European Court of Human Rights: M. against France, Intervention by StopIGM.org

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!StopIGM.org on FacebookM. is a French IGM survivor who is fighting a court case on the basis of article  222-10 of the French Penal Code (aggravated violence resulting in mutilation or permanent disability) for having been submitted to non-consensual unnecessary procedures as a child, namely IGM2: “feminising” genital surgery, and IGM3: castration. However, their case was rejected by a final court decision of the French Highest Court (“Court de Cassation”) dated 6 March 2018, with the court arguing that the statutes of limitations had expired. M. took this rejection to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), where the case is currently pending (Application no. 42821/18 (in French) | English summary – for more information, see also 2020 CRC France NGO Report (PDF), p. 18.)

A Third Party Intervention by StopIGM.org (PDF, 175 kb), submitted to the Court upon invitation, provides a wider human rights background and context to the case, namely from the proceedings of UN Treaty bodies (p. 1-6) and relevant European Parliament (EU) and Parliament of the Council of Europe (PACE) Resolutions (p. 6-7), the responses of the French Government (p. 7-9), and a Conclusion: “Only the fear of the judge will make things change” (p. 9-10).

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
50 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): 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) condemns IGM Practices

CCPR131 > Finland questioned about Intersex Genital Mutilation, lack of access to justice for survivors

  CCPR 131st Online Session, 02.03.2021, 16:04h: Opening Statement by Head of Finnish Delegation, Krista Oinkonen (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

StopIGM.org on FacebookIGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'Last week, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the Treaty body monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) has examined the human rights record of Finland during its 131th Session (online only due to COVID-19), originally transmitted LIVE and now archived at webtv.un.org:
Session 1
| Session 2 | Session 3

A thematic intersex NGO report to the Committee by StopIGM.org proved that IGM continues in Finland with impunity at the University Hospitals of Helsinki, Tampere, Kuopio, Turku and Oulu – despite that the Finnish Government pledges to protect intersex children from cosmetic genital surgery in its current Government Programme.

And a Joint NGO Report co-authored by Finnish intersex NGO Intersukupuolisten ihmisoikeudet – ISIO ry noted concerns that the Government, instead of taking action to prohibit non-vital surgery, will merely continue with discussions without consequences, namely within the upcoming working group to reform the Trans Act set up by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The report also suggests to recommend to the Finnish Government to enact a law to prohibit non-vital surgeries and other medical interventions

StopIGM.org was following the Session LIVE, hoping the Committee will ask tough questions on IGM practices in Finland!

Session 3, Wed 3 March 2021, 16-18h CET

16:23h (Video @ 0:26:15): YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Hélène Tigroudja raises “non-consensual […], unnecessary medical surgeries” on intersex children! Notes Government Programme mentioned in State Report, asks about implementation, and lack judicial recourse and access to justice! :-) Unofficial Translation (from original French):

This brings me to question 9, the question about the situation of intersex persons or children. Here again the information we have received converges to say that there is a very serious problem in Finland of non-consensual and, above all, unnecessary medical surgeries. The NGOs report that too often these surgeries meet a social rather than a medical need, and indeed in the responses provided by the state some paragraphs of the report lack clarity on the safeguards taken to obtain the consent of the person concerned even when that person is a child.

My questions on this subject are therefore fairly simple. In paragraph 108 of the State report there is mention of a programme on the self-determination rights of intersex children which needs to be strengthened as stated in the State report. So can the delegation tell us how this plan is going to be concretely strengthened in terms of the effective protection of children’s self-determination, but also of their dignity, their integrity, their right to non-discrimination and, I would add, their right to access to justice, since the lack of judicial recourse against non-consensual procedures has also been very widely emphasised by civil society. More specifically, what guarantees, including procedural ones – and again, access to justice is an important element – what guarantees, including procedural ones, are in place to ensure that so-called corrective surgeries are not carried out without informed consent, and I stress the need for informed consent, so this need for precise medical information, and therefore informed consent from the patient, possibly informed consent from his parents, and so that, once again, the surgeries effectively respond to a medical or even vital imperative and not simply to a social imperative which itself conveys stereotypes.

