UN-CRC reprimands Austria for Intersex Genital Mutilation

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Photo: Markus Bauer and Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org) with the thematic intersex NGO reports on Austria
at the 83rd CRC Session, Palais Wilson, Geneva 31.01.2020

StopIGM.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 15.02.2020:

During its 83rd Session in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) examined the human rights record of Austria. Based on NGO reports by StopIGM.org, the Committee specifically questioned Austria on “intersex genital mutilation”. Austria on the one hand denied the practice, but on the other defiantly insisted on continuing with IGM, i.e. when “until the end of the second year of life at the latest,” an unnecessary “surgical modification is carried out on the basis of an expert opinion” and “with the consent of the parents”.

As a result, CRC has now reprimanded Austria for IGM practices, specifically obliging Austria to “[p]rohibit the performance” of IGM and to collect data on IGM to better protect intersex children at risk, condemning IGM as a harmful practice (just like FGM) according to CRC art. 24(3) in conjunction with the CRC-CEDAW Joint General Comment No. 18/31 on harmful practices, and further referring to a previous UN reprimand to Austria by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) in turn condemning IGM as a cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment falling under the absolute prohibition of torture, and additionally obliging Austria to “ensure” that IGM survivors “are adequately compensated.”

StopIGM.org welcomes this clear verdict, marking
• already the 2nd reprimand for IGM to Austria,
• the 22nd UN reprimand for IGM to a EU27 country,
• the 17th reprimand for IGM by CRC,
• now 49 UN reprimands condemning IGM as
a serious violation of non-derogable human rights!

Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org):

«Austria has a serious problem with its outrageous abuse of intersex children. The fault lies not only with those who personally perform the mutilations, and those who directly finance and brazenly justify them like the Austrian government in Geneva, but also with all those who still trivialise and downgrade intersex genital mutilation to a “gender” or “health care” issue, thus enabling the former to continue with impunity.»

After the break: The full CRC Concluding Observations on intersex and IGM, the NGO reports that prompted CRC’s investigation, and videos and transcripts of Austria’s denials and excuses during the 83rd CRC Session.

CRC83: Full Binding Intersex Recommendations to Austria

>>> Download full Concl Obs: CRC/C/AUT/CO/5-6 –> para 27 (a)-(b)
>>> Full Intersex NGO Report by StopIGM.org (PDF, 262 kb)
>>> Intersex NGO Update for the Session by StopIGM.org (PDF, 203 kb)
>>> Transcript + Video of Session in Geneva   >>> UN Press Release on Session

E. Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)

Harmful practices  [art. 24 (3)]

27. With reference to joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2014) on harmful practices and recalling the concluding observations of the Committee against Torture (CAT/C/AUT/CO/6 para. 45) the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Prohibit the performance of unnecessary medical or surgical treatment on intersex children where those procedures may be safely deferred until children are able to provide their informed consent;

(b) Gather data with a view to understanding the extent of these harmful practices so that children at risk can be more easily identified and their abuse prevented;

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
49 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women’s Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) condemns IGM Practices

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 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
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

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