Council of Europe (COE) condemns Intersex Genital Mutilations!

>>> Open Letter of Concern to ‘WOFAPS 2013’ Surgeons (PDF) on Facebook

Hip, hip!  On October 1, 2013 the Council of Europe in Strassbourg (COE) – not to be confused with the EU in Brussels – during their 31st session passed the  >>> Resolution 1952 (2013) “Children’s right to physical integrity” (PDF) with a good majority (78 Yay, 13 Nay, 15 Abstentions). 

The resolution unmistakably criticises Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM)WITHOUT any gender-sexology-etc.-fuss, but with a clear, human rights based distinction between medically necessary vs. cosmetic procedures, and incl. a call for legislation! Following the example set by the Swiss National Ethics Commission (NEK-CNE) and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture., amongst other organisations, has been lobbying Members of the COE, providing often neglected facts about the ongoing mutilations as grave violations of basic human rights. Big thanks to everybody contributing to the final result!

Relevant excerpts from the resolution (emphasis added by

“[…] 2. The Parliamentary Assembly is particularly worried about a category of violation of the physical integrity of children, which supporters of the procedures tend to present as beneficial to the children themselves despite clear evidence to the contrary. This includes, amongst others, female genital mutilation, the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, early childhood medical interventions in the case of intersexual children and the submission to or coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery.


6. The Assembly strongly recommends that member States promote further awareness in their societies of the potential risks that some of the above mentioned procedures may have on children’s physical and mental health, and take legislative and policy measures that help reinforce child protection in this context.


7. The Assembly therefore calls on member States to:

7.1. examine the prevalence of different categories of non-medically justified operations and interventions impacting on the physical integrity of children in their respective countries, as well as the specific practices related to them, and to carefully consider them in light of the best interests of the child in order to define specific lines of action for each of them;

7.2. initiate focused awareness-raising measures for each of these categories of violation of the physical integrity of children, to be carried out in […] the medical sector (hospitals and individual practitioners) […];


7.4. initiate a public debate […], aimed at reaching a large consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards;

7.5. take the following measures with regard to specific categories of violation of children’s physical integrity:


7.5.3. undertake further research to increase knowledge about the specific situation of intersex people, ensure that no-one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment that is cosmetic rather than vital for health during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to persons concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;


7.7. raise awareness about the need to ensure the participation of children in decisions concerning their physical integrity wherever appropriate and possible, and to adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted.” on Facebook

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)
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents  

STOP IGM Primer:
What everyone should know about Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM)!

>>> Download (PDF, 1.95 MB) 

Intersex Genital Mutilations – 2014 NGO Report to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – Executive Summary

Photo: UNHRC UPR #14, Geneva 20.10.2012

>>> Table of Contents        >>> Download PDF (3.65 MB) 
>>>  Collective Child Rights Network Switzerland NGO Report on IGMs 
[ UPDATE 2015 ] 
UNCRC: Intersex Genital Mutilations = “Harmful Practice” + “Violence”! on Facebook Executive Summary

Intersex children are born with variations of sex anatomy, including atypical genetic make-up, atypical sex hormone producing organs, atypical response to sex hormones, atypical genitals, atypical secondary sex markers. While intersex children may face several problems, in the “developed world” the most pressing are the ongoing Intersex Genital Mutilations, which present a distinct and unique issue constituting significant human rights violations (A).

IGMs include non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible, cosmetic genital surgeries, and/or other harmful medical treatments that would not be considered for “normal” children, without evidence of benefit for the children concerned, but justified by societal and cultural norms and beliefs. (B 1.) Typical forms of IGMs include “masculinising” and “feminising” genital “correction”, castration, sterilisation, imposition of hormones, forced genital exams, vaginal dilations and medical display, human experimentation and selective abortion (B 2., Supplements “Historical Overview”, “Medical Textbooks”).

