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During its 82nd Session in Geneva, the UN Committee o the Rights of the Child (CRC) questioned Portugal about Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM), based on damning evidence provided by StopIGM.org in an NGO report to the Committee.
The Portuguese Delegation, which presented themselves in an opening statement as a intersex human rights champion allegedly “protecting the sexual characteristics of every person”, seemed to struggle with answering the Committee’s questions about IGM, droning on about FGM instead.
Only after a reminder by the CRC chairperson, that the question was about intersex children, not FGM, Portugal finally (non-)answered on intersex and IGM, with the UN Press Release summarising the examination offering a glimpse of Portugal’s insistence on continuing with mutilating defenseless intersex children:
“Experts of the Committee on the rights of the child note good laws in Portugal but raise questions about their effective implementation”
>>> UN Press Release (27.09.2019)
“Responding to these questions and comments, the delegation said that […] Intersex children and female genital mutilation were completely different issues. Interventions on intersex children were carried out by health professionals and had to be suited and tailored to each case. There had been five cases detected last year. Extremely specialized paediatric teams were seized of the matter, in conjunction with the families. The best course of action for each child was determined in light of the latest scientific knowledge. Interventions were only made when they were in line with the best interest of the child. They were not carried out at random.”
Portugal’s (non-) answer echoed the defensiveness of Malta in the last CRC session, another self-declared “intersex human rights champion” that continues to mutilate intersex children noetheless, advocated and paid for by the state. Accordingly, Malta was strongly reprimanded for continuing with IGM practices in the Committee’s Concluding Observation with binding recommendations to the State party.
Intersex advocates including StopIGM.org are now hoping for a similarly stern reprimand by CRC for Portugal too, due next Thursday. To be continued …
Treaty Body: Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Convention: Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Download Intersex NGO Report: PDF (942 kb)
Report by: StopIGM.org
Next Steps in Review Cycle: Examination @ CRC 82nd Session, 19.-20.09.2019; Concl Obs due November
>>> Full Timeline Previous UN Reprimands: none
• ‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
• “Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
• 42 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
• UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
• UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: 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)