17:07 (Video @ 1:10:33): Delegation member Ms. Ritva Halila (Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health) non-answers on IGM, claims Helsinki University Hospital the only one to perform “feminsing” surgery, that doctors say no unnecessary surgery at all performed, promises more “discussions”, promptly referring to the working group to reform the Trans Act, but completely ignores the question about access to justice:-( Unofficial Transcript:

I would like to continue on the response to question about intersex children. After 2016 when national advisory board and social healthcare ethics published its statement the Ministry of social welfare and healthcare ethics have had a of health – Ministry of social welfare and healthcare has had regular communication with children hospital of the hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa that is the only hospital that makes surgical operations for persons that have been defined as girls.

Meanwhile the ministry of justice performed an expert report that has been mentioned also in the report of Finland one year ago.

The health care professionals in charge in the university hospital argue that no interventions are not made to correct the sex of the child and they also claim that non-medical interventions are not made.

However, as far as I understand and have heard along discussions with those people there is a clear disagreement in understanding which procedures are medically grounded, which procedures are necessary for the health of the child, and which procedures are cosmetics and they really claim – so I think that we need discussion on that.

Finland is nominating a working group by the end of march to amend the act of transgens, er, the rights of transgender persons and there is another person that will tell more about this. The task of the working group is also to evaluate how to discontinue cosmetic non-medical genital surgery for small intersex children. This working group will be multidisciplinary containing also representation of the NGOs involved in this discussion, and also an association of parents of intersex children. Thank you very much.” 

Let’s hope the Committee will issue strong binding recommendations, sternly reminding Finland of its non-derogable obligations under CCPR to effectively prevent genital mutilation of intersex children!

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
50 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): 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) condemns IGM Practices

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

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)

Intersex Genital Mutilation: UN-CCPR reprimands Portugal – marking 50 UN reprimands for IGM, 2nd to Portugal

Photo: Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org) with the thematic intersex NGO report on Portugal
at the 128th CCPR Session, Palais Wilson, Geneva 06.03.2020

StopIGM.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 05.03.2021:

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'A year ago, the 128th Session of the Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the Treaty body monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) was suspended two weeks in due to COVID-19, making Portugal the last State Party to be examined for Intersex Genital Mutilation in Geneva.

Based on a thematic intersex NGO report and a briefing to Committee members by StopIGM.org, CCPR specifically questioned Portugal on “genital mutilation […] practiced on intersex children” and the lack of access to justice in such cases. However, Portugal non-answered on “female genital mutilation” and “trans and intersex health” instead.

As a result, CCPR has now reprimanded Portugal for IGM practices, specifically obliging Portugal to “strengthen the measures to end the performance of irreversible medical acts, especially surgical operations, on intersex children” and considering the practice as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment falling under the absolute prohibition of torture (art. 7 CCPR).

StopIGM.org welcomes this clear verdict, marking

Portugal is another self-declared “intersex human rights champion” that, after in 2018 having adopted legislation aimed at protecting intersex children from IGM practices, claims to have abolished the practice altogether, echoing similar legislation and claims from Malta. However, in both states IGM persists with impunity, and accordingly in 2019 both Malta and Portugal have been reprimanded by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) condemning IGM as a “harmful practice” (just like FGM).

After the break: The full CRC Concluding Observations on intersex and IGM, the NGO report that prompted the CCPR investigation, and videos and transcripts of Portugal’s denials and excuses during the 128th CCPR Session.

Read moreIntersex Genital Mutilation: UN-CCPR reprimands Portugal – marking 50 UN reprimands for IGM, 2nd to Portugal

https://StopIGM.org – Welcome to the new blog!

Thank you to everybody who helped making this new blog possible! (Photo: do_action Zurich)

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPlease update your bookmarks: After nearly a decade of intersex news, debate and action on our old blog at http://stop.genitalmutilation.org, now the entire content has been moved to this new blog in a more mobile-friendly format, https://StopIGM.org. Many thanks to the do_action Zurich team for setting it up!

