IGM Practices – A Human Rights Issue!

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[ UPDATE 2015 ] 
UNCRC: IGM Parctices = “Harmful Practice” + “Violence”!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook D.  The Treatment of Intersex Persons as a Violation of International Law

“Genital mutilation of intersex children damages genital sensitivity in irreversible ways; it causes post-surgical trauma, and the internalization of brutal prejudices denying or stigmatizing the diversity that in reality human bodies show. […] The difference in genitalia cannot justify, under any pretext whatsoever, ethical and political hierarchies: cannot justify mutilation, because it never normalizes but does the opposite. For us, mutilation creates a permanent status of human rights violation and inhumanity.”
Mauro Cabral, CESCR NGO Statement 2004 [66]

For 21 years now, intersex people from all over the world, and their organisations have been publicly denouncing IGMs as destructive of sexual sensation, and as a violation of basic human rights, notably the right to physical integrity. [67] For 18 years, they have lobbied for legislation against IGMs to end the impunity of perpetrators due to statutes of limitation. [68] For 17 years, they have been invoking the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to fight IGMs, [69] and for 10 years they have been reporting IGM to the UN as a human rights violation. [70] This NGO report marks the 5th time that persons concerned, NGOs and/or a NHRI report IGMs as a relevant issue to the Commission on the Rights of the Child, and the 3rd Swiss NGO report to an UN commission to highlight IGMs (see Bibliography, p. 30).

In Switzerland, like in every intersex community, meanwhile several generations of intersex persons, their partners and families, as well as NGOs and other human rights and bioethics experts, have again and again described IGM as a human rights issue, [71] as harmful and traumatising, [72] as a western form of genital mutilation, [73] as child sexual abuse, [74] and have called for legislation to end it. [75] (Cases No. 1–6)

The UN Committees CEDAW, CESCR and CAT, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Council of Europe (COE), and last but not least the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK) have already recognised the human rights violations perpetrated on intersex children, and demanded legislative measures (NEK, SRT, COE), historical reappraisal, acknowledgement by society of suffering inflicted (NEK) and compensation for victims (NEK, CAT) (see Bibliography, p. 28).


66 Mauro Cabral (2004), NGO Statement: Intersexuality, http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/61
67 Cheryl Chase (1993), Letter to The Sciences RE: The Five Sexes, http://www.isna.org/articles/chase1995a
68 Cheryl Chase (1996), Female Genital Mutilation in the U.S. Discussion, https://www.h-net.org/~women/threads/mut.html
69 Cheryl Chase (1998), ISNA’s Amicus Brief on Intersex Genital Surgery, http://www.isna.org/node/97
70 Mauro Cabral (2004), NGO Statement: Intersexuality, http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/61
71 Clare O’Dea (2009), Doctors “playing God with children’s sex”, swissinfo 26.08.2009, http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Home/Archive/Doctors_playing_God_with_childrens_sex.html?cid=981950
72 Nikola Biller-Andorno (2006), Zum Umgang mit Intersex: Gibt es Wege jenseits der Zuordnung des «richtigen Geschlechts»? Schweizerische Ärztezeitung 47:2047-2048, at 2047, http://www.saez.ch/docs/saez/archiv/de/2006/2006-47/2006-47-283.PDF
73 Mirjam Werlen (2008), Rechtlicher Schutz für Kinder mit uneindeutigem Geschlecht, in: Michael Groneberg, Kathrin Zehnder (eds.) (2008), «Intersex». Geschlechtsanpassungen zum Wohle des Kindes? Erfahrungen und Analysen:178–215, at 184
74 Kathrin Zehnder (2010), Zwitter beim Namen nennen. Intersexualität zwischen Pathologie, Selbstbestimmung und leiblicher Erfahrung, at 201
75 Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics NEK-CNE (2012), On the management of differences of sex development. Ethical issues relating to “intersexuality”, Opinion No. 20/2012, Recommendation 15, at 19, online


Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
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Table of Contents

>>> Collective CRC NGO Report on IGMs
[ UPDATE 2015 ]  UNCRC: IGM Practices = “Harmful Practice” + “Violence”!

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