Intersex Genital Mutilations in France: CEDAW NGO Statement, 04.07.2016

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Photo: Daniela Truffer ( delivering the Statement during the NGO Meeting with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) at Palais des Nations, Geneva 04.07.216 NGO Oral Statement CEDAW France, 04.07.2016 | PDF 

IGM = Violence in Health Care Settings, NOT 'Controversy' or 'Debate'!Daniela Truffer:  « I’m co-founder of, an intersex person and survivor of involuntary sterilising procedures and genital surgery, and speaking on behalf of my french peers.

Intersex Genital Mutilations in France have been considered by both CRC and CAT as “ill-treatment” and “harmful practice”, referring to the CEDAW/CRC Joint general recommendation.

As substantiated in our thematic NGO report [1], in France all forms of IGM practices are still advocated by public medical bodies, namely the High Authority of Health, which prescribes partial clitoris amputation on intersex children “during the first months of life”. IGM practices are paid for by the public health insurance, and are perpetrated in public university and regional children’s clinics, et cetera, with impunity.

To this day, in France there is no law to protect intersex children from these daily mutilations. The French Government refuses to acknowledge that this is a human rights issue, but frames IGM as “complex medical questions” best left to the “medical expertise” of the perpetrators, who in turn blanketly dismiss human rights criticism as, I quote, “unfair” and “counterproductive”.

To this day, instead of addressing IGM practices, the French Government insists on focusing on civil status and gender identity issues, which for intersex children are marginal.

I therefore would like to urge the Committee to ask the French delegation tough questions on IGM, and to sternly remind them of France’s obligations, namely

  • to “explicitly prohibit by law” IGM practices,

  • to ensure “that the perpetrators and [accessories] are held accountable”,

  • to guarantee that “children subjected to harmful practices” have “equal access to legal remedies and appropriate reparations”,

  • “including by addressing legal and practical barriers to initiating legal proceedings, such as the limitation period”.

Thank you. »


See also:
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practic
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! on Facebook

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?
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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

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