“Gov doesn’t feel the pain yet!” – In February 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reprimanded France, considering the ongoing genital surgeries on intersex children a “harmful practice” (like FGM), to be outlawed under multiple international treaties.
Laurence Rossignol, meanwhile French Minister of Family, Children and Women’s Rights, had represented France in Geneva on this – as she called it – “extremely recent issue”.
Addressing the French Senate four weeks later on 10.02.2016 Re: the French Gov’s advocacy of – erm, (non-)position on – [TRIGGER!] Intersex Genital Mutilations, she just stalled & diverted some more (unofficial translation – read it and
weep do something!):
Answer to question n° 1276S by Maryvonne Blondin, Senator of Finistère and Member of the Council of Europe, General Counsillor of Quimper [ >>> Senate Log, p. 2485 ]
Reply by Mrs Laurence Rossignol, [photo: UN-CRC 71st Session, Geneva 14.01.2016], secretary of state with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, in charge of issues regarding family, children, the elderly and the right to autonomy [now Minister of Family, Children and Women’s Rights]:
« Madame senator, you are asking me about children who are intersex at birth, in other words newborn with an congenital anomaly, leading to difficulties to determine the sex of the newborn.
Fortunately, the occurrence of such cases is rare: the incidence at birth isn’t well known, but lies within the range of one birth out of 5000, thus probably approximately 160 births every year [ BINGO! ]. Nevertheless, the low occurrence doesn’t change the importance of the subject.
During it’s review on January 13 and 14, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child questioned France on this topic. The Committee raised questions about the timing of the interventions and the consent of the concerned children themselves, which in the interest of the child would require to postpone these interventions.
Before a therapeutic decision is made, those children need a multi disciplinary care in specialised competence centres, where endocrinologic and genetic analyses, as well as indispensible imaging methods will be performed, in order to determine the underlying illness, as well as the medical and surgical treatment options.
There is a reference centre in France, the centre for rare diseases of sex development, which includes a facility in Lyon and one at the Hospital Kremlin-Bicêtre [Paris]; it works together with other reference centres for rare endocrine diseases. The close collaboration with a reference centre is essential for the diagnostic approach, the medical treatment and the indication for surgery, early or postponed, and the following care, as well as for the clinical research.
The indications for surgery can be difficult. Therefore, they are the subject of international discussions [ BINGO! ] and studies, which admittedly aren’t perfectly amicable. The indications for surgery are mostly specific to every case and therefore require an individual, comprehensive and constant information of the parents.
The irreversible nature of some reconstructive surgery demands consideration of the medical findings, in particular the prognostic, as well as of the free choice of the parents and of the child, if it is able to express its will.
Whichever therapeutic treatment options are chosen, a permanent care is necessary to be able to evaluate the physical, sexual and psychological consequences of the treatments.
With such complex medical questions, which entail multiple lifelong consequences, the quality of the medical expertise and care, and of a continuous dialogue is best suited to guarantee compliance with the rights of the child. It must ensure to prevent any premature decisions and any action, which later may be experienced as intolerable mutilation.
Finally, regarding the question of sexual orientation and gender identity, this we agree on in Europe, is an issue. This question is the matter of current activities within the strategy for the rights of the child 2016-2021 and the “SOGI” unit of the Council of Europe, which is in charge of questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.
Given the complexity of the subject, which relates to ethical questions as well as the rights of the human person, the struggle against discrimination and questions of health, the National Consultative Ethics Committee for health and life sciences will be tasked with the matter, before the government will be able to take up a position. »
PS 1: In an additional reply to Rossignol’s answer above, Senator Maryvonne Blondin claims a) in Germany unnecessary surgeries would be “postponed until the age of 15 years”, at which age b) the children themselves could “really decide themselves”. Unfortunately, a) is blatantly untrue, and b) actually isn’t that straightforward.
PS 2: How typical is that: The French Gov plans to convene a “roundtable” on the topic of “children with undetermined sexual identity” [sic!] on 12 May – IGM survivors are not invited!!!
PS 3: And on 4 April at Strasbourg University there’s yet another pathologising “academic talk” titled “Intersexuation: from a vulnerable body to a malleable one?” (PDF) According to a newsletter by the Uni, a prominent pedo surgeon has been added to the panel, Prof. François Becmeur, the director of surgery (known for publicly advocating and defending IGM [youtube]) of the local pedo clinic at Uni Hospital “CHU Strasbourg”(where intersex babies are mutilated regularly) – while persons concerned are not invited, again!!! >>> Sign the petition at change.org
How much longer?!
>>> IGM = “Harmful Practice” + “Violence”: UN-CRC Reprimands France
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 by UN – Full Transcript
>>> UN Media Release on the Session with France, mentions intersex
• 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 is 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 in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)