LGBTI children and the health system (Article 24 & 37)

Some formal obstacles remain in the health system resulting in serious mental and physical health issues particularly for trans* and intersex persons, which may raise concerns under article 24.

[... section on "trans* children" with recommendations on the "treatment of trans* children" ...]

Intersex persons are subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, which contradicts article 37 CRC, stating: “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. This is particularly the case when intersex children as infants are subject to so called "normalising" corrections of the infants' genitalia [7]. In a recent report by Amnesty International, it is pointed out that these are irreversible surgeries that can affect the personal development of the individual, including trauma [8]. [9]

Both the medical intervention on intersex children and the lack of medical help to trans* children, prove that the Danish government does not “ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children”, and thus violates article 24 paragraph 2,b [10].

The above might also involve a violation of Denmark’s positive obligations towards protecting the rights of intersex persons. Reference is made to the recent recommendation by the UN Committee against Torture that in order to fulfil the obligations in Article 14 and 16 of UNCAT Denmark should [11]:

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

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

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

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

We therefore suggest that the Committee recommends the State party to ensure that procedures and practices within the public health care systems take into account the particular needs and vulnerabilities of LGBTI persons in order to prevent inhuman or degrading treatment, and to ensure the highest attainable standard of health to all children.

[7]  Region Midtjylland (no year), Intersex – Usikkert køn, from <>. See also Amnesty International (2017) ”First, do no harm” p. 10-11, available at <>
[8]  Amnesty International (2017) ”First, do no harm” p. 45-46, available at <>
[9]  As pointed out in the UN's fact sheet on "The Right to Health", the right to health includes "the freedom to be free from non-consensual medical treatment", see Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights & World Health Organization (2008), The Right to Health, Fact Sheet nr. 31, p. 3, available at
[10]  See Article 24 paragraph 2,b CRC
[11]  Concluding Observations, paragraph 43.

>>> CRC67 UPDATE: UN Press Release calls IGM survivors "transsexual children"!

>>> Intersex human rights are under attack!!!

See also:
24 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting ...
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn 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! 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 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)