CAT60 > FULL REPORT: Argentina Questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations by UN Committee against Torture – Gov Denies

>>> UPDATE! See below Session 2, 16:57h (Question on IGM) + 17:37h (Gov Denial)
>>> NGO statement on Intersex Genital Mutilations, 25.04.2017
CAT Timeline Argentina 2017 

UN-CAT 60th Session @ Palais Wilson 26.04.2017, 09:56h CET: Getting ready …
#CATArgentina   #UNCAT60   #NomasTorturaARG

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'Argentina is currently up for review of IGM practices at the 60th session of the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) on
Wed 26 April 10:00-13:00h CET + Thu 27. April 15:00-18:00h.

The Session was streamed live (english + original):
Session 1 |
Session 2 and on Facebook (spanish). reported LIVE from Palais Wilson, hoping for strong questions on IGM practices:

Session 2, Thu 27.04.2016, 15–18h CET

15:01h CET: The Session is on, webcast (original floor audio + english simultanious translation) and facebook (spanish) are live, head of delegation speaking. Unfortunatley, yesterday there was no question on intersex (see Session 1), despite that the session closed early. According to our information there’s still an albeit slim chance for a question today, hopefully … Update: YAY!! See below 16:57h (Question) + 17:37h (Denial)

15:36h: Answers on LGBTI and trans individuals and transvestites in prison … new policy to be implemented soon … moving on to femicides … abortion legal in cases of medical indication and for victims of rape … fire in holding cells at police station, 7 dead … structural crisis in penitentiary system … awareness raising to prevent violence by prison staff … ministerial programme against institutional violence and impunity … admitting to prison overcrowding and deficiencies … progress to build new penitentiary centers and expand existing … laws on reparation for victims of state terrorism, no specific data on indemnities for torture …

16:48h: Follow-up questions by Committee rapporteurs … explicit prohibition of torture … prison overcrowding …

16:57h: (Video @ 1:56:52–2:00:02) YAY!! CAT country co-rapporteur Kening Zhang raises intersex persons and IGM, quotes our suggested recommendations! (NGO Report PDF –> p. 18):-)
Unofficial Transcript:

«I noticed that the director for human rights of the foreign ministry touched on the issue of also LGBTI. In that regard I would like to have the opportunity of passing a message of a NGO which I didn’t have time to do yesterday. I was approached by this intersex genital mutilation group which actually expressed their concern over the certain status how they are being treated in the country, and I would like just to very briefly read out what they entrusted me to do.

They expressed the concern then they suggest that the Committee (indiscernible) the following recommendations to the country for their better treatment, for the unnecessary surgical and other interventions performed on intersex performed on intersex people without prior informed and effective consent, which reportedly caused physical and psychological suffering, have not as yet given rise to any inquiry, sanction or reparation.

The Committee, so they suggest the Committee to recommend to the State party the following:

(a) Take the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to guarantee the respect for the physical integrity and autonomy of intersex persons and to ensure that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical procedures during infancy or childhood, but that all non-urgent medical interventions are postponed until the child is sufficiently mature to participate in decision-making and give full, free and informed consent.

(b) Guarantee impartial counselling services and psychosocial support for all intersex children and their parents, so as to inform them of the consequences of non-urgent, unnecessary surgery and other medical treatment and the possibility of postponing any decision on such treatment or surgery until the persons concerned are able to decide for themselves.

(c) Undertake investigation of reports of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex people without effective consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation.

(d) Guarantee intersex persons’ full access to the right to identity and to be recognized as a person before the law through administrative procedures fully compatible with human rights standards.

And the last

(e) Involve intersex persons in the design, implementation and monitoring of public policies affecting them, and avoid all forms of misrepresentation and instrumentalisation of intersex persons and issues.»

17:01h: Additional questions from Committee members … prison overcrowding, hailing recognition of problem, asking for report mentioned … civil society involvement in monitoring and National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) … inclusion of medical expertise in monitoring … rehabilitation for victims: support fund …

17:18h: Short break before additional replies …

17:32h: Session resumed, head of delegation answering on incease in prison population …

17:37h: (Video english | castellano @ 2:36:25–2:40:20) Maria Gabriela Quinteros (Human Rights Director of the Foreign Affairs Office: Sub Directora de Derechos Humanos, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto de Argentina) (non-)answers on intersex! Claims civil code prevents IGM and affirms right to bodily integrity and autonomy, intersex children protected until 16 years, then count as adults regarding medical decisions. Gender identity law is clear that they can identify as male or female without surgery. (However, those laws are simply not applied to intersex children, see NGO Report PDF –> p. 8, 14). She conveniently ignores that IGM is still advertised and perpetrated by government bodies and public paediatric hospitals … 🙁
Unofficial transcription
of UN simultanious translation (from spanish original):

«OK, I’d like to answer Dr. Zhang regarding the concern he raised passing on the message from an NGO concerned about interventions vis-à-vis intersex persons. In the first place I’d like to say that intersex individuals have the right to self-determination over their own bodies, and must give prior and informed consent as a fundamental prerequisite for any medical practice which might be carried out on their body.