Since 1950, IGMs have been practised systematically and on an increasingly industrial scale allover the “developed world”, with Switzerland taking a leading role in the global dissemination, and all typical forms still practised in Switzerland today. Because “a hole” is surgically easier to shape than “a pole”, most “ambiguous” children were made into girls, until the 1990s often by amputation of their “enlarged clitoris.” Parents and children are misinformed, kept in the dark, sworn to secrecy and denied appropriate support (B 2.–3., Cases No. 1–6, Supplements “Historical Overview”, “Medical Textbooks”).

With Swiss government, health departments, health care providers, and health assurances refusing to disclose statistics, no actual numbers are available neither on the frequency of intersex births, estimated at 1:500–1:1000 (A 4.), nor on the frequency of IGMs, estimated at 90% of all intersex children and youths (B 3.).

IGMs cause lifelong serious physical and psychological complications, including loss or impairment of sexual sensation, painful scarring, painful intercourse, incontinence, serious problems with passing urine, increased sexual anxieties, less sexual activity, dissatisfaction with functional and aesthetic results, impairment or loss of reproductive capabilities, lifelong dependency of artificial hormones, significantly elevated rates of self-harming behaviour and suicidal tendencies, lifelong mental suffering and trauma. (B, Cases No. 1–6)

For more than 20 years, intersex people, NGOs, human rights and bioethics experts have criticised IGMs as harmful and traumatising, as a fundamental human rights violation, as western genital mutilation, and child sexual abuse, and called for legislation to end it (B, D).

The Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK), the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), the UN-Committees CEDAW and CAT, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Council of Europe (COE) criticise these interventions as a violation of human rights, demand legislative measures (NEK, SRT, COE), historical reappraisal, acknowledgement by society of suffering inflicted (NEK) and compensation for victims (NEK, CAT) (D).

The Swiss Federal Government, Cantonal Health Departments and National Medical Bodies still refuse to take action, but allow the human rights violations of intersex children and adolescents to continue unhindered (B 3., C, D, E, Annexe 2).

This NGO Report to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Swiss state report was compiled by,, and SI Selbsthilfe Intersexualität. Elaborating on the paragraphs on IGM in the Child Rights Network Switzerland NGO Report (p. 25–26), it contains concluding recommendations (F).

>>> Table of Contents  >>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)  >>> Collective NGO Report on IGMs 

IGM Primer #1: Clitoris Amputations & Intersex Genital Mutilations

Click to enlarge! on Facebook

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)
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents  

STOP IGM Primer:
What everyone should know about Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM)!

>>> Download (PDF, 1.95 MB) 

Intersex Genital Mutilations criticised in Swiss Child Rights Network NGO Report to UN CRC – Upcoming thematic Intersex Report on IGMs

Foto: UNHRC Intersex Side Event, Geneva 11.03.2014  >>> Flyer (PDF) >>> Press (PDF) on Facebook’s contribution to the Joint Swiss NGO CRC Report 2014 (PDF), on p. 25–26:

Child Rights Network Switzerland:
Second and third NGO report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

4.6 Protection against abuse: Genital mutilation

Assessment by the Child Rights Network Switzerland

[Intersex Genital Mutilations]

Since 1950, children with atypical sex anatomies (intersex, DSD, hermaphrodites) are systematically subjected to irreversible, medically unnecessary interventions in an attempt to fix their sex. Such interventions include cosmetic genital surgery, castration, sterilisation and hormone treatment. Swiss clinics were significantly involved in the global propagation of “genital correction surgeries”. As female sex organs are surgically easier to shape than male organs, most children were made into girls, often by amputating their “enlarged” clitoris. Parents were misinformed, kept in the dark and received no appropriate support. Treatment of such nature leads to serious physical and psychological complications. For the last 20 years, victims and NGOs have been criticising these interventions as a massive violation of human rights, including the right to physical integrity, denouncing them as “intersex genital mutilation”. The UN-Committees CEDAW and CAT, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the Council of Europe (COE) and the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK) criticise these interventions as a violation of human rights and demand legislative measures (NEK, SRT, COE), historical reappraisal, acknowledgement by society of suffering inflicted (NEK) and compensation for victims (NEK, CAT).

