Malta
at the 81st CRC Session, Palais Wilson, Geneva 15.05.2019

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 07.06.2019:

Malta is world-famous for being the first state to formally outlaw intersex genital mutilation, claiming to have meanwhile 'equalis[ed] the penalties applicable to intersex genital mutilation to the penalties applicable to female genital mutilation'. During its 81st Session the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) examined these claims, based on an NGO report by StopIGM.org documenting evidence of IGM still being practiced in Malta both domestically and overseas due to legal loopholes and lack of enforcement.

As a result, CRC has now reprimanded Malta for IGM practices.

In its binding Concluding Observations, the Committee unmistakably condemns IGM in Malta as a 'harmful practice' according to art. 24 (3) of the Convention (just like FGM, which is also covered in the same paragraphs of the Concluding Observations), further referring to the CRC-CEDAW Joint General Recommendation No. 18/31 'on harmful practices' and target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals ('eliminate all harmful practices').

StopIGM.org welcomes this clear verdict, and in particular that CRC explicitly obliged Malta to

  • protect intersex children from all 'unnecessary medical or surgical procedures' without informed consent of the person concerned (which, contrary to Malta's claims, clearly also include IGM 1 'hypospadias repair')
  • 'ensure that intersex children and their families receive adequate counselling and support'
  • 'effectively investigate incidents' of IGM and 'provide redress to victims [...], including adequate compensation and rehabilitation'. (Full binding CRC recommendation see below.)
Daniela Truffer, IGM survivor and founding member of StopIGM.org, said:

'For far too long and by far too many, Malta has been uncritically heralded as a "promised land" for intersex children, without ever taking a hard look at the less savoury reality behind the well-sounding promises and claims of Maltese officials. Fortunately the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child refused to have the wool pulled over its eyes, but finally made clear that, when it comes to harmful practices, mere legislation alone is not enough – and even less legislation marred by serious gaps and loopholes, which in practice isn't enforced. Intersex children deserve better!

As stipulated in the CEDAW-CRC Joint General Comment invoked by the Committee, Malta urgently needs to implement a "holistic framework" to ensure "data collection", "monitoring" and "enforcement" of the law, as well as that "children subjected to harmful practices have equal access to justice, including by addressing legal and practical barriers to initiating legal proceedings, such as the limitation period, and that the perpetrators and those who aid or condone such practices are held accountable".

It sickens me to see how Maltese officials continue to condone, trivialise, advocate, facilitate and even personally perpetrate intersex genital mutilation with impunity, while at the same time masquerading as intersex champions, even at the UN. Everyone who condones or even supports such behaviour instead of challenging it loud and clear is just as guilty as those who wield the scalpel.'

CRC81: Full Binding Intersex Recommendations to Malta

>>> Download full Concl Obs: CRC/C/MLT/CO/3-6 --> paras 28 (b) – 29 (d) + (e)
>>> Full Intersex NGO Report by StopIGM.org (PDF, 768 kb)
>>> CRC81 TRANSCRIPT + VIDEO: Malta questioned about IGM - Gov denies
>>> Intersex article in the "Times of Malta"

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

Harmful practices  [art. 24 (3)]

28. While welcoming the State party's efforts to eliminate harmful practices against children, including the amendment to article 251 of the Criminal Code that criminalizes female genital mutilation, forced sterilization and forced marriage, and the adoption of the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act that provides for the recognition of gender identity on person's self-identification rather than harmful medical and surgical requirements, the Committee remains concerned that:

[...]

(b) There are cases of intersex children allegedly subjected to surgical and other procedures, which were medically unnecessary, without their consent to such procedures, which often entail irreversible consequences and can cause severe physical and psychological suffering; and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases.

29. With reference to its joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices (2014) and taking note of target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee urges the State party to:

[...]

(d) Ensure that intersex children are not subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical procedures during infancy or childhood, and guarantee the bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination of the children concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;

(e) Effectively investigate incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex children without informed consent and provide redress to victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation and rehabilitation.'

Background: Malta, Intersex, IGM and the CRC

Malta is world-famous for being the first state to formally outlaw intersex genital mutilation in 2015, despite that the law failed to include any sanctions (penalties) and IGM continues both domestically and overseas. After tacitly amending the law last year, the Maltese government now claims to have 'equalis[ed] the penalties applicable to intersex genital mutilation to the penalties applicable to female genital mutilation'. But is this really true?

A NGO report by StopIGM.org to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) demonstrates that in Malta the penalties for IGM are still less than half of those for FGM, and that in relation to IGM the law also contains other known loopholes, with the result that that intersex genital mutilation continues unchanged, both domestically in university children's clinics, including the Mater Dei Hospital, and abroad in contractual clinics, notably in the UK, Belgium and Italy. (The government still does not disclose any figures on this subject.)

In contrast to the Maltese prohibition of FGM, there is still no extraterritorial protection against genital mutilation on intersex children in Malta (i.e. IGM abroad continues with impunity), also incitement, financing, aiding and abetting, etc. are still allowed to continue with impunity when it comes to IGM, even domestically. Accordingly, the law is ignored or not enforced in Maltese clinics – with the tacit approval of the Maltese government, whose Minister of Health is not only a well-known advocate of IGM, but as a paediatric surgeon also a hands-on IGM practitioner.

During its 81st session in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, based on our NGO report, questioned Malta about IGM practices and the actual implementation of the law concerning Intersex children (see video + transcript). The Maltese delegation 'replied' on 'intersex and trans children' and 'LGBTIQ issues', claimed there were 'no cases of unnecessary medical or surgical interventions', neither 'locally' nor 'abroad', and promised to convene yet another 'interministerial committee who will be following up the implementation of the law more closely' (see video + transcript). (In a personal conversation a delegate confirmed that the most common form IGM 1 'hypospadias repair' is practised unchanged in Malta, 'but that's not Intersex').

On the day of the State Examination in Geneva, the Times of Malta reported on our NGO report and the evidence documented therein that in Malta – despite all appearances – intersex children are still victims of genital mutilation. Remarkable are also the the comments below the article, including a telling one by someone apparently at least close to IGM doctors, complaining that “[...] hypospadias repair surgery is done by fully qualified health care professionals [...] I find it offensive to label such surgery as IGM. [...] Parents also have a duty of care towards their children and should not be made to feel guilty if they seek a medical opinions and treatment.” (JK Scicluna on May 15, 2019 8:42 PM) – however, most comments are opposing IGM.

Eventually, a week after concluding the 81st session, the Committee now published its Concluding Observations – including a reprimand to Malta for IGM practices, and binding recommendations on how to effectively protect intersex children not just on paper, but also in practice, marking the very first UN reprimand for IGM to Malta, the 14th European country reprimanded for IGM, and already the 42nd UN Treaty body reprimands condemning intersex genital mutilations as a serious violation of non-derogable human rights.

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Malta: 2019 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Malta and overseas  Legal gaps and loopholes  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (758 kb)

See also:
'Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change'
• 'Harmful Medical Practice': UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
42 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>>Download PDF (831kb)

Thursday 6 June 2019

Mutilations génitales : Malte abandonne les enfants intersexes

 [ English ]   [ Deutsch ]
Times of Malta: " La loi maltaise exempte la réparation de l'hypospadias, la pratique de MGI la plus fréquente et la seule pratiquée à Malte, affirme l'organisation ".
(L'article complet en français voir ci-dessous.)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookMalte est célèbre dans le monde entier pour avoir été le premier État à interdire officiellement les mutilations génitales intersexes en 2015 - bien que la loi ne prévoyait pas de sanctions (punitions) et que les MGI aient continué à être pratiquées tant au niveau national qu'international. Après un renforcement tacite de la loi l'année dernière, le gouvernement maltais prétend maintenant avoir "mis les peines pour les mutilations génitales intersexes sur un pied d'égalité avec celles pour les mutilations génitales féminines". Mais est-ce vraiment le cas ?