There have been two important legislative advances in this area in Argentina, and one is the new Civil and Commercial Code of the nation which in its article 26 says that any child, any minor, because quite often with this intersex cases we’re generally speaking dealing with minors, and this is how we establish whether or not to intervene surgically. This article says that the persons rights ought to be exercised through their legal representatives, but nonetheless it allows – if the person has the appropriate maturity and age to make their own assessment and give consent then they are empowered to do so. It allows for any minor between 13 and 16 years of age to be involved in any legal procedure relating to them, and particularly with regards to any decisions made about the person, their body. From 16 years of age they’re considered as an adult for any decisions relating to the care of their own body. In the instance that any controversy springs up between the legal representatives and the child’s own wishes of course the child has the right to a legal representative and to have the case brought before a judge, while the decision of the minor will always been taken into consideration.

Law 26143 is the Gender Identity Law. It’s a very advanced law because it allows individuals to identify with the gender they perceive themselves to be affiliated to, and they can thereby change their birth certificates and the national ID certificates in order to identify as a male or female as they see fit and perceive themselves. The law is been clear on this, when it provides (indiscernible) surgical intervention, in order to have a surgical intervention the consent of the individual in question or that of the legal representatives is required or you could have a legal ruling instead, and it’s important to say that the Civil Code reaffirms the principle of the progressive autonomy and capacity of the minor, of the child and the great higher interest of that child being treated as a priority and the right to have self-determination over ones own body is a human right and so the well-being and the life of the person must always be the highest priority with their consent.»

17:41h: Moving on to extradition … presence of doctors within prisons … reads deaths in prison figures … victim rehabilitation … capacity building …

17:59h: CAT chairperson Jens Modvig concludes Session.

Session 1, Wed 26.04.2016, 10–13h CET

10:10h CET: The Session is on, webcast (original floor audio + english simultanious translation) and facebook (spanish) are live, currently introductory statements by Argentinian delegation.

10:26h: CAT country co-rapporteurs Heller and Zhang starting first round of questions, Committee expert Claude Heller now on with questions on CAT arts. 1 and 4, critising lack of specific legisation explicitly criminalising torture … migration act, Syrian refugees … lack of implementation of national system for prevention of torture … only 6 provinces have local prevention mechanisms … institutional violence, situation in dentention … violence against transsexuals and transvestites …use of torture as disciplinary measure …delay of implementation of national registry of cases of torture … frequent police harassment against poor young people … extrajudicial executions and disappearances … psychiatric hospitals … lack of monitoring …

11:26h: Committee expert and country co-rapporteur Kening Zhang now on … art. 10 … education of immigration officers … implementation of recommendations of Subcommittee for Prevention of Torture … art. 11 … ombusdman for prisons reporting obstacles to access to prisoners … prison overcrowding, poor nutrition and sanitary conditions … arts. 12 and 13 … institutional violence in prisons … suffocation with bags, beatings … routine violence among detainees with collusion of prison staff … compensation and redress … how many complaints about xenophobia and racism … art. 14 … lack of implementation of legal abortion … art. 16 … solitary confinement … lack of medical care …detention conditions of minors … violent deaths in prisons in Buenos Aires and Mendoza … rape and domestic violence against women … harassment of LGBTI persons and transgender women in prison …

12:04h: Questions by other Committee members … Sébastien Touze on arbitrary practice regarding isolation in prisons … Alessio Bruni on evidence obtained by torture, invocation of Convention in court … prison overcrowding … non-refoulement … Felice Gaer on reasons for delay of state report … prison overcrowding due to increased incarceration … mixed-sex correction facilities … prosecutions  and convictions due to reports to state hotlines and work of mobile squads … programmes for aggressive prisoners and sex offenders … Essadia Belmir on reform of judicial system … overcrowding in prisons … Abdelwahab Hani on composition of National Prevention Mechanism … statistics on vilent deaths and institutional violence … Jens Modvig on IACHR report re: pre-trial detention and statistics … National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) vs. NGOs, medical participation …

12:43h: Additional questions by Claude Heller on law on mental health and review body … critical state at psychiatric hospitals … Alessio Bruni on NPM … Sébastien Touze on emergency plan re: police violence against marginalised groups … Session concluded 10 minutes earlier … No questions on intersex and IGM.

The review will be continued tomorrow Thur 27 April 2017, 15–18h CET = 10–13h in Argentina. While it’s generally quite bad when there’s no question in the first session, there’s still some hope for a question on IGM tomorrow … fingers crossed!

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'On 12 May 2017 or soon after, CAT will publish its binding Concluding observations for Argentina – now that the issue was raised during the review and the delegation’s only (non-)answer was the obligatory blanket denial in combination with employing the usual red herring of gender identity issues, is expecting another stern reprimand for IGM practices.

>>> NGO statement on Intersex Genital Mutilations, 25.04.2017
CAT Timeline Argentina 2017 

NGO Report to the 6th and 7th Periodic Report of Argentina on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

>>>  Download (PDF 267 kb)

Compiled by:
Justicia Intersex /

See also:
22 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!

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 is IGM?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 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)