IGM = Mutilation, NOT ‘Controversy’ or ‘Debate’!UPDATE 2: We received a 2nd reply by Amnesty London (fulltext). Apparently now it's just a case of bad “wording” having “created confusion”, and “clarify[ing]” that Amnesty “are not opposing any such laws [calling for criminalisation of IGM]”, however any call to do so would be “complicated by the fact that in many cases clinicians argue that interventions are 'medically necessary'”. More intersex advocates have criticised Amnesty's doctor-friendly answer and lack of acknowledging the political intersex consensus and relevant UN findings, and, where allowed to do so by local Amnesty sections, renewed calls for prohibition. We support these calls in our 2nd reply (fulltext) and ask, “when and how will Amnesty make this clarified position public?”  To be continued ...

UPDATE! We received a reply by Amnesty (fulltext). The most salient bit reads: “However, [Amnesty] do[es] not call for a ban on surgeries. This is in line with our broader human rights work on issues related to gender and sexuality. We are calling for a rights-based approach to medical practice and based on our research into this issue, we are not confident that criminalising such surgeries would achieve this.” We (and others) are now calling upon Amnesty (fulltext) to disclose said policy “related to gender and sexuality” as well as said research showing why criminalisation would allegedly not be effective to end IGM and the impunity of the perpetrators, and to ensure access to justice to survivors. To be continued ...

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 12.05.2017:

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'

As an international intersex human rights NGO with German and Danish members and associates and instrumental in achieving so far 22 UN reprimands for intersex genital mutilations (IGM), including to Germany and Denmark, StopIGM.org warmly welcomes Amnesty International highlighting human rights violations of intersex people in their new report "First, do no harm. Ensuring the Rights of Children with Variations of Sex Characteristics in Denmark and Germany" (PDF). However, StopIGM.org remains deeply concerned that said Amnesty report
  • fails to demand legal prohibition of IGM practices, thus falling short of demands of intersex people (e.g. Malta declaration) and UN treaty bodies (CRC, CAT, CEDAW, CRPD)
  • fails to adequately consider the most important human rights violations and applicable human rights frameworks at stake, namely harmful practices (CRC art. 24.3, CEDAW art. 5, CEDAW/CRC Joint General Comment 31/18), torture or inhuman treatment (CAT art. 2, 12, 14, 16), and CRPD, CCPR
  • fails to adequately consult intersex people, particularly IGM survivors and their organisations
  • fails to recognise that intersex and IGM are NOT an LGBT, discrimination or healthcare issue, BUT CONSTITUTE genital mutilation, a harmful practice, inhuman treatment, torture …

StopIGM.org thus would like to kindly remind Amnesty International of two crucial UN verdicts, unfortunately both omitted in said Amnesty report:

  • The Committee against Torture (CAT) explicitly obliged Denmark to "Take the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to guarantee the respect for the physical integrity and autonomy of intersex persons and ensure that no one is subjected during infancy or childhood to unnecessary medical or surgical procedures" (CAT/C/DNK/CO/6-7, para 43 (a), 04.02.2016)
  • The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) explicitly obliged Germany to "Adopt clear legislative provisions explicitly prohibiting the performance of unnecessary surgical or other medical treatment on intersex children" and "Ensure effective access to justice, including by amending the statute of limitations" (CEDAW/C/DEU/CO/7-8, para 24 (d+e), 03.03.2017)

Legislation to end IGM practices remains the most urgent intersex demand. Failing to adequately include it, but instead recommending legislation only regarding "discrimination" and "legal gender recognition" while at the same time leaving the prevention of IGM to "healthcare providers" and the "Ministry of Health" as proposed in said Amnesty report, inevitably prolongs the impunity of IGM perpetrators and accessories, and grossly fails intersex children and IGM survivors.

Amnesty International must do better in the future, including by adequately consulting IGM survivors and their organisations.

StopIGM.org demands the prohibition of forced genital surgeries on children and adolescents with Variations of Sex Anatomy and “Human Rights for Hermaphrodites too!”

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

Kind regards

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

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




>>> ANSWERS see documented below in Comments

2016 CRC Denmark NGO Report Intersex IGM

IGM Practices in Denmark: 2016 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM in Denmark  Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as a PDF (633 kb)


IGM Practices in Germany: 2017 CEDAW Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM in Germany  Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (519 kb)

See also:

23 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condemns IGM
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
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)