Un rapport d'ONG de StopIGM.org au Comité des droits de l'enfant des Nations Unies (CRC) (en anglais) montre qu'à Malte, les peines pour les MGI sont encore inférieures de moitié à celles pour les MGF et que la loi contient toujours, en matière des MGI, toutes les lacunes connues, ce qui a pour conséquence de perpétuer la pratique de mutilation génitale intersexe, tant au niveau local, dans des hôpitaux universitaires pour enfants et à l'étranger, dans les hôpitaux contractants, en Angleterre, en Belgique et en Italie. (Le gouvernement ne divulgue toujours pas de chiffres à ce sujet.)

Contrairement à l'interdiction des MGF à Malte, il n'existe toujours pas de protection extraterritoriale contre les mutilations génitales des enfants intersexes à Malte (la MGI à l'étranger reste impunie) et l'incitation, le financement et l'aide et complicité etc. restent impunis chez les MGI même sur le territoire maltais. En conséquence, la loi est ignorée ou n'est pas appliquée dans les cliniques maltaises - avec l'approbation tacite du gouvernement maltais, dont le ministre de la Santé lui-même est non seulement un défenseur de la MGI mais également un chirurgien pédiatrique et un praticien en MGI.

Lors de sa 81ème session à Genève, le Comité des droits de l'enfant de l'ONU, sur la base de notre rapport d'ONG, a interrogé Malte sur les pratiques des MGI et l'application concrète de la loi sur les enfants intersexes (vidéo + transcription, anglais). La délégation maltaise a "répondu" au sujet des "enfants intersexes et transsexuels" et des "questions LGBTIQ", en affirmant "qu'il n'y a aucun cas d'interventions médicales ou chirurgicales illégales sur des enfants intersexes" ni "sur place", ni "à l'étranger" et elle a promis une fois encore la création d'une "commission interministérielle" pour "examiner l'application de la loi" (vidéo + transcription, anglais). (Lors d'un entretien personnel, on nous a confirmé que la forme la plus courante MGI 1 "corrections de l'hypospadias" est pratiquée inchangée à Malte, "mais ce n'est pas intersex").

Le jour de l'examen d'État à Genève, Times of Malta (anglais) a également rendu compte de notre rapport d'ONG et des preuves documentées qu'à Malte - malgré toutes les apparences - les enfants intersexes sont toujours victimes de mutilations génitales.

Remarquables sont également les commentaires sous l'article, y compris la plainte outrée d'une personne qui semble au moins proche des médecins MGI : "Je tiens à souligner que les opérations de réparation d'hypospadias sont effectuées par des professionnels médicaux pleinement qualifiés [...] Je trouve offensive de qualifier une telle chirurgie de MGI. Les parents ont également le devoir de s'occuper de leurs enfants et ne devraient pas se sentir coupables lorsqu'ils demandent des conseils et des traitements médicaux". (JK Scicluna le 15 mai 2019 20:42) - Mais les autres commentaires sont surtout du côté des enfants intersexes !

Ci-dessous l'article en français:

>>> Times of Malta (15.05.2019)
" Les droits humains aussi pour les hermaphrodites ",
une organisation internationale dit à Malte

StopIGM affirme que Malte n'en fait pas assez pour prévenir les " mutilations génitales intersexes ".

La loi maltaise exempte la réparation de l'hypospadias, la pratique de MGI la plus fréquente et la seule pratiquée à Malte, affirme l'organisation.

Une organisation internationale dédiée à la lutte contre les "mutilations génitales intersexes" a déclaré que Malte continue à soutenir tacitement cette pratique, bien qu'elle soit le premier pays au monde à l'interdire explicitement.

La loi maltaise sur l'identité sexuelle, l'expression sexuelle et les caractéristiques sexuelles, adoptée en 2015, interdit les procédures de normalisation du genre [euh ...] pour les mineurs qui peuvent être différées jusqu'à ce que l'enfant puisse donner son consentement éclairé.

Historiquement, de telles procédures étaient utilisées pour opérer des enfants nés avec des organes sexuels multiples [oups ...].

L'ONG internationale de défense des droits humains des personnes intersexes StopIGM.org a déclaré que, bien que de telles procédures - que l'organisation appelle "mutilations génitales intersexes" - étaient désormais interdites sur papier, la réalité était quelque peu différente.

Un rapport publié par l'organisation note que Malte n'a introduit des sanctions pour les MGI qu'en 2018.  Il s'agissait notamment d'une peine d'emprisonnement n'excédant pas cinq ans ou d'une amende comprise entre 5 000 et 20 000 euros.

Ces peines sont inférieures à leur équivalent pour le crime de mutilation génitale féminine, qui prévoit de cinq à dix ans de prison.

En outre, si, dans le cas des MGF, un crime commis à l'étranger peut faire l'objet de poursuites à Malte, ce n'est pas le cas pour les MGI.

Selon l'organisation, les parents qui voulaient que leurs enfants subissent de telles procédures contournaient les lois locales en les envoyant se faire opérer à l'étranger, au Royaume-Uni, en Belgique et en Italie.

"Les droits humains aussi pour les hermaphrodites"

StopIGM.org a exigé l'interdiction des chirurgies génitales forcées sur les enfants et les adolescents avec des variations de l'anatomie reproductive. Il appelait à "des droits humains pour les hermaphrodites aussi".

Les personnes concernées, a-t-il dit, devraient décider par la suite elles-mêmes si elles veulent ou non subir des interventions chirurgicales et, si oui, lesquelles. Le délai de prescription devait être adapté de manière à ce que les survivants adultes des MGI puissent porter plainte.  

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Malta: 2019 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Malta and overseas  Legal gaps and loopholes  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (758 kb)

>>> StopIGM.org > Pages françaises

Saturday 1 June 2019

CRC81 > TRANSCRIPT + VIDEO: Malta questioned about Intersex Genital Mutilation by UN - Gov denies + sidesteps

[ Résumé en français ]   [ Zusammenfassung auf deutsch ]

CRC 81st Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 15.05.2019, 09:51h: Getting ready ...
Right row, back (just below the podium): Ms. Velina Todorova who asked about IGM.

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookThis week, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is examining the human rights record of Malta during its 81st Session in Geneva, to be transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org!

A thematic intersex NGO report by StopIGM.org highlights serious gaps and legal loopholes in Malta's law concerning intersex children, and documents how Malta continues to promote and facilitate IGM practices, both domestically and overseas in contractual hospitals. >>> Article in the Times of Malta (15.05.2019)

StopIGM.org was reporting LIVE from Geneva, hoping the Committee will ask tough questions on IGM practices in Malta!

Session 1, Tue 15 May 2019, 15-18h CEST

15:07h (Video @ 00:06:33): In her introductory statement, the Maltese Head of Delegation Dr Marisa Scerri (Director General (Social Policy), Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity (MFCS)), refers to the GIGESC Law (which reportedly fails intersex children), claims it would "protect" intersex children "against unwanted or unnecessary surgical intervention" (download full statement): :-(

«In Malta, children have been a national priority for several decades as reflected in various laws including child-related provisions in the areas of education, soCial security, adoption, and crime victims. The Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act, a law which the United Nations' Free and Equal Campaign, and several human rights civil society organisations hailed as a legal benchmark for the rights of trans, gender variant and intersex persons, introduced a right to gender identity to adults and minors alike; as well as, a right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy, protecting minors against unwanted or unnecessary surgical intervention or other medical treatment on their sex characteristics.»

15:49h (Video @ 00:50:29): YAY!! CRC Vice Chairperson and Country Co-rapporteur Ms. Velina Todorova  raises “non-urgent, irreversible, surgical and other procedures” on intersex children under “harmful practices”! Asks about measures, sanctions and prosecutions, including in cases where IGM is perpetrated abroad:-) Unofficial Transcript:

«I go to harmful practices. The reply states that there had been no reported cases of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment including forced marriages and female genital mutilation. However, we were informed that a research had been undertaken at it shows that 50% of migrant girls mostly originating from FGM practising countries are at high risk of FGM. We are aware also of the positive measures taken in Malta but we would like to hear more about the effective prevention and protection measures.

