IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity' Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookWhen the Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Theresia Degener, at the 18th CRPD Session in Geneva unmistakably and publicly criticised denial of IGM and misappropriation of intersex funds in the UK, the globally widespread practice of misappropriation of intersex funding by LGBT organisations and the interrelated issue of misrepresentation of intersex as an LGBT issue suddenly entered the spotlight.

This groundbreaking development was only possible because the UK Intersex NGO Coalition Report for the Session documented evidence of misrepresentation of intersex and misappropriation of intersex funding in the UK, and particularly in Scotland. The following is the relevant section from the report:

4.  Misrepresentation of Intersex as LGBT issue, Misappropriation of Funding

As noted in our PSWG NGO Report (p. 7), intersex persons and their organisations have spoken out clearly against misrepresenting intersex as an LGBT or SOGI issue, and in particular against instrumentalising intersex as a means to an end by LGBT groups, and against pinkwashing of IGM by State parties trying to deflect from criticism of involuntary intersex treatments, maintaining that IGM practices present a distinct and unique issue constituting significant human rights violations, which are different from those faced by the LGBT or SOGI community, and thus need to be adequately addressed in a separate section as specific intersex issues.

Nonetheless, the pervasiveness and persistence of such harmful misconceptions remains, as illustrated for example in two recent UN press releases misrepresenting IGM as “sex alignment surgeries” (i.e. voluntary procedures on transsexual or transgender persons), and IGM survivors as “transsexual children”, [53] and State parties regularly referring to e.g. transgender guidelines [54] or “Gender Identity Law” [55] when asked about IGM by e.g. Treaty bodies.

South Africa [56] and France [57] are still the only States officially recognising IGM constituting a harmful practice, but so far without enacting legislation accordingly. Malta [58] and Argentina [59] are still the only countries formally banning IGM, but both without any sanctions or known progress. Human rights agencies reports regularly fail to identify the most important applicable human rights frameworks, [60] and only call for legislation regarding “Gender Identity Registration” and “Discrimination”, but fail to do so in order to end IGM practices and the impunity of the perpetrators and accessories, thus perpetuating the harmful stereotypes, appropriation and colonisation of intersex politics, and erasure of IGM and IGM survivors and their legitimate concerns and demands. [60] [61]

A current UK example of LGBT groups talking for intersex persons and their organisations without consultation or representation is the Scottish Pink Saltire Video “Introducing Intersex” [63] also promoted by the Scottish DSD Network, [64] which was financed by the Scottish Lottery Fund, [65] and in which intersex is “introduced” and explained exclusively by non-intersex persons and organisations including Pink Saltire, Equality Network Scotland, and the Scottish DSD Network, while intersex persons and their organisations were neither consulted nor represented.

So far Scotland is the only UK country with a budget for funding intersex awareness raising with at least “£135,000 for intersex work”, however paid out exclusively to LGBT organisations. [66] [67]

So unfortunately while the Scottish Government and the Scottish political parties publicly strive to address “specific intersex-related equality and human rights concerns”, [68] in fact they only do so regarding issues marginal to most intersex people like e.g. “hate crimes against non-binary or intersex people” [69] and “update[ing] the Gender Recognition Act 2004 […] to alter the law to make better provisions for […] specifically non-binary and intersex people”, [70] regarding the main issue of IGM they steadfastly keep funding and supporting the doctors and clinics responsible for continuing the practice.

[53]  For relevant excerpts and references, see http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/post/UN-Press-Release-calls-IGM-survivors-transsexual-children-CATArgentina-UNCAT60
[54]  CAT56 Austria, see http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/post/Geneva-UN-Committee-against-Torture-questions-Austria-over-Intersex-Genital-Mutilations
[55]  CAT 60 Argentina, unofficial transcript see http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/post/CAT60-Argentina-to-be-Questioned-on-Intersex-Genital-Mutilation-by-UN-Committee-against-Torture
[56]  CRC74 Constructive dialogue, unofficial transcript: http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/post/LIVE-South-Africa-Questioned-Over-Intersex-Genital-Mutilations-by-UN-Committee-on-the-Rights-of-the-Child
See also Mail & Guardian (27.10.2016), https://mg.co.za/article/2016-10-27-00-sa-joins-the-global-fight-to-stop-unnecessary-genital-surgery-on-intersex-babies/ 
[57]  See http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/post/France-condemns-mutilations-of-intersex-children-proposes-prohibition 
[58]  See http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/post/Intersex-politics-that-ignore-the-daily-mutilations-PINKWASHING-OF-IGM-PRACTICES
[59]  See 2017 CAT Argentina NGO Report, p. 10, 13–14, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2017-CAT-Justicia-Intersex-Zwischengeschlecht-IGM.pdf
[60]  See submission to SR-Disability, p. 5-6, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2017-SR-Disability-Submission-Intersex-IGM-V2.doc 
[61]  For example FRA (2015), see Presentation OHCHR Expert Meeting (2015), slide 8, http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/public/S3_Zwischengeschlecht_UN-Expert-Meeting-2015_web.pdf
[62]
  For example Amnesty (2017), see http://stop.genitalmutilation.org/post/Amnesty-Report-fails-Intersex-Children-and-IGM-Survivors
[63]  Pink Saltire, “Introducing Intersex”, 22.03.2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onRPZEPDoPs Note: The Rapporteurs can NOT endorse this video as it was made by third party groups without consultation and representation of intersex persons and their organisations.
[64]  See “Introducing Intersex”, http://www.sdsd.scot.nhs.uk/support/
[65]  See https://pinksaltire.com/2016/10/08/do-you-know-what-the-i-means/
[66]  “Equality Network funding includes £600,000 for the work of Scottish Trans, representing an increase of 53% on previous funding, and in recognition of the huge increase in demand for trans services, including a Scottish Government gender recognition consultation expected in the Autumn, as well as £135,000 for intersex work.”, see Pink Saltire, “Big Four LGBT Charities in Government Funding Windfall”, https://pinksaltire.com/2017/06/28/big-four-lgbt-charities-in-government-funding-windfall/
[67]
  See also £45,000 for “intersex project” paid out to Equality Network, http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Equality/Funding/funding/EqualityFunding
[68]  https://beta.gov.scot/policies/equality/lgbti/
[69]  https://pinksaltire.com/2017/06/10/scots-lgbt-hate-crime-reaches-new-high/
[70]  https://pinksaltire.com/2016/09/01/nhs-under-strain-as-gender-identity-demand-surges/

>>> CRPD18 > Chair criticises misappropriation of intersex funding in Scotland
>>>
TRANSCRIPT+VIDEO: UK questioned over IGM – Gov lies, denies, pinkwashes!
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CRPD18 > Testimony to Intersex Genital Mutilation in the UK
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UK CRPD Intersex NGO Report for Session
>>> UK CRPD Intersex NGO Report for LOIs

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!