Photo: Intersex Protest #1 vs. ‘4th I-D$D Medical Symposium’, Glasgow 07.06.2013
First the good news: In Germany, after the community in Leipzig already in 2013 started with truly including Intersex by introducing the clever new acronym IDAHIT* as well as adding thematic events doing justice to intersex persons and their struggles, and last but not least by officially adopting the demand for outlawing the still ongoing harmful practice of Intersex Genital Mutilations, in 2014 Halle (Saale) and in 2015 Jena followed suit. Thanks!! Mostly good news also from the Council of Europe (COE) – see below.
Nonetheless, also in 2015 in many places intersex people are still only seemingly “included” – or even shamelessly appropriated by third party groups! In such cases, Intersex is often “sold” as primarily being an issue of (gender) identity, birth certificates and discrimination, while a the same time Intersex Genital Mutilations, the harm caused, and adequate measures to end them a.s.a.p. are omitted, suppressed, downplayed, belittled, put on the back burner and/or swept under the carpet.
A particularly typical case: The “Focus paper ‘The fundamental rights situation of intersex people'” of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),
>>> Focus paper (PDF) >>> Press Release FRA
which was presented at the “IDAHO-Forum 2015” in Montenegro:
- The only practical legislative proposition therein is – you get 3 guesses – to adapt sex registration laws, i.e. “Gender markers in identity documents and birth registries should therefore be reviewed to [allegedly] better protect intersex people.”
- In contrast, not mentioned at all are the serious and lifelong harm and impairments resulting from IGM practices – and instead of practical and effectice demands to end IGM (like proposed by intersex persons and their organisations, and seconded e.g. by CAT, NEK-CNE, CRC, WHO, UNICEF), once more there is only non-binding, mutilator-friendly wish-wash.
Whose interests and priorities this alleged “Intersex focus paper” (for which intersex persons and their organisations obviously were consulted only in form and not in substance) really represents, is also emphasised by a comparison of which key words appear in it how often (and which ones were omitted):
[intersex] mutilation: 2
harmful practice (CRC art, 24.3, CEDAW art. 5): 0
inhuman treatment, torture (CAT art, 2, 4, , CEDAW art. 5): 0
harm [done by IGM]: 0
(loss of) sexual sensitivity/sensation: 0
statutes of limitation: 0
data collection: 0
Bottom line: Intersex Appropriation – Bingo! Once more, survivors of IGM (and intersex children at risk of being submitted to IGM practices) are abused at the “IDAHO Forum 2015” to pursue third party, (gender) identity and civil status politics at their cost – while at the same time, intersex children keep getting mutilated daily – for how much longer?! Yuck!! If those appropriators had their own genitals forcibly cut for a change – their priorities would change pretty fast and thoroughly – wanna bet?!
On the other hand, how such a study can be done better, demonstrates the “Issue Paper ‘Human rights and intersex people'” >>> Issue paper PDF >>> COE Press release, published by the Commissioner on Human Rights of the Council of Europe (COE), authored by Silvan Agius, and presented at the same “IDAHO-Forum 2015”. Thanks!! Not only does this paper include most of the above missing key words, but generally talks straight, also on IGM practices.
However, also in the COE Issue Paper there are still painful exceptions, for example “statutes of limitation” and “monitoring” are still missing, and, most egregious, regarding the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), of all things the crucial art. 24 para. 3 (“Harmful practices”) went missing – despite having been highlighted also by the Committee in their ground-breaking 2015 recommendations on IGM – pity! A further deficit of the COE issue paper, how John Money is – in accordance with the ever popular gender studies myth – once more counterfactually portrayed as the “inventor” of IGM practices, while in fact this “honour” belongs to Lawson Wilkins.
How much longer?!
• 22 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
• “Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
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 are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB) >>> Table of Contents
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 as 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)