And to address this positive and progressive legislation with regard to intersex children, I would like to express our concern that the implementation of the law, it's a question, is really in accordance with the principles of the convention, for example is the best interest of the children, of the child considered in taking decisions with regard to changing the sex? We have been informed also that many non-urgent, irreversible, surgical and other procedures have been undertaken on intersex children before an age at which they are able to provide informed consent, so this could be regarded as unlawful. For small children these decisions are taken by parents and we heard that operations had been undertaken in breach of the law or abroad.

Are there such cases, are there cases prosecuted, are doctors sanctioned, medical doctors? Could you please inform us a little bit more on these issues. What are the measures taken by the Government to implement properly this progressive law in the interest of children? Thank you very much.»

16:37h (Video @ 01:38:59):Longwinded but weak “answer” on IGM by Head of Delegation Dr Marisa Scerri (Director General (Social Policy), Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity (MFCS)), again refers to the GIGESC Law (which reportedly fails intersex children), and repeatedly digresses to discuss trans children, gender identity, etc. Claims no IGM procedures “in breach of the law” perpetrated neither domestically or aboad. admits no convictions yet for IGM. :-( Unofficial Transcript:

«Another ... another question was that concerning ... the ... intersex ... and trans children. Well, as indicated in our opening speech Malta adopted the Gender Identity Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act in 2015. The bill towards this act was prepared by the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties in consultation with the LGBTIQ Consultative Council, which is a body set up by Government and consisting of representatives of all LGBTIQ organisations. So, again, this goes to show that there is coordination both with volunteer organisations as well as with Civil Society organisations, so that we try to come up with the most effective policies and goals that actually address the realities on the ground.

The formulation of a law was intended to provide all citizens of Malta the right [to] gender identity and to protect all persons against breaches to their right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy. Specifically with regard to intersex persons the initial formulation was presented to the Minister for Health who is responsible to follow such cases, who confirmed that the aims of the bill was already the current practice in Malta. An agreement between the Ministry for Health and the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties was therefore reached fairly quickly. The European Branch of the Organisation Intersex International was consulted prior to the presentation of the bill in Parliament. The bill reached its third and final reading on the 1st of April 2015 and passed with the support of all members of Parliament, nem con that is in unanimously.

In press statements issued on the day Transgender Europe called the law a historic breaktrough for the rights of trans and intersex persons in Malta and Europe. While Malta was also congratulated on this bill by OII Europe which stated that by making these procedures unlawful until the individual can provide informed consent, Malta is taking vital steps to ensure that the individual's primary rights to self-determination, bodily integrity and personal dignity are respected. For the first time in history, intersex individuals will no longer be forced to endure arbitrary surgical sex assignment based on sociological factors. This NGO went on to encourage the Governments of other nations to look to Malta as an example of legislative good practice in this regard.

The latest amendment to the Gender Identity Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act effected during the implementation of the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention in Maltese law introduced fines and even prison terms for those in breach of the right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy. This to bring greater clarity to the framework for legal sanctions against all forms of genital mutilation including intersex genital mutilation and link it closer to framework that applies to female genital mutilation.

It is important to note that there were no cases of unnecessary medical or surgical interventions carried out locally on intersex minors or any such cases referred for intersex surgery abroad in breach of the law. Maltese law allows for both civil and criminal redress, however, to date no criminal convictions have been reported in this respect.

It's also important to note that thanks to the promotions and efforts by Maltese Government vis-à-vis LGBTIQ issues parents are increasingly aware of variations in sex characteristics and therefore also increasingly prepared to deal with own intersex children. In a similar vain, trans children have changed gender in primary school education without incident, in line with the transgender variant and intersex students in schools policy.»

16:45h (Video @ 01:46:37): Delegation member Dr Karen Vincenti (Consultant Public Health Medicine, Department for Policy in Health, Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health) complements initial ”answer“ on IGM, again claims GIGESC Act has been “so far successful”, again digresses to “transgender service”. :-( Unofficial Transcript:

«[Head of Delegation:] I invite my colleague Dr Karen Vincenti to give us her views, her Ministry's position regarding aspects of questions raised which concern the health dimension.»

«[Dr Karen Vincenti:] Thank you, Dr Scerri. Regarding the issue, regarding the intersex genital mutilation, I have nothing more, not much more to add, only that these cases, we moved away quite extensively from the usual medical model, and the transgender service was actually set up with very close consultation with Civil Society and also the clinicians and the patients themselves.

So basically it's very, it was a new challenge which we understand has been so far, so far been successful that took into consideration all these needs. The, we have, due to our smallness and the small amount of cases, we have one paediatric endocrinologist who is responsible to follow these cases, and the formulation was, for the law, was carried out very closely with, with this expert and with all the experts concerned. There will be an interministerial committee who will be following up the implementation of the law more closely, and this is currently being set up.»

After the Session: Unsurprisingly, when we tried to talk to Delegation members to share our NGO report, one member openly admitted that [WARNING!!!] IGM 1 “hypospadias repair surgery” continues to be practiced also in Malta itself, “but that's not intersex”.

So let's hope the Committee will not have the wool pulled over its eyes – but will issue yet another strong reprimand for IGM, and the very first one to Malta, after the Session!

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Malta: 2019 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Malta and overseas  Legal gaps and loopholes  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (758 kb)

UPDATE: Article in the Times of Malta (15.05.2019)

UPDATE: YAY!! Malta reprimanded for IGM practices by UN-CRC!

See also:
42 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Thursday 16 May 2019

Times of Malta: "'Human rights for hermaphrodites too', international organisation tells Malta" (15.05.2019)

 [ Français ]   [ Deutsch ]
>>> Full Times of Malta article + comments: click in picture!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookThe Times of Malta reported on our NGO report's findings, highlighting Malta's lack of action regarding [WARNING!!!] IGM 1 “hypospadias repair surgery”!

Also noteworthy are the comments below the article, including a telling one by someone apparently at least close to IGM doctors, complaining that “[...] hypospadias repair surgery is done by fully qualified health care professionals [...] I find it offensive to label such surgery as IGM. [...] Parents also have a duty of care towards their children and should not be made to feel guilty if they seek a medical opinions and treatment.” (JK Scicluna on May 15, 2019 8:42 PM) – however, most comments are opposing IGM.

>>> CRC81 > Malta questioned about Intersex Genital Mutilation by UN
>>> Genital mutilation: How Malta's law fails intersex children

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Malta: 2019 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Malta and overseas  Legal gaps and loopholes  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (758 kb)

See also:
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Genital mutilation: How Malta's law fails intersex children

 [ Français ]   [ Deutsch ]

UPDATE: Article in the Times of Malta (15.05.2019)

3rd Intersex Forum 2013Photo: The participants of the 3rd International Intersex Forum, Malta 29.11.–01.12.2013

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!Malta is world-famous for being the first state to formally outlaw intersex genital mutilation in 2015, despite that the law failed to include any sanctions and IGM continues both domestically and overseas. After tacitly amending the law last year, the Maltese government now claims to have “equalis[ed] the penalties applicable to intersex genital mutilation to the penalties applicable to female genital mutilation”. But is this really true? Intersex NGO StopIGM.org investigates:

How the Maltese GIGESC Act Fails Intersex Children

In 2015, Malta passed the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act (GIGESC Act), [25] which under art. 14 explicitly makes it “unlawful” to perform IGM practices, but initially included no sanctions at all. A 2018 amendment [26] eventually introduced sanctions, namely “punishment of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or [...] a fine (multa) of not less than five thousand euro (€5,000) and not more than twenty thousand euro (€20,000)” (GIGESC art. 14.(2)).

The Maltese Government claims these newly introduced sanctions would “equalise the penalties applicable to intersex genital mutilation to the penalties applicable to female genital mutilation”. [27] However, this is not true, as the sanctions for FGM are actually double (“imprisonment for a term of five to ten years” with no possibility to get off with a fine) and included in the Criminal Code (art. 251E.). [28]

Similarly, regarding IGM there are no extraterritorial protections, while regarding FGM “extraterritoriality [is] in force, we aim to ensure that if female genital mutilation is done to girls when they go abroad, the crime will be prosecuted in Malta”. [29]

Regarding IGM, the GIGESC Act further fails to meet the stipulation of the CRC-CEDAW Joint General Comment No. 18/31 “on harmful practices” that “children subjected to harmful practices have equal access to justice, including by addressing legal and practical barriers to initiating legal proceedings, such as the limitation period (JGC 18/31, para 55 (o)).

