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

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

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org 04.02.2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

After the Break: The Exact Wording of the Binding Recommendations + Background Info!

The Binding Intersex Recommendations for Ireland:

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

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

Harmful practices [CRC art. 24(3)]

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

40.  The Committee recommends that the State party:

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

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

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

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

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

Harmful practices [CRC art. 24(3)]

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

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

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

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

IGM = Harmful PracticeBackground: IGM and Human Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards

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

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

presse_at_zwischengeschlecht.info

http://StopIGM.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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)