Should you find something missing or not working, please drop us a line here. The old blog will no longer be updated, but will still remain online for a limited time – thereafter it will automatically redirect to the new blog. However, the entire old blog will remain archived at archive.org.

So watch this space for future updates – despite the ongoing Covid19 hiatus, recently there have been some exciting developments for intersex human rights at the UN in Geneva …

CCPR128 > Portugal Questioned About Intersex Genital Mutilation – Gov Answers on “Female Genital Mutilation” and “Health Care”


CCPR 128th Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 05.03.2020, 09:56h: Getting ready …
Right row, 2nd from left: Ms. Hélène Tigroudja who asked about IGM.

StopIGM.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 Portugal during its 128th Session in Geneva, transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org and now archived at webtv.un.org: Session 1 | Session 2

A thematic intersex NGO report (PDF, 609 kb) and an Oral NGO Statement (PDF) byStopIGM.org prove that IGM continues in Portugal with impunity – despite that Portugal claims a new Law No. 38/2018 “on gender identity” would prohibit and prevent involuntary, unnecessary surgery on intersex children, and despite a previous reprimand by CRC.

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

Session 1, Thu 5 March 2020, 15-18h CET

CCPR128-Portugal-05-03-2020_Tigroudja-1_x15:55h (Video @ 0:54:57): YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Hélène Tigroudja raises “genital mutilation” of intersex children! Notes progress in establishing Law No. 38/2018, asks about shortcomings, namely lack of criminalisation and access to justice! :-) Unofficial Translation (from original French):

“Still on the issue of discrimination, I come to a category of people that has not yet been mentioned, namely LGBT and intersex people. So I very much appreciate the answer provided in the state report, which shows that the legislation has changed a great deal in 2018 and is rightly presented, it seems to me, as one of the most protective in the world and one of the best in the world in terms of the situation of people, particularly intersex people.

However, NGOs working on this issue and associations of intersex people continue to deplore certain shortcomings or deficiencies in the law, and in particular I will give you some of them on which I would like to have the delegation’s reaction, in particular the fact that the law does not criminalise genital mutilation, the law does not guarantee access for victims, and we have just mentioned access to courts, effective access to courts, but above all access to reparation, so what are your feelings on this reform that has been carried out, perhaps the improvements that could be made to this law of 2018?”

CCPR128-Portugal-05-03-2020_Marques-117:33 (Video @ 2:32:39): Delegation member Ms. Andreia Marques (Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality) non-answers on IGM, claims no surgery “until gender identity is made manifest”, changes subject to “health care” and “trans and intersex health”:-( Unofficial Transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original Portuguese):

“I’m basically going to be answering the questions from Madame Tigroudja. The first has to do with intersex people in Portugal and the implementation of this new law from 2018. In art. 5 of that law, art. 5 says, that apart from a risk for the individual, these surgical interventions, pharmacological and other interventions, which involve any changes to the body and the sexual characteristics of the intersex individual and also as a minor cannot be carried out until their gender identity is made manifest.

Portugal would like to say that the national health service some intersex interventions have deemed to be genital mutilation in 2019 and submitted in June last year we had the first health strategy for lesbian, gay, bisexual individuals, trans and intersex individuals drawn up by the director general for health with a great deal of corporation from 7 associations which in that support LGBTI persons and individuals, this strategy devoted its first volume to promote trans and intersex health. I don’t know if I’d answered your question.” 

CCPR128-Portugal-05-03-2020_Tiguodja-follow-up-117:58h (Video @ 2:57:37): YAY!! Committee expert Ms. Hélène Tigroudja follows-up on IGM, again asks about criminalisation of IGM. :-) Unofficial Translation (from original French):

“The second question relates to intersex health, so again, the legal framework has obviously evolved in a very positive direction, but my question is this: is there a criminalisation, for example, of genital mutilation that can be practised on intersex children?” 