Further, in the case of FGM, not only those who perform the actual deed are guilty under the law, but also “[w]hosoever aids, abets, counsels, incites, procures or coerces a female to excise, infibulate or otherwise mutilate the whole or any part of her own genitalia, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to the punishment laid down under this article.” (Criminal Code, art. 251E.(6)) On the other hand, in the case of IGM the only ones punishable under the law are the “medical practitioners or other professionals” who perform the actual mutilation domestically (GIGESC art. 14.(1)+(2)), whereas doctors who refer children to be submitted to IGM in foreign hospitals (as it is often the case in Malta, see also p. 9-10) are a priori exempt from prosecution, same as whosoever aiding, abetting, counselling, inciting, procuring or coercing intersex children to be submitted to IGM.

What’s more, according to statements of the Maltese Government, the law as it is exempts IGM 1 “hypospadias repair”, [30] the most frequent IGM practice (and apparently the only one that is performed in Malta itself, see also p. 8-9), as “whether cases of hypospadias are covered by the above prohibition may fall to be determined later by the courts.” [31] For other IGM practices, Malta is sending children overseas for surgery, reportedly to the UK, [32] Belgium, [33] and arguably also to Italy [34] – which the law does not prohibit and punish either.

Conclusion, GIGESC art. 14 aimed at protecting intersex children from IGM practices on the one hand fails to meet the minimal requirements set out by CRC art. 24(3) and the Joint General Comment No. 18, and on the other hand so far the law is simply not enforced.

[25] http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=12312&l=1
[26] ACT No. XIII of 2018, para 31, http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=29057&l=1
[27] Ministry for European Affairs and Equality (2018), “LGBTIQ Strategy & Action Plan 2018-2022”, p. 7, available at http://www.lgbtiq.gov.mt/
[28] http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8574
[29] Helena Dalli, Minister for European Affairs and Equality (04.02.2019),
https://eige.europa.eu/news/female-genital-mutilation-illegal-malta-girls-are-not-safe
[30] Piet de Bruyn (2017), Report: Promoting the human rights of and eliminating discrimination against intersex people, COE Doc. 14404, p. 14, para 47, http://semantic-pace.net/tools/pdf.aspx?doc=aHR0cDovL2Fzc2VtYmx5LmNvZS5pbnQvbncveG1sL1hSZWYvWDJILURXLWV4dHIuYXNwP2ZpbGVpZD0yNDAyNyZsYW5nPUVO&xsl=aHR0cDovL3NlbWFudGljcGFjZS5uZXQvWHNsdC9QZGYvWFJlZi1XRC1BVC1YTUwyUERGLnhzbA==&xsltparams=ZmlsZWlkPTI0MDI3
[31] Ibid.
[32] See 2017 CRPD UK NGO Report, p. 9,
http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2017-CRPD-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM.pdf
[33] See 2018 CRC Belgium NGO Report, p. 7,
http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2018-CRC-Belgium-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM.pdf
[34] Miriam Dalmas (2017), Consultant Public Health Medicine at Ministry for Health, “Structures and processes for cross-border care referral”, slide 5,
https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/ern/docs/20170309_rt3_05_dalmas_pres_en.pdf

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Malta: 2019 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Malta and overseas  Legal gaps and loopholes  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (758 kb)

See also:
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Sunday 12 May 2019

CAT66 > VIDEO + TRANSCRIPT: UK questioned about Intersex Genital Mutilation by UN - Gov disregards pain, suffering + human rights

Session 2 (see below): 'This is an emerging and complex area of social policy' The UK issued a telling (non-)answer totally ignoring the suffering and the human rights of intersex children – coincidentally on the same day as also the Government Equalities Office eventually issued a similarly tellin (non-)answer to concerns about the disregard of human rights implications in GEO's 'Call for evidence' ...

Intersex human rights defenders Anick (Intersex UK, centre) and Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org) outside Palais Wilson after testifying before CAT, Geneva 06.05.2019

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'This week, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) is examining the human rights record of the UK during its 66th Session in Geneva.

The UK Intersex NGO Coalition (IntersexUK, the UK Intersex Association and StopIGM.org) submitted a comprehensive NGO report (PDF) to the Committee, documenting serious human rights violations perpetrated particularly against intersex children allover the UK, and further briefed the Committee in a private meeting prior to the Session with updates and a powerful personal testimony by Anick.

In addition, also the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) included a section on IGM in its NHRI report (PDF --> p. 86)many thanks!

Summary: During Session 1 of the UK review, on Tue 07.05.2017 a Committee member asked the UK delegation a question on involuntary surgery on intersex children. CAT has so far issued 7 reprimands to State parties condemning IGM as cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment (CIDT) falling under the non-derogable prohibition of torture. Wednesday 08.05.2019, it was the UK's turn to answer the Commmitte's questions. Hardly surprising, during Session 2 the government once more chose to NOT address the pain and suffering of the intersex children at risk, as first they'll have to look way more into this eternally 'emerging and complex area' ...

Session 1, Tue 7 May 2019, 10-13h CEST

12:32h (Video @ 2:31:33): YAY!! Committee chairperson Mr. Jens Modvig asks a question about intersex children! Notes there is no evidence for past and current surgical procedures, which may lead to suffering comparable to ill-treatment. Asks about  government plans to ensure peer support and a “watchful waiting approach” instead of “early and irreversible surgery [...] agreed to by parents [...] in a very vulnerable situation”:-)  Unofficial Transcript:

«On a different note I would like to ask about the role of the Government in regard to surgery of intersex individuals. Such gender determining surgery is increasingly controversial, in particular when it's applied to infants. And to be frank, the scientific evidence for its long-term impact, particularly for its impact on quality of life, is absent, it simply doesn't exist.

On the contrary, we hear in this Committee individuals often complaining that this type of surgery actually have very poor results, including genital pain, the need for many, many re-operations, poor sexual function and poor self-esteem.

So while of course we acknowledge that medical science progresses and that procedures that were used 30 years ago may be completely different and much more effective today, we are actually concerned that intersex persons have been and are still being subjected to medical procedures which, in spite of the available informed consent from parents, are undocumented as to the impact, longterm impact on quality of life and function, and where the results may create suffering which is comparable to ill-treatment.

For this reason we would like to hear if the State party has any plans to ensure a focused oversight over this area and that could also include for instance ensuring independent counselling of parents, and by independent I mean independent of the surgeons, for instance by adult intersex persons who have a large amount of experience to offer, and the introduction of the possibility of a watchful waiting approach, which is mentioned in one of the most recent scientific articles in this field. A watchful waiting approach rather than moving to early and irreversible surgery which by the way has been agreed to by parents who are in a very vulnerable situation. So why we may be on the edge of this convention's mandate I would still be keen to have a reply to this question.»

Session 2, Wed 7 May 2019, 15-18h CEST

CAT66-UK-08-05-2019-Hawley16:23h (Video @ 01:23:47): Delegation member Ms. Angela Hawley (Policy Lead for Serious Mental Illness, Legislation and Justice, Department of Health and Social Care) gave a telling (non-)answer on intersex children, on the one hand claiming the government would now finally for the 1st time tackle this eternally new 'emerging and complex' issue while at the same time hardly leaving any doubt that the government is hell-bent to continue with harmful surgeries on the infamous 'individual case-by-case basis' for as long as anyhow possible, without ever considering the suffering, let alone human rights of the children concerned ...  :-( Unofficial Transcript:

«Yesterday the Chair raised the issue of treatments of intersex individuals. These are very often complex cases which can only been considered on an individual case-by-case basis. The Government is working towards ensuring that people with intersex characteristics can access the care they need. In England, National Health Service England are scoping the feasibility of commissioning a clinical pathway for affected children and young adults.

