Germany: UN CRPD calls for data collection and “Plan to Stop this Practice” of Intersex Genital Mutilations and Forced Sterilisation on Facebook

'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!' - UNHRC Geneva 20.10.2012The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is examining Germany for the first time, the (postponed) final examination taking place in March 25-27.

An important step in this process is the so called List of Issues (LoI) CRPD/C/DEU/Q/1 published by the Committee, containing questions to the respective Government focusing on the different articles of the convention. [For the state party’s answers see update below.]

Regarding Intersex and IGMs, CRPD’s questions 11–14 are sensational:

Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse (art. 16)

12. How many irreversible surgical procedures have been undertaken on intersexual children before an age at which they are able to provide informed consent? Does the State party plan to stop this practice?

13. Please provide up-to-date statistics on forced sterilizations of persons, i.e. without their free and informed consent.

In addition, para 11 concerning Torture or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CIDT) (art. 15) includes “scientific research on children without their free and informed consent”, and para 16 focusing on Integrity of the Person (art. 17) calls for “information on the numbers of cases in which compulsory and involuntary treatment has been conducted since February 2013”!

My 2 Cents: The race is on! Up to now it’s been rare that an UN body addressed crucial issues regarding con-consensual cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex children with such directness and clarity.

Obviously the BRK-Alliance NGO Report, incl. contributions on intersex by Intersexuelle Menschen e.V. (PDF, p. 36-37) and – another first! – a German National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) (DOC, p. 6) both explicitly zeroing in on harmful, unnecessary, non-consesual surgeries and castrations of intersex children paid due.

Nontheless, regarding IGMs the CRPD’s List of Issues (LoI) is peerless, a precious source of hope that the day is finally drawing near when the serious human rights violations and the suffering caused by IGM practices will no longer be ignored, but eventually noticed and dealt with accordingly.

What’s next? Germany’s answer to the LoI has been overdue since July 25. can report directly from Geneva that they were now received by the Committee and will be added to the Reporting Status Page shortly. [ Update: >>> PDF), more below ]

It’s a pretty safe bet that in their answer, instead of finally disclosing IGMs, German FedGov will continue to indulge in what in the 2014 CRC NGO Report (PDF, p. 17-18) is described as “the established patterns of non-disclosure and denial” , i.e. disclosing only fractions, blanket denial, and/or manipulation of statistics, and the usual excuses.

In this case, let’s hope the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will score some more – a UN body calling a FedGov enabling and excusing IGMs for decades on their bluff, and insisting on comprehensive independent data collection and monitoring, as well as on legislation to finally prevent ALL forms of IGM in their concluding observations would definitively be firsts to be looking forward to …

UPDATE: Germany’s answers to the LOI are >>> now available (PDF). As predicted, they are definitively less than satisfactory. is currently compiling a thematic NGO comment to the Committee detailing the shortcomings of the German Gov and its answers, based a.o. on Federal and State Gov Statements since 1996, a.o. explicitly allowing IGM practices to continue by declaring them above reproach and totally legal, and explicitly refusing to take action to stop them, as well as experiences of survivors seeking redress for more than a decade but getting nowhere.
To be continued …

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 Content

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