Session 2, Fr 6 March 2020, 10-13h CET

CCPR128-Portugal-06-03-2020_Tainhas

10:05 (Video @ 0:03:14): Delegation member Mr. Fernando Tainhas (Ministry of Justice, Adviser to the Minister) answers on “female genital mutilation” on “intersex minors”, claims surgery is prohibited” unless there is a risk to the health of the individual”, but admits no criminalisation in “gender identity law”, refers to anti-FGM legislation Art. 144 2(b) of the Portuguese Criminal Code:-( Unofficial Transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original Portuguese):

“Miss Tigroudja asked a very pertinent question whether or not Portuguese law foresees the criminalisation of female genital mutilation when it comes to intersex minors. There is not a specific rule on that subject but behaviour of that nature is considered as a serious attack on physical integrity, art. 144 2(b). The gender identity law was amended in 2018, it doesn’t specifically criminalise such behaviour … [translator interrupts to ask to speak directly into the microphone]. So, in 2018 the gender identity act was amended, but it did not specifically criminalise that kind of behaviour, but it did prohibit operations except in cases where there is a risk to the health of the individual. So, it’s criminalised under art. 144 2(b) of the Criminal Code.”

Let’s hope the Committee will issue strong binding recommendations, sternly reminding Portugal of its non-derogable obligations under CCPR to effectively prevent genital mutilation of intersex children!

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
49 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): 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) condemns IGM Practices

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

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)

Genital mutilation: German draft law fails intersex children

[ Deutsch ]


Photo: Intersex Protest vs. German medial societies + D$D guidelines , Leipzig 08.11.2014

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!StopIGM.org on FacebookA Draft of a law for the protection of children from sex-modifying surgical interventions” (PDF, in german) published by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) claims to protect intersex children from non-consensual and unnecessary genital surgery. However, the Draft law contains fatal shortcomings and loopholes due to unqualified and harmful legal misconceptions of applicable human rights standards, and in fact proposes to explicitly legalise most IGM practices:

Opinion by Zwischengeschlecht.org on the BMJV Draft Law

>>> Full opinion (in german): PDF | DOCX

Summary

The Intersex-NGO Zwischengeschlecht.org welcomes that the Federal Government, after many years of promises and expert meetings with no consequences, now finally wishes to effectively protect intersex children from unnecessary genital surgery, and that the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), referring to the demands of persons concerned and their organisations, as well as to constitutional and human rights, is putting forward a draft bill for discussion. Unfortunately, however, the BMJV draft massively disregards and misinterprets the demands of the persons concerned and their constitutional and human rights, which is why it must be rejected in its present form for the purpose of rectification.

In particular, we criticise that the draft bill

  1. wants to protect intersex children only partially and to a limited extent from non-consensual, unnecessary and harmful interventions, and in turn wants to explicitly allow, among other things, the most frequent unnecessary interventions (p. 2-3)
  2. by making a pseudo-distinction between “sex-aligning” and “sex-altering” interventions, inadmissibly focuses on the perception of the fallible medical practitioners instead of on the consequences for the person concerned and their non-derogable constitutional and human rights (p. 4)
  3. only selectively and incompletely acknowledges relevant constitutional and human rights and UN recommendations, inter alia by focusing one-sidedly on an (unsubstantiated) “right of the child to sexual self-determination”, while completely disregarding the crucial non-derogable human rights to protection against inhuman treatment, harmful practices, etc. (p. 4-7)
  4. disregards minimum requirements for effective protection against serious violations of non-derogable human rights of intersex children, inter alia, ending impunity by criminalising or adequately sanctioning them, ensuring access to justice for victims, inter alia, by adapting the statutes of limitations, the right to compensation, reparation and rehabilitation (p. 7)
  5. one-sidedly focuses on degrading, stigmatising and pathologising medical views and expertise, while continuing to ignore psychosocial, human rights and experiential expertise and support (p. 8)