Best practice in the National Health Service is that all infants and adolescents suspected of having intersex characteristics should be seen by an experienced multidisciplinary team. Families should be assigned single points of contact to lead discussions with them and discuss options regarding immediate or delayed treatment with hormone therapy or surgery. Affected new parents, the child or adolescent should have access to specialist psychological support both during and after the diagnostic process. In addition, any affected adolescent who requires medical or surgical attention, should be routinely offered clinical psychological support.

In January 2019, the Government Equalities Office launched a Call for Evidence to better understand the experiences and needs of people in the UK who have variations in sex characteristics. This is an emerging and complex area of social policy and it's the first time Government has launched a piece of work specifically looking at issues experienced by these particular group. The Call for Evidence is closed and the Government is currently considering the responses received. Thank you.»

(Coincidentally, on the same day also the Government Equalities Office issued a similarly telling (non-)answer to StopIGM.org's Letter of Concern about Disregard of Human Rights Implications in the 'Call for Evidence' – see for yourself which (non-)answer is more openly about ignoring intersex human rights.) 

Let's hope the Committee will not have the wool pulled over its eyes – but will issue yet another strong reprimand for IGM to the UK after the Session!

>>> Intersex: How to Distinguish Medical Crimes from Health Care

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: 2019 CAT Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in the UK  Statistics  Complicity of the State  Inhuman Treatment
>>> Download as PDF (679 kb)

See also:
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Thursday 9 May 2019

UK > 'Why does the "call for evidence" ignore intersex human rights?' Letter of Concern to Government Equalities Office, by StopIGM.org

UPDATE 2: We received a telling (non-)answer by GEO (see below) – one day after the UK was asked about intersex children by the UN Committee against Torture ...
UPDATE 1: Contributions to the 'Call for evidence' sent to the dedicated GEO email account were not read, but 'archived away'?!

'Until there is a change in the law, we'll continue cutting'  - Dr I. Mushtaq (GOSH, UCL)
Photo: Peaceful protest outside the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, host of the
infamous 'ISHID 2011 Live Surgeries', with Open Letter to GOSH, ISHID and RCS.
(Arguably one example of the '[h]istorical [!] experience of live teaching surgeries and medical photography' mentioned in GEO's 'Technical Paper, p, 11 --> p. 13 of PDF.)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!The 'Call for evidence on the experiences of people who have variations in sex characteristics' of the UK Government Equalities Office (GEO) is now closed.

Unfortunately, so far GEO's 'evidence-gathering exercise' is completely ignoring human rights.

Which is the more shameful, as recently the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) both reprimanded the UK for Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM), explicitly obliging the Government to '[p]rovide redress to the victims of such treatment' (CRC) and to '[e]stablish measures to ensure equal access to justice' for IGM survivors (CRPD).

Intersex NGO StopIGM.org therefore sent the Government Equalities Office a  >>> Letter of Concern about Disregard of Human Rights Implications in the 'Call for Evidence' (PDF), noting the total absence of any reference to applicable human rights, as well as the total absence of any human rights-related questions in the survey, namely to access to justice and rehabilitation, despite that these are crucial issues for many IGM survivors.

Daniela Truffer, IGM survivor and co-founder StopIGM.org:

'I've seen the pattern before: Once the government can no longer simply deny the harmful and unnecessary genital surgeries perpetrated on intersex children, because they have been called out by human rights bodies, they'll start a lengthy investigation. During its course, human rights concerns are conveniently brushed aside, same as IGM survivors and their legitimate grievances. Instead, the proceedings focus unduly on doctors, parents, and LGBT politics. In the end, the government will propose some 3rd gender legislation mostly benefiting trans people, while continuing to turn a blind eye to the daily mutilations of intersex children, paid for by the NHS. So far, unfortunately the UK Government Equalities Office ticks every box along the way.'

The Letter of Concern further acknowledges it's a good thing that the UK Government, according to GEO's 'Technical Paper' (PDF), is now officially 'aware of calls from some UK stakeholders to end the practice of what they describe as "medically unnecessary interventions"', and aims to fill 'evidence gaps' to better 'understand the nature and scale of the issue'. The Letter also references the most important intersex human rights obligations arising from the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (p. 4-6).

Last but not least, the Letter of Concern – delivered to GEO via email last Thursday – kindly asks for an 'explanation why the Government Equalities Office so far seems to fail to adequately consider intersex human rights, namely the non-derogable rights to protection from harmful practices, and to justice, redress and rehabilitation.'

So far, GEO has not yet acknowledged the receipt of the the Letter ...

UPDATE 1: When after weeks we still didn't receive at least a confirmation of the receipt of our Letter of Concern from GEO, for safety we re-sent the letter on 23.04.2019 asking if it arrived safely.

While thereafter we finally received an acknowledgement, unfortunately we also had to learn that contributions to the 'Call for evidence' sent to the dedicated GEO email account for the 'Call' were not read by GEO, but instead 'archived away' ... The full explanation given stated, 'Apologies, I don't believe your previous email was seen, as we moved Departments not long after and a few emails were archived away.'

At least we were further promised that our Letter will now be 'forwarded [...] on to the relevant colleague', however, so far we still have to hear back from this person. Which leaves us to wonder, how many other contributions to the 'Call' via email were also tacitly 'archived away'?

UPDATE 2: Coincidentally on the same day the UK gave a telling (non-)answer on IGM to the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva, we finally received a similarly telling (non-)answer from the Government Equalities Office (GEO) to our Letter of Concern:

From: <d[…]y_at_cabinetoffice.gov.uk> on behalf of "GEO.CORRESPONDENCE_at_cabinetoffice.gov.uk" <geo.correspondence@geo.gov.uk>
Date: Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at 18:16
To: <nella_at_zwischengeschlecht.info>
Cc: "GEO.CORRESPONDENCE Mailbox" <geo.correspondence_at_cabinetoffice.gov.uk>
Subject: Fwd: COGEO-000119 - Reply - DID YOU GET OUR MAIL? Fwd: Concern about Disregard of Human Rights Implications in the "Call for Evidence"

Dear Daniela Truffer, Markus Bauer,

Thank you for your letter of 24 April regarding human rights concerns and the Call for Evidence on Variations in Sex Characteristics. I am responding on behalf of the Minister for Women and Equalities.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) launched a call for evidence to provide everyone in the United Kingdom, especially people with variations in sex characteristics, with an opportunity to engage with Government and to tell us in detail about their experiences and what they think Government could or should be doing to improve their lives.

In your letter, you express concern that the call for evidence made no mention of human rights. The scope and design of the survey was specifically aimed at understanding the experiences of people with variations in sex characteristics; including, but not limited to, their experiences of healthcare, education, support services and documentation.

We have acknowledged that although we have some understanding of the key issues from our engagement with stakeholders, the existing evidence has a number of gaps. As you highlight in your letter, we are aware of calls to end the practice of what they describe as 'medically unnecessary interventions'. However, before taking any steps, we must understand the nature and scale of the issue. In order for the Government to make informed decisions about potential policy interventions to meet the needs of people who have variations in sex characteristics, we are acutely aware of the need to strengthen the evidence base, hence launching the call for evidence as a first step.

We are currently analysing the results of the survey, and our response will be published in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Government Equalities Office

Now judge for yourself, which of today's 2 (non-)answers makes the more compelling argument whether the UK government really wants to urgently protect intersex children from harmful surgery – or rather not:

The one issued on behalf of GEO to our Letter of Concern (see above) – or the one issued on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care to the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva?

To be continued ...

>>> Letter of Concern to GEO about Disregard of Human Rights Implications (PDF)

Intersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: UN-CRC NGO Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Persons With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms  What is Intersex?  A Harmful Practice
>
>>  Download (PDF 3.60 MB)

>>> Genital mutilation on the NHS: UN-CRC reprimands UK + Nepal

IGM in the UK: UN-CRPD Follow-Up NGO Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
Impunity  International IGM Networks in the UK  Testimonies
>>> Download as PDF (369 kb) | DOC (552 kb)

>>> UK, Morocco: UN-CRPD slams intersex genital mutilation on the NHS – again!