The Child Rights Network Switzerland recommends that the Committee oblige Switzerland:

–– to implement the full range of recommendations by the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics “On the management of differences of sex development” (intersex, DSD), to consider legislative measures banning cosmetic genital surgery on intersex children, to conduct a historical appraisal of the human rights violations inflicted on intersex children and youth in society, and to compensate victims in an appropriate manner;

(Unfortunately, all the subheaders in the section on mutilation were ‘lost in translation.’)

In addition, we made sure that on p. 15 of the report “Intersex” was not only mentioned in the assessment, but the “I” also added in the subheading and in the recommendations. 😉

Thanks to everybody who contributed to make this happen! As far as we know, this is the 4th time in a NGO/NHI Report to the CRC that cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex children were criticised as a serious human rights violation, and the 2nd time that IGM was actually named and spelled out!

What’s more, an additional specific Intersex CRC NGO Report, prepared together with Swiss peer support group and Swiss parents peer support group SI Selbsthilfe Intersexualität, including supplemental General information on IGMs is now available!    >>> Download    >>> Executive Summary

Intersex Protests + Info: “25th ESPU 2014”, Innsbruck (Austria), May 6–10

Photo: 1. Peaceful Protest vs. “23rd ESPU 2012”, Zurich 09.05.2012   >>> Open Letter (PDF)

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation! on FacebookIntersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs), i.e. non-consenual, medically unnecessary genital surgeries, castrations and other invasive ‘therapies’ on children with variations of sex anatomy, have been perpetrated systematically since 1950 all over the ‘developed’ world.

Paediatric urologists are particularly do-or-die perpetrators of these ‘treatments’ violating the human rights of the children concerned, and in Austria, the Innsbruck Medical University and their children’s clinics are particularly infamous institutions.

What’s more, Austria is the country of origin of the racist and later official nazi diagnosis ‘Intersexual Constitution’, introducing the term ‘Intersex’ in human medicine in the 1920s, and moulding the medical discourse of intersex as ‘degenerated’, ‘pathological’ and ‘inferior’ until today, and the person coining the term was a professor of gynaecology in Innsbruck.

The ’25th Anniversary Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Urologists (ESPU)’ promotes an abundance of IGMs, and its programme includes some of the world’s most notorious mutilators from all over, e.g. John Gearhart (Baltimore), Warren Snodgrass (Dallas), Pierre Mouriquand (Bron, France), Peter Cuckow (London), Christian Radmayr (Innsbruck), Joao Pippi Salle (Toronto), Berenice Bilharinho de Mendonça (São Paulo), Alaa El-Ghoneimi (Paris), etc.

Help reminding the perpetrators that it is NOT OK to mutilate defenceless children!

>>> All the dates here!

2 INFO NIGHTS Tue 6 + Wed 7   –   6 PEACEFUL PROTESTS Wed 7 – Sat 10

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
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents 

>>> John Gearhart (‘ESPU 2014’): ‘female orgasm = successful vaginal penetration’
John Gearhart (‘ESPU 2014’): ‘Western Cutting of Clitorises is no Mutilation!’ 

See also:
Open Letter of Concern to ‘4th WOFAPS’ 2013
Open Letter of Concern to ‘9th Joint Meeting’ 2013
Open Letter to ‘4th I-DSD Symposium’ 2013
Open Letter to ’51st Annual Meeting of ESPE’ 2012
Open Letter to ‘4th ISHID’ 2011
Open Letter to ‘3rd EuroDSD Symposium 2011’
Documentation ‘Intersex Genital Mutilations’ (PDF, 2.4 MB) 

Study: How Parents ‘Consenting’ to Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs) do so because of Biased Information given by Doctors

>>> A recent Exploratory Study illustrates how parents who ‘decide’ to ‘consent’ to submitting healthy intersexed infants to mutilating cosmetic genital surgeries do so heavily due to biased medicalised information provided by doctors:

Streuli JC, Vayena E, Cavicchia-Balmer Y, and Huber J. Shaping parents: Impact of contrasting professional counseling on parents' decision making for children with disorders of sex development. J Sex Med 2013;10:1953–1960. is pleased to have contributed to this study, directly by taking part in the initial focus group to identify demedicalised vs. medicalised counseling (the ‘activists’ credited in the paper), as well as indirectly since the focus group as well as the whole project taking off were not least a result of increased public pressure due to our nonviolent protest in front of the Zurich University Children’s Hospital which attracted considerable media coverage.   More on the study after the break …

The study also echoes Suzanne Kessler’s important 1998 findings, that parents are in a conflicting situation which usually prevents them from being able to objectively assess the best interests of their intersex child when ‘consenting’ to cosmetic genital surgeries (‘Lessons from the Intesexed’, p 100-104).

Read moreStudy: How Parents ‘Consenting’ to Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs) do so because of Biased Information given by Doctors

Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGMs): “At seven, they cut my genital to make me look more like a girl” – Al Jazeera English, 01.11.2013

>>> TV-Interview with Daniela “Nella” Truffer ( on occasion of the “3rd Gender Hoax in Germany” media frenzy during the first half of this soundbite-sized news-clip. As always, Daniela says it as it is, bearing witness to western genital mutilation no matter how hard it is, year after year, exposing the gruesome practices usually hidden from the view of ordinary citicens, calling for justice. A transcript of the whole Interview can be found after the break.

Below the video there’s an AFP news report, featuring Lucie Veith (Intersexuelle Menschen e.V.) stating clearly that “the cosmetic genital surgeries for newborns must be forbidden altogether”. The Report also quotes the recent resolution by the Council of Europe, calling for legislation as well.

(Note in contrast the German Green Party MP and gay spokesman Volker Beck during the 2nd half of the video, beating around the bush, calling for nice and comfy chats with the perpetrators and that’s it. Fortunately the rest of the German Green Party has moved much faster than Beck, actually calling for legislation in parliament!)

Many thanks to everybody who spoke true to the media about the mutilations!

The interview with Daniela “Nella” Truffer (

– You were also born as an intersex person. Could you please tell us your story?
– How were you treated when you grew up?
– When were you operated on and why?
– What consequence did this operation have for you then and now?
– What would you have wanted your parents and doctors to do?
– Do you still feel confronted with prejudices in your every day life?

I was born with so called atypical genitalia.
The doctors couldn’t tell if I was a boy or a girl.
At two and a half months they castrated me, they threw my testicles in the garbage bin.
When I was seven they cut off my genital to make me look more like a girl.
The doctors always lied to me and my parents.
I spent my life in fear, pain and shame. I couldn’t talk to anybody.
Only after meeting others like me I found out that I wasn’t alone.
I wish I could have grown up without surgery and decided myself.
When I started to talk about the mutilations to the media I lost my job.

– What do you think about Germany’s new law?
– Do you think it addresses the core issues of intersexual people?
– Why do you say it discriminates against people?

This new law is stigmatising, bound to result in more pressure on parents and more intersex genital mutilations.
Persons concerned were NOT consulted. We demand legislation to end the surgeries.
For 60 years now, western states condone clitoris amputations on intersex babies.
In June 2013, the German parliament approved the doctors to continue.

>>> Documentation ‘Intersex Genital Mutilations: History & Current Practice’ 
>>> IGM Primer: What everyone should know about Intersex Genital Mutilations!

“Intersex: Third Gender in Germany” (Spiegel, Huff Post, Guardian, …): Silly Season Fantasies vs. Reality of Genital Mutilations

>>> Deutsch

«A Gonad For A Gonad, A Lust Organ For A Lust Organ» - Garry L. Warne (left) at the main entrance of '3rd EuroDSD Symposium', Lübeck 20.5.11Peaceful protest outside the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children,
host of the infamous ‘ISHID 2011 Live Surgeries’, London 18.09.2011

In a nutshell: The new German birth certificate law is NOT about making an optional ‘3rd gender entry’ available for the intersexed, but in fact
prohibits ‘ambiguous’ children to be registered as ‘M’ or ‘F’.