>>> Full opinion (in german): PDF | DOCX

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
49 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): 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) condemns IGM Practices

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

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)

UN-CRC reprimands Austria for Intersex Genital Mutilation

[ Deutsch ]


Photo: Markus Bauer and Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org) with the thematic intersex NGO reports on Austria
at the 83rd CRC Session, Palais Wilson, Geneva 31.01.2020

StopIGM.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 15.02.2020:

During its 83rd Session in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) examined the human rights record of Austria. Based on NGO reports by StopIGM.org, the Committee specifically questioned Austria on “intersex genital mutilation”. Austria on the one hand denied the practice, but on the other defiantly insisted on continuing with IGM, i.e. when “until the end of the second year of life at the latest,” an unnecessary “surgical modification is carried out on the basis of an expert opinion” and “with the consent of the parents”.

As a result, CRC has now reprimanded Austria for IGM practices, specifically obliging Austria to “[p]rohibit the performance” of IGM and to collect data on IGM to better protect intersex children at risk, condemning IGM as a harmful practice (just like FGM) according to CRC art. 24(3) in conjunction with the CRC-CEDAW Joint General Comment No. 18/31 on harmful practices, and further referring to a previous UN reprimand to Austria by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) in turn condemning IGM as a cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment falling under the absolute prohibition of torture, and additionally obliging Austria to “ensure” that IGM survivors “are adequately compensated.”

StopIGM.org welcomes this clear verdict, marking
• already the 2nd reprimand for IGM to Austria,
• the 22nd UN reprimand for IGM to a EU27 country,
• the 17th reprimand for IGM by CRC,
• now 49 UN reprimands condemning IGM as
a serious violation of non-derogable human rights!

Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org):

«Austria has a serious problem with its outrageous abuse of intersex children. The fault lies not only with those who personally perform the mutilations, and those who directly finance and brazenly justify them like the Austrian government in Geneva, but also with all those who still trivialise and downgrade intersex genital mutilation to a “gender” or “health care” issue, thus enabling the former to continue with impunity.»

After the break: The full CRC Concluding Observations on intersex and IGM, the NGO reports that prompted CRC’s investigation, and videos and transcripts of Austria’s denials and excuses during the 83rd CRC Session.

Read moreUN-CRC reprimands Austria for Intersex Genital Mutilation

Intersex rights: ILGA-Europe 2020 Report mostly misses the mark

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!Last week, ILGA-Europe published its “Annual Review 2020 of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People in Europe and Central Asia” (PDF), “covering events that occurred between January-December 2019”. Concerning intersex human rights, while the Review finally acknowledges the shortcomings of one country previously praised to the skies, in other instances crucial human rights developments were omitted, and actually harmful developments lauded as “progress” instead.

In particular, the Review 2020 has to be commended for finally acknowledging the shortcomings of the ILGA-sponsered Maltese intersex law, which has also been criticised by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in its 2019 State review of Malta, and for further acknowledging that intersex genital mutilation (IGM) continues in Malta despite the law (p. 74):

BODILY INTEGRITY
On 26 June, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended Malta to protect intersex children from all non-consensual and unnecessary medical or surgical procedures, which continue to be practiced despite the ban. Civil society warned that sanctions for these harmful practices were only introduced in 2018, three years after the law was adopted, and that they are much lighter than in the case of female genital mutilation. The CRC also called for support for families and their intersex children and redress for victims.”

However, ILGA-Europe’s Review 2020 entirely missed the following UN Concluding Observations crucial for intersex rights and to effectively combat IGM practices, namely:

  • CRC Portugal: CRC/C/PRT/CO/5-6, para 28 (b), more info
  • CCPR Belgium: CCPR/C/BEL/CO/6, paras 21-22, more info
  • CAT UK: CAT/C/GBR/CO/6, paras 64-65, more info

In addition, regarding intersex and IGM practices, the ILGA-Europe Review 2020 once more repeatedly lacks the necessary distinction between actually helpful Concluding Observations recognising IGM as a serious violation of non-derogable human rights, namely harmful practices, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment falling under the absolute prohibition of torture, and non-consensual medical or scientific experimentation (e.g. CRC art. 24(3), CEDAW art. 5, CCPR art. 7, CAT art. 16) vs. actually harmful recommendations downgrading IGM to a “health care” issue, which in fact reassert medical authority and support IGM doctors in continuing with impunity, namely the 2019 CEDAW recommendations to Austria and the UK under CEDAW art. 10 “health” wrongly praised in the Review.