See also:
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Friday 3 May 2019

Germany > UN Press Release Highlights Intersex Genital Mutilation

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'During its 66th Session in Geneva, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) questioned Germany about Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM), based on damning evidence and personal testimony provided by StopIGM.org in a NGO report and in a private meeting with the Committee.

In her (non-)answer to the question, the Head of the German Delegation basically repeated the ever same empty promises of "action as soon as we analysed the proceedings of the last expert meeting" (after wich, according to the usual pattern of more than 20 years documented in the NGO report on p. 25, inevitably no action follows, but instead yet another mutilator-friendly "expert meeting" or "study" to "further evaluate the situation"). Next, she quickly but unsurprisingly tried to reframe the issue from involuntary non-urgent surgery on healthy children a.k.a. IGM practices to "gender-affirming treatments" (i.e. consensual procedures on adult trans persons) and generally to LGBT and trans topics, repeatedly referring to "queer living" flyers and "rainbow online portals" (see full transcript in german).

This intersex Q&A was also summarised in the UN press release of Germany's review as follows:

"Committee against Torture examines the situation in Germany"
>>> UN Press Release (30.04.2019)

Questions by the Committee Experts

CLAUDE HELLER ROUASSANT, Committee Co-Rapporteur for Germany [...] Mr. Heller Rouassant raised concern about the non-consensual genital mutilation of intersex persons, as 1,700 operations had been conducted without consent and not for urgent reasons.

[...]

Responses by the Delegation

[...] The current Coalition Government included in its work programme the adoption of a statutory regulation to prevent unnecessary operations on intersex children.  Sex alignment surgery was only allowed if it was a life-saving measure.  A brochure for parents had been issued which encouraged the parents not to resort to surgery. [...]

>>> Full Timeline CAT Germany 2011-2019

2019-CAT-Germany-NGO-Intersex-StopIGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Germany: 2019 CAT Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Germany  Statistics  Complicity of the State  Inhuman Tratment
>>> Download as PDF (679 kb)

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...

Sunday 28 April 2019

Germany to be examined by UN Committee against Torture (CAT) - Shadow Report documents ongoing Intersex Genital Mutilation

2019-CAT-Germany-NGO-Intersex-StopIGM

Next week, Germany will be examined by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT). The Committee already reprimanded Germany for IGM practices in 2011, explicitly urging the Government to, inter alia, "adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation".

A Thematic Intersex NGO Report by StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org (PDF) provides solid evidence of ongoing IGM practices in Germany, and how despite repeated Government promises there are still no legal protections for intersex children at risk (p. 14-16, 21-22) and no access to redress and justice for IGM survivors (p. 22-23, 27-31), in clear contradiction of the 2011 CAT binding recommendations for Germany.

The report further documents recent developments including

  • Minister’s conference proposes “legal ban” of IGM (p. 17)
  • Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Intersexuality and Transsexuality states IGM “may constitute bodily injury”, suggests “clarifying prohibition”  (p. 18)
  • Coalition Agreement promises legal prohibition of IGM (p. 19)
  • CCPR raises “non-emergency” surgery, “obstacles in access to justice” (p. 19)
  • CESCR64: Germany promises “legislation” to prohibit IGM (p. 19)
  • Minister of Justice promises “legal provision” to “end this practice”  (p. 20)
  • Social Court: Involuntary, non-urgent Clitorectomy = “state of the art” legal medical Intervention “serv[ing] the well-being of the patient”  (p. 20)
StopIGM.org will be reporting live from Geneva, hoping for tough questions on IGM – and for yet another strong reprimand for IGM practices for Germany!

>>> Full Timeline CAT Germany 2013-2019

>>> Intersex: How to Distinguish Medical Crimes from Health Care

“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
38 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

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

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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Sunday 3 March 2019

UK > UN Press Release Highlights Intersex Genital Mutilation

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!During its 72nd Session in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) questioned the UK over Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM), with the Head of Delegation basically repeating the same (non-)answer no less than 3 times (this blog reported).

The first intersex Q&A was also summarised in the UN press release of the UK's review:

"Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women reviews the situation of women's rights in the United Kingdom"
>>> UN Press Release (26.02.2019)

Questions by the Committee Experts

[...] The delegation was asked whether it would adopt legislation prohibiting irreversible surgery on intersex children and remove barriers to access to justice, including by lifting the statute of limitations.

[...]

Responses by the Delegation

Responding, the delegation said that England had issued a call for evidence in order to increase its understanding of the issues facing intersex persons and especially victims of intersex genital mutilation. [...]

>>> IGM in the UK, 2019: CEDAW Intersex Briefing Update (PDF, 2 pages)
>>>
Full Report: UK questioned on IGM by UN-CEDAW, 26.02.2019
>>>
Why UK intersex advocate Dawn Vago can't testify at the UN in Geneva
>>>
UK > NHS Doctor admits to performing Intersex Genital Mutilation
>>> Timeline CEDAW UK 2018-19

2018-CEDAW-PSWG-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: 2018 CEDAW Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in the UK  Statistics  Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (679 kb)

2019-CEDAW-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

IGM in the UK: 2019 Follow-Up Report (for Session)
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
Impunity  International IGM Networks in the UK  Testimonies
>>> Download as PDF (430 kb)

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...

Tuesday 26 February 2019

CEDAW72 > UK questioned about Intersex Genital Mutilation by UN

>>> Why UK intersex advocate Dawn Vago can't testify at the UN in Geneva
>>>
UK > NHS Doctor admits to performing Intersex Genital Mutilation

CEDAW 72nd Session @ Palais des Nations, Geneva 26.02.2019, 09:57h: Getting ready ...

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookStopIGM.org together with UK intersex NGOs IntersexUK (iUK) and UK Intersex Association (UKIA)  submitted 2 comprehensive NGO Reports on the situation of intersex people in the UK to CEDAW, which demonstrate that intersex genital mutilation continues in in all 4 devolved nations, and during the Lunchtime meeting of CEDAW with UK NGOs on 25.02.2019 further briefed the Committee with a Joint Intersex Briefing Update (PDF).

>>> Full CEDAW Timeline UK 2018-2019

During the 72nd Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Committee is examining the human rights record of the UK on Tuesday 26 February 2019, 10-13h CET + 15-17h CET (= 9am-noon UK time + 2pm-4pm UK time), with both Session being transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org. StopIGM.org was reporting LIVE from Geneva, hoping the Committee will ask tough questions on IGM practices in UK!

Session 1, Tue 26 February 2019, 10-13h CET

11:55h (Video @ 1:54:35): YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Bandana Rana (Nepal) who covers CEDAW article 5 on "harmful cultural practices" just raised "intersex genial mutilation" and the lack of access to redress and justice! Notes the UK didn't reply to the pre-session question in the List of Issues (LOI) on data about IGM. Repeats demand for statistics and asks if UK does plan to implement legislation to stop IGM and address lack of access to justice, including the statutes of limitations? :-) Unofficial Transcript:

«The Committee is concerned about reports of Intersex Genital Mutilation, and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases. As the number of such procedures was also not included in the List of Issues, can you provide data on the number of such surgeries on intersex children? Do you plan to adopt legislation to eliminate this practice, and to address obstacles to access to justice, namely the statutes of limitations?»

12:09h (Video @ 2:07:56): Weak answer on IGM by Head of Delegation Ms. Elysia McCaffrey (Deputy Head, Government Equalities Office), refers to the Call for Evidence (which reportedly fails to adequately consider human rights, namely the non-derogable rights to protection from harmful practices, and to justice and redress for victims”, see Joint Briefing Update (PDF, p.1, last para)), claims UK wants to really understand. :-( Unofficial Transcript:

«I would just like to start if I may a little bit out of order around the question on intersex genital mutilation. We have just issued a Call for Evidence in England where we recognise that we don't have sufficient understanding of this issue and the issues that have affected these individuals, and we want to really understand that, and that Call for Evidence has been issued recently. So I'm afraid that I don't have detailed answers on that today but I do [indiscernible] we're happy to follow up with the Committee once we've completed that exercise.»