Therefore, for the persons concerned, this new law is stigmatising, bound to result in more mutilating ‘genital corrections’, and generally bad news – quite contrary to the ‘uplifting’ ‘gender progress’ fantasy the media made out of it,
at the expense of even more mutilated children, again.

Press Release by, 22.08.2013:   [ German 20.08.2011 ]

Heidi Walcutt (1997): 'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation' on Facebook‘The option of selecting “blank”, in addition to the standard choices of “male” or [“]female” on birth certificates will become available in Germany from November 1,’  claim Spiegel (16.08.), Huffington Post (17.08), Guardian (18.08.), Guardian (19.08.), etc.

However, those (and more) claims are not based on facts, but derived from whataboutery and speculation.

We ask: When will Intersex Genital Mutilations finally cease to be ‘overlooked’ – and articles about intersex finally give persons concerned and their organisations a say, too?

        Reporting on Intersex: A Call for Fairness and Accuracy
        • Fact #1: New German intersex Law: Stigmatising Prohibition, NOT ‘Option’
        • Fact #2: Intersex-Organisations unanimously and strongly criticise § 22 (3) PStG
        • Fact #3: State ‘Licence to Mutilate’ – in spite of UN condemning IGM as torture 

Read more“Intersex: Third Gender in Germany” (Spiegel, Huff Post, Guardian, …): Silly Season Fantasies vs. Reality of Genital Mutilations

‘Boston ’96 was a PROTEST!’ Happy 10th Intersex Awareness Day 2013!

Hermaphrodites With Attitude (1997): Heidi Walcutt 'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!'Picture: Intersex Protests vs. ‘4th World Congress of Pediatric Surgery WOFAPS’, Berlin 14.10.2013

Hermaphrodites With Attitude, Boston 26.10.1996Today, for the 10th time Intersex People, Survivors, Partners, Families, Friends and Allies around the globe celebrate Intersex Awareness Day, commemorating the very first INTERSEX PROTEST in Boston in 1996 against the Annual Convention of the American Academy of Padiatrics (AAP), and in support of now 20 Years of Organised Struggle to End INTERSEX GENITAL MUTILATIONS.

When was the last time YOU talked or wrote about INTERSEX PROTESTS?
When was the last time YOU gave credit to those facilitating the protests?

           When was the last time YOU talked or wrote about IGM?
           When was the last time YOU named names of doctors and clinics?

           When was the last time YOU participated in an INTERSEX PROTEST?

STOP IGM Primer:  What everyone should know about Intersex Genital Mutilations,
the ongoing 20 Year Fight to End it,
and today’s 17 Years of Peaceful Intersex Protests!
>>> Download (PDF 1.95 MB)

Be informed – Take part in ending IGM!

•  Intersex Awareness Day 2015
•  Intersex Awareness Day 2016
•  Intersex Awareness Day 2017
•  Intersex Awareness Day 2018
•  Intersex Awareness Day 2019
•  Intersex Awareness Day 2023

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)
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>>
Table of Contents

Campaign against ‘corrective surgery’ on children born with ‘atypical genitalia’

UNO Geneva, January 26, 2009 (Photo: Ärger)   –> CEDAW #43 Shadow Report

Doctors “playing God with childrens’ sex”

It’s a boy! It’s a girl! But what happens when life doesn’t fit in with greeting cards and the defining moment of childbirth becomes a bewildering puzzle?

Swiss intersex activist Daniela Truffer is spearheading a campaign to stop genital surgery and hormone treatment on children born with indeterminate sexual organs.

Truffer argues that affected individuals should be given the time to grow up and decide for themselves whether they wish to become male or female or remain in-between.

“Forced surgery can not be the answer,” she said, quoting medical studies that reveal poor outcomes and show that most patients suffer a lifetime of frustration and regret.

“These surgeries are painful and irreversible and most likely to reduce or remove sexual feeling. Non-consented cosmetic