Such lack of distinction and failure to adequately recognise the minimal legal requirements for effective protections against IGM practices constituting serious violations of non-derogable human rights is also exactly why the laws in Malta, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, etc. ultimately fail intersex children and therefore are called out by UN Treaty bodies …

What’s worse, these omissions and failures are NOT a one-off, but were also evident in other recent reports authored by senior ILGA members, e.g. the October 2019 “UNFE Background Note on Human Rights Violations against Intersex People”.

ILGA-Europe has been approached for comments.

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

>>> Open Letter of Concern about Maltese and Portuguese laws

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
48 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): 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) condemns IGM Practices

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

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)

PRESS RELEASE: UN Child Rights Committee: Austria insists on intersex genital mutilation!

StopIGM.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 02.02.2020:

Last week the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reviewed Austria’s human rights record during its 83rd session in Geneva. >>> more info

Based on shadow reports of the intersex NGO StopIGM.org/Zwischengeschlecht.org, the Committee questioned Austria on intersex genital mutilation (IGM), considering it a harmful cultural practice (Art. 24(3) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which also includes FGM). Further, the Committee referred to the earlier UN reprimand to Austria by the Committee against Torture (CAT), considering IGM as a cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment falling under the absolute prohibition of torture.

The reply of the Austrian delegation on behalf of the Ministry of Health was two-faced:

On the one hand, it implied that IGM was allegedly no longer practised in the new intersex “care centres”.

On the other hand, Austria defiantly insisted on continuing with intersex genital mutilation, i.e. when “until the end of the second year of life at the latest,” an unnecessary “surgical modification is carried out on the basis of an expert opinion” and “with the consent of the parents”.

>>> Videolink + full transcript on the blog

Effective protection would look different! Hopefully the Committee will make clear, binding recommendations to Austria to effectively protect intersex children from genital mutilation and harmful practices in the future!

StopIGM.org demands the prohibition under criminal law of forced genital surgeries on children and adolescents with variations of reproductive anatomy and “Human Rights for Hermaphrodites too!”

Persons concerned shall later decide for themselves, if they want surgeries or not, and if yes, which ones. The statute of limitation must be adapted in such a way that adult IGM survivors can sue.

Kind regards

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

CRC83 > Austria questioned about Intersex Genital Mutilation by UN – Gov admits to early IGM based on expert opinion and parental consent

[ Deutsch ]


CRC 83rd Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 31.01.2020, 09:58h: Getting ready …
Bottom right: CRC Vice Chairperson Mr Gehad Madi who raised IGM.

StopIGM.org on FacebookThis week, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is examining the human rights record of Austria during its 83rd Session in Geneva, transmitted live and now archived at webtv.un.org: Session 1 | Session 2 

A thematic intersex NGO report (PDF) plus an update for the Session (PDF) by StopIGM.org document how Austria continues to promote and facilitate IGM practices, despite a previous UN reprimand, and unsubstantiated assertions of progress by the Austrian Government.

The question on IGM was also mentioned in the UN Press Release (english), and additionally the non-answer in the UN Press Release (french).

StopIGM.org was reporting LIVE from Geneva, hoping the Committee will ask tough questions on IGM practices in Austria!  UPDATE: CRC reprimands Austria for IGM!

Session 1, Thu 30 January 2020, 15-18h CET

17:32h (Video @ 2:29:24): YAY!! CRC Vice Chairperson and country co-rapporteur for Austria, Mr Gehad Madi raises “intersex genital mutilation” under harmful practices! Asks about measures taken to implement the 2015 CAT Concluding observations on IGM, mentions the 2018 Constitutional Court sentence stating intersex is not a pathology, asks about informed consent.  :-) Unofficial Transcript:

«Turning to harmful practice: […] Issues of intersex genital mutilation: What measures the government is taking in response to CAT Committee against Torture recommendation in 2016 to take all measures necessary to protect intersex children from involuntary non-urgent surgery and other medical treatment? We also note that in 2018 the Constitutional Court recognised that intersex constitutes a variation and not a pathological development? Whether the consent of the children is taken, parents or guardian, is sufficient, and whether in some cases there is no absolute necessity to conduct such surgery at a certain age, small age of a child. Couldn’t you wait for the child to be able at certain point in time to give his or her consent to such operation, if necessary? If necessary means the operation is necessary.»

Session 2, Fri 31 January 2020, 10-13h CET

10:02h (Video @ 0:01:01): The Austrian Head of Delegation, Mr Helmut Tichy (Ambassador, Director General for Legal Affairs, Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs) reads out a non-answer on IGM prepared by the Ministry of Health, mentions the 2018 Health Ministry medical guidelines (discussed in our Session update PDF, p. 4-5), claims it’s a health issue taken care of in specialised “care centres“, claims no more IGM except “until the end of the 2nd year of life at the latest on the basis of expert opinionand with the “parents’ consent”, promises “close monitoring”, further mentions the 2017 “ethics opinion on intersex and trans identity” and the 2013 legal ban on cosmetic surgery on under 16s (which is not applied to intersex children). :-( Unofficial Translation (from original German):

«[Original English:] But before I give the floor to my colleagues I would like to read out something which we have received from our Ministry of Health. Because after the departure of our colleagues yesterday afternoon there were still some issues related to health and we have tried to get information from them, and if you permit me I will read this out, it is rather complicated, and I will read it out in German. So, please, bear with me, it’s about intersex persons:

[in German:] In 2018, the Constitutional Court recognised that intersex persons have a right to an entry in the register of births or in documents that corresponds to their sex. The first corresponding documents were issued in 2019. In 2017, the Austrian Bioethics Commission adopted a unanimous opinion on intersex and trans identity and recommendations on, among other things, the protection of intersex people from medical interventions, support for parents of affected children, protection from discrimination in society.

And further the following text: In urgent emergencies, which can also mean danger to life, especially if there is a so-called open bladder, surgery is performed immediately. This is now about surgeries for intersex persons. In other cases, until the end of the 2nd year of life at the latest, a surgical modification is carried out on the basis of an expert opinion from a specially established multi-professional board consisting of specialists from the fields of paediatrics, urology, paediatric psychiatry, endoctrinology and psychotherapy. To this end, the Health Department has drawn up a special recommendation on variations of sex development. These recommendations are listed here, in the appendix, OK.

A clear treatment path emerges from these recommendations, with the corresponding care centres already being set up throughout Austria and taking up their work at the beginning of this year. All decisions are made exclusively in close consultation with the parents of the children concerned, i.e. the parents’ consent must be obtained. In view of the fact that these centres have already been set up, close monitoring will also be carried out in parallel. Furthermore, it may be pointed out that on the basis of the Federal Act on the Performance of Aesthetic Treatment and Surgery in Austria, since 1 January 2013, cosmetic surgery or aesthetic treatment and surgery on persons who have not yet reached the age of 16 is not permitted, which is secured by corresponding penal provisions.

[Original English:] Thank you ladies and gentlemen, and I also thank the interpreters, because this is a very, very complicated text I believe.»

Let’s hope the Committee will not have the wool pulled over its eyes, and will issue strong recommendations, sternly reminding Austria of its obligations under CRC to effectively prevent harmful practices and genital mutilation of intersex children!

UPDATE: CRC reprimands Austria for IGM!

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
48 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): 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) condemns IGM Practices

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

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)