12:30h (Video @ 2:28:55): Head of Delegation Ms. Elysia McCaffrey (Deputy Head, Government Equalities Office) gives some more info on the "Call for Evidence" (which reportedly fails to adequately consider human rights, namely the non-derogable rights to protection from harmful practices, and to justice and redress for victims”, see Joint Briefing Update (PDF, p.1, last para)), states it is a complicated issue issue, claims UK wants to do the right thing. :-( Unofficial Transcript:

«My colleague has just helpfully let me know I mentioned the intersex Call for Evidence that was launched on the 17 January and it's a 10 week Call for Evidence and it is designed to understand the experiences of people who have variations in their sex characteristics. So this is, obviously it's an emerging and complicated area policy and we're looking to use this Call for Evidence to help us really do the right thing and make sure the position is significantly improved for those people.»

Session 2, Tue 26 February 2019, 15-17h CET

16:21h (Video @ 1:22:12): Committee expert Ms. Ana Peláez Narváez (Spain), of CRPD13 fame, follows up on forced sterilisation of women with disabilities, as well as intersex genital mutilation (the question's wording was perhaps not entirely clear at first, as“surgeries to reassign sex or change sex” gererally refer to consensual trans surgery, not IGM) – however, this was soon clarified in the answer, see below), what measures is the UK taking to repeal those practices? :-) Unofficial Transcript:

«I also wanted to ask something else. I'm concerned by the fact that forced treatment can be used in the State party for sterilisation for example or surgeries to reassign sex or change sex. So I would like to know what measures the State party has taken in order to repeal these practices and bring it into line with a human rights based focus.»

16:37h (Video @ 1:36:52): Head of Delegation Ms. Elysia McCaffrey (Deputy Head, Government Equalities Office) answers on forced sterilisation and intersex genital mutilation, again referring to the "Call for Evidence" (which reportedly fails to adequately consider human rights, namely the non-derogable rights to protection from harmful practices, and to justice and redress for victims”, see Joint Briefing Update (PDF, p.1, last para)), but else remains vague (and didn't answer at all regarding forced sterilisation of women with disabilities). :-( (Though kudos for correctly answering on IGM.) Unofficial Transcript:

«In relation to forced sterilisation and for changing sex, I think if I understand this question rightly you were referring to intersex genital mutilation and this is something that we're aware of the debate around and we are aware of the debate on the practice of medical interventions in this area. Really we require more govern- more evidence of the nature and the scale of this issue, and the call for evidence which I talked about earlier today should help us to determine whether and what government intervention is necessary.»

In March, the Committee will publish its "Concluding observations" with binding recommendations – hopefully including yet another strong reprimand for IGM practices for the UK! Fingers crossed!

>>> Full Chronology CEDAW UK 2018-19
>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!

>>> IGM in the UK, 2019: CEDAW Intersex Briefing Update (PDF, 2 pages)
>>>
UK > NHS Doctor admits to performing Intersex Genital Mutilation
>>>
Why UK intersex advocate Dawn Vago can't testify at the UN in Geneva

2018-CEDAW-PSWG-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: 2018 CEDAW Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in the UK  Statistics  Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (679 kb)

2019-CEDAW-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

IGM in the UK: 2019 Follow-Up Report (for Session)
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
Impunity  International IGM Networks in the UK  Testimonies
>>> Download as PDF (430 kb)

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!
>>> Intersex: How to Distinguish Medical Crimes from Health Care

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  


Why UK intersex advocate Dawn Vago can't testify at the UN in Geneva

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookToday Tuesday 26 February 2019, 10-13h CET + 15-17h CET (= 9am-noon UK time + 2pm-4pm UK time) the UK's human rights record will be examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva – to be transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org!

IntersexUK's Dawn Vago, co-rapporteur of the Thematic Intersex NGO Reports, was scheduled to testify before the Committee in Geneva. Unfortunately, this wasn't meant to be. Below Dawn explains why, and what this has to do with her being an IGM survivor (taken from an email to fellow UK NGOs present in Geneva):

I am Dawn Vago from IntersexUK and the designated speaker on behalf of the Intersex NGO Coalition, and I'd like to second Daniela's email, as I am not ok and have not agreed to not getting speaking time.

I recently sustained significant injuries from a fall (shattered eye socket and cheekbone, fractured wrist, broken rib) which have kept me from beeing as vocal in the email chain that I would I have liked to have been, and which unfortunately will prevent me from travelling to Geneva without further injuring my health. However, I will follow the session remotely.

Unfortunately, the severity of my injuries is a direct consequence of having been submitted to intersex genital mutilation, namely the removal of vital hormone producing organs (gonadectomy) at age 8, of which a known complication is osteoporosis (weak bones), from which I have been suffering since 2005.

I am desperately trying to find someone else to come and speak from IntersexUK but time is short and in case we can't find anybody, IntersexUK officially designates our co-rapporteur Daniela Truffer to speak on my behalf.

We must be allowed to speak out about our grievances during the public briefing, as the UK continues to illegally perform intersex genital mutilation against past UN condemnations. For example I just heard that a young intersex girl age 7 underwent gonadectony at my local hospital not so long ago, and being told the same cancer risk lie they told my parents 30 years ago! AND my adopted son was also told he needed his penis surgically 'corrected' on and his female body parts removed for no other reason than cosmetic purposes only less than 1 year ago.The UK has not moved on, and we desperately need IGM to stop!

I plea with you to allow us adequate time to speak and not silence us the same way surgeons and society silence us in the UK. We understand the value of everyone else's voice but we cant sit by unnoticed. Please help.

Best regards and respect

Dawn Vago
IntersexUK
Co-Director

>>> UK > NHS Doctor admits to performing Intersex Genital Mutilation
>>> Timeline CEDAW UK 2018-19

2018-CEDAW-PSWG-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: 2018 CEDAW Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in the UK  Statistics  Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (679 kb)

2019-CEDAW-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

IGM in the UK: 2019 Follow-Up Report (for Session)
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
Impunity  International IGM Networks in the UK  Testimonies
>>> Download as PDF (430 kb)

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Sunday 24 February 2019

UK > NHS Doctor admits to performing Intersex Genital Mutilation: 'We are talking about relatively small numbers' - really!?

NHS Bristol paediatric surgeon Mark Woodward, "the chair of the NHS England review of surgery on intersex people", publicly admits to performing involuntary genital surgery on intersex children, according to the BBC "the majority of [it] not medically needed".
(However, according to a recent UK Study there are rather 2900 IGM procedures annually.)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookWe're saying kudos to Dr Woodward for going public in a >>> 15-minutes BBC video report about "Intersex surgeries" (which actually are not about "assigning sex", but according to the UN simply a serious human rights violation – also the often-repeated wrong number of allegedly "as many as 1.7% of the world have intersex traits" is unfortunately as false as claiming "the UN" would say this, actually there are rather 0.2% intersex people, see this excellent rebuke by BBC's Tim Harford).

The following is a transcript of Mark Woodward's statements in the video:

[Previous segment: Holly Greenberry, co-founder IntersexUK denounces the "huge detrimental impact" of unnecessary genital surgery on intersex children.]

[ video @ 11.46 min ] Mark Woodward (Consultant Paediatric Urologist [Surgeon], NHS Bristol): But that's just focusing on that small aspect of health. And that's not necessarily looking at psychology, the social impact of it.

Commentary: Mark Woodward will be the chair of the NHS England review of surgery on intersex people.

Moderator: Of the numbers of surgeries that are happening on DSD children in the UK, how many of those are necessary medically?

Woodward: It looks like roughly 150 children a year are assessed as new patients with DSD, and maybe between 20 and 40 surgical procedures a year in the whole of the UK, so we are talking about relatively small numbers.

Moderator: Of those 20 to 30 who are having surgery, how many of those would you estimate are absolutely required to happen in childhood?

