Photo: Intersex Protest + Open Letter vs. GOSH, UCHL, RCSE + ‘ISHID’ Genital Mutilators, London 18.09.2011
StopIGM.org, IntersexUK, The UK Intersex Association, UK intersex advocate Leslie Jaye and Nepali intersex advocates Esan Regmi and Parsu Ram Rai warmly welcome today’s binding ‘Concluding Observations’ by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reprimanding the UK + Nepal over Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM):
UK: CRC/C/GBR/CO/5, DOCX, on Intersex: p. 10–11, paras. 45–46
Nepal: CRC/C/NPL/CO/3-5, DOCX, on Intersex: p. 10–11, par. 41–42
IGM = ‘Harmful practice’ + ‘Violence against children‘
While both the UK and Nepal flatly denied the ongoing mutilations of intersex children (and tried to change the subject to (trans-)gender and civil status issues instead), the Committee didn’t let the wool to be pulled over their eyes. But instead twice more denounced IGM as a serious crime in blatant violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and constituting a ‘harmful practice’ (just like FGM) and ‘violence against children’, referring to art. 24 para. 3 CRC in conjunction with the CRC/CEDAW Joint general comment No. 18/31 ‘on harmful practices’, which specifically oblige states ‘to explicitly prohibit by law and adequately sanction or criminalize harmful practices’.
StopIGM.org particularly appreciates the Committee obliging the UK to ‘Ensure that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood’ and to ‘Provide redress to the victims of such treatment’, as well as to ‘guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination‘ to intersex children, and to ‘provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support’.
And we particularly appreciate that the Committee also made the same binding recommendations on IGM to Nepal plus, addressing ‘The lack of awareness of issues related to intersex children in Nepal and the high levels of stigma and discrimination faced by intersex children’, in addition obliged Nepal to ‘Conduct awareness-raising campaigns to combat stigma and discrimination against intersex children’ and to ‘Ensure that intersex children have access to identity documents that correspond with the sex/gender identity of their choosing’.
These latest binding recommendations on intersex mark the 13th and 14th time that a UN treaty body condemns IGM practices and reprimands a State party for complicity in these serious human rights violations. UN-CRC has consistently recognised IGM as a ‘harmful practice’ and ‘violence against children’, and already reprimanded Ireland, France, Chile and Switzerland.
‘Until such time as there is a change in the law, we remain happy to undertake clitoral reduction surgery’ – Dr I. Mushtaq (NHS, GOSH, UCL)
For the 72nd CRC session, intersex NGOs StopIGM.org, IntersexUK, the UK Intersex Association, UK intersex advocate Leslie Jaye and Nepali intersex advocates Esan Regmi and Parsu Ram Rai documented corroborating evidence for ongoing human rights violations of intersex children in both countries, including personal testimonies of IGM survivors.
We demand 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.
Daniela “Nella” Truffer +41 76 398 06 50
Markus Bauer +41 78 829 12 60
Founding members international intersex NGO StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org
Contact IntersexUK: info_at_intersexuk.org
Contact UK Intersex Association: +44 78 3119 6143
Intersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: 2016 UN-CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Persons With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Most Common Forms • What is Intersex? • A Harmful Practice
>>> Download (PDF 3.60 MB)
Intersex Genital Mutilations, Stigma and Bullying in Nepal
1. Background: 1st Intersex Workshop, Intersex Stories Book, 2016 CRC NGO Report
2. Intersex Genital Mutilations in Nepali Paediatric Hospitals
3. Denial of Needed Health Care 4. Stigma, Bullying and Isolation
>>> on Vimeo
>>> on Youtube
14 Reprimands: The UN Condemn Intersex Genital Mutilations
Typical forms of IGM practices [ WARNING!!!] include involuntary ‘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 practices 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, including access to justice and adequate compensation
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has repeatedly considered involuntary, non-urgent intersex treatments as ‘violence’ and a ‘harmful practice’, and thus comparable to Female Genital Mutilation, and – in addition to the UK and Nepal today – since 2015 has reprimanded Switzerland, Chile, Ireland and France for failing to protect intersex children’s right to bodily integrity and to ensure equal access to remedies and justice for victims.
The UN Committee against Torture (CAT) likewise recognises IGM practices as constituting at least ‘inhuman treatment’ in violation of the Convention against Torture, and since 2011 has reprimanded Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong and France.
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) also considers IGM as ‘inhuman treatment’ and since 2015 has reprimanded Germany and Chile.
In all above 14 verdicts, the Committees issued binding recommendations to take legislative action to end the practice and to ensure access to redress and justice for IGM survivors.
In addition, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the governing body of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) is currently investigating IGM and has called on Switzerland to disclose statistics.
Other international human rights bodies to condemn IGM practices so far include WHO, UNICEF, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
To this day, Malta and Colombia are the only countries to at least formally outlaw or partly ban involuntary surgeries on children with ‘atypical genitalia’, although without any tangible consequences for perpetrators and without ensuring access to redress and justice for survivors of infant IGM practices by prolonging the statutes of limitations long enough to allow often traumatised survivors to sue as adults.
• 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
• Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over 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
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