Woodward: Yes, so I mean that is the big question, if you said are these procedures absolutely medically necessary? I.e. is a child going to come to harm if they don't have surgery, well that number would be not that whole group, it would be smaller than that.

Voiceover: So while the majority of UK surgeries on intersex or DSD children are not medically needed, Mark Woodward, like Joyce Mbogo in Kenya, says it is often the parents pushing for them.

Woodward: So yes sometimes when you hear people talking about surgery, it's as if we, the surgeons, are kind of dragging the children out of the parent's arms and doing the surgery somehow against what the parents want. I mean that has never been my experience with the UK approach in DSD. I mean I feel, as do most of the people I speak to involved is that our position s we do not want to do any surgery, we would rather not do any surgery at all. I can imagine some teenagers saying, I wish I hadn't had to make this surgery decision for myself.

Moderator: But are these imagined scenarios?

Woodward: Yeah they are totally imagined, yeah. Yeah.

Moderator: So we don't know.

Woodward: Yeah that's the problem we have absolutely no idea.

[Next segment: The Lohmans in Milwaukee, parents of intersex child Rosie: “All of the horror stories we were told Rosie's life was going to be like if we just left her be and none of which have come true. […] Rosie is fine.“]

By the way, you'll find the entire statistics of the recent Huddersfield Intersex Study (which found 2900 IGM surgeries annually in England alone!) and more evidence in the CAT Intersex NGO Report (PDF, see p. 11-16).

>>> 40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: 2019 CAT Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in the UK  Statistics  Complicity of the State  Inhuman Treatment
>>> Download as PDF (679 kb)

2019-CEDAW-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

IGM in the UK: 2019 Follow-Up Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
Impunity  International IGM Networks in the UK  Testimonies
>>> Download as PDF (430 kb)

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Thursday 7 February 2019

CRC80 > Intersex Genital Mutilation: UN reprimands Belgium, Italy

[ Français ]  [ Deutsch ]

Photo: Nonviolent Intersex Protest @ UNHRC UPR #14, Geneva 20.10.2012

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookDuring its 80th Session in Geneva, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) examined the human rights record of Belgium and Italy, grilling both State parties specifically on intersex and IGM.

Intersex advocates are delighted that the Committee today sternly reprimanded both States for Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM) under CRC art. 24(3) "harmful practices" (same as FGM), and in particular explicitly urged Belgium to "[p]rohibit the performance of unnecessary medical or surgical treatment on intersex children" and to "ensure [...] access [...] to effective remedies, including by lifting the statute of limitations", referring to the CRC-CEDAW Joint General Comment No. 18/31 "on harmful practices", and to target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals ("eliminate all harmful practices").

This latest reprimands for IGM practices by a UN treaty body mark
• the first reprimand for IGM for Belgium,
• already the 2nd reprimand for IGM for Italy,
• now 40 UN reprimands condemning IGM as a serious violation of non-derogable human rights.

Intersex NGO StopIGM.org together with intersex advocates Claudia Balsamo (Italy) and Thierry Bosman (Belgium), with the support of Intersexioni, Intersex Esiste and Intersex Belgium, and with additional help from Michela Balocchi, Daniela Crocetti and Londé Ngosso, had submitted substantial evidence of the ongoing IGM practices in both countries.

Please find below the full binding intersex recommendations for both Belgium and Italy, as well as links to the evidence submitted to the Committee and to the shocking denials and excuses of both States when questioned by the Committee in Geneva:

Belgium

2018 CRC Belgium NGO (for PSWG) Intersex IGMIntersex Genital Mutilations in Belgium: 2018 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Belgium  Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (376 kb)

2018 CRC Belgium NGO (for Session) Intersex IGMIGM in Belgium: 2018 Follow-Up Report (for Session)
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
Gov sidelines Intersex Advocates  International IGM Networks in Belgium
>>> Download as PDF (210 kb)

>>> CRC80 Belgium: Full Session Report, Transcripts, Videos
>>>
Belgique > Communiqué de l'ONU souligne l'absence de protection législative
>>> Full CRC Timeline Belgium 2018-2019

Belgium: Full Binding CRC80 Intersex Recommendations
>>> Download Full Concl Obs:
CRC/C/BEL/CO/5-6 --> paras 25(b)+26(e)

Harmful practices

25. The Committee notes with concern that:

[...]

(b) Intersex children are subjected to medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures.

26. With reference to joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices (2014) and taking into account target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee urges the State party to:

[...]

(e) Prohibit the performance of unnecessary medical or surgical treatment on intersex children where those procedures can be safely deferred until children are able to provide their informed consent; ensure that intersex children and their families have access to adequate counselling and support and to effective remedies, including by lifting the statute of limitations.

Italy

2018 CRC Italy NGO (for PSWG) Intersex IGM

Intersex Genital Mutilations in Italy: 2018 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM in Italy  Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (391 kb)

2018 CRC Italy NGO (for Session) Intersex IGMIGM in Italy: 2018 Follow-Up Report (for Session)
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reproductive Anatomy
IGM Statistics  International IGM Networks in Italy  Testimonies
>>> Download as PDF (450 kb)

>>> CRC80 Italy: Full Session Report, Transcripts, Videos
>>>
Italy > Intersex Genital Mutilation: Gov Denial makes UN Press Release
>>> Full CRC Timeline Italy 2018-2019

Italy: Full Binding CRC80 Intersex Recommendations
>>> Download Full Concl Obs:
CRC/C/ITA/CO/5-6 --> para 23

Harmful practices

23. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Develop and implement a child rights-based health-care protocol for intersex children, setting the procedures and steps to be followed by health teams, ensuring 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) 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.

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

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 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

>>> Download PDF (831kb)  

Saturday 2 February 2019

Italy > Intersex Genital Mutilation: Gov Denial makes UN Press Release

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

Both the English and the French UN press releases on the review of Italy by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 22.-23.02.2019 feature the questions of the Committee Expert about IGM and reparations, and how Italy quickly changed the subject, non-answering on "trans law" and "3rd gender" instead (however both releases don't include the follow-up Q&A, see full report):

“Committee on the Rights of the Child reviews the situation of children in Italy”
>>> UN Press Release (23.01.2019)

Questions by the Committee Experts

[...]

The delegation was asked about the procedure in place when an intersex child was born, and whether surgeries and medical procedures performed without consent were prosecuted.

Replies by the Delegation

[...]

Gender assignment surgery was regulated by the 1982 law which prescribed that the cost of operating on ambiguous genitalia was covered by the State.  In 2015, the Constitutional Court had restated the principle for the need of a judicial review on sex change in old cases.  Italy would amend the sex determination on the certificate of birth assistance to include also the category of undetermined. 

[...]

“Le Comité des droits de l’enfant a examine le rapport de l'Italie”
>>> Communique de presse de l'ONU (23.01.2019)

Examen du rapport

Questions et observations des membres du Comité

[...] 

[...]  Ce même expert a demandé s’il était toujours possible en Italie d’imposer une intervention chirurgicale aux enfants intersexes et si les enfants concernés pouvaient obtenir des réparations. 

[...]

Réponses de la délégation

[...]

La délégation a expliqué que l’attribution du sexe est régie par la loi.  Le recours à une intervention chirurgicale n’est permis qu’en cas de « sexualité ambiguë », a-t-elle précisé, expliquant qu’il faut alors chercher à favoriser les facteurs dominants.  Les modalités de changement de sexe doivent faire l’objet d’un contrôle judiciaire, a souligné la délégation.  Le traitement chirurgical est un instrument auquel il peut éventuellement être recouru pour assurer le bien-être psychique des personnes concernées, a indiqué la délégation.  Elle a fait état d’un projet de loi qui prévoit qu’à la naissance, le sexe puisse être mentionné comme étant masculin, féminin ou indéterminé.

[...]

>>> Italy + Belgium > UN-CRC80 to examine Intersex Genital Mutilation
>>> Italy > Asked about intersex, Gov replies on trans + "3rd gender"
>>> Belgium > Gov claims it's "medical treatment", not human rights issue

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
38 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women's Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee-CCPR) condemns IGM Practices

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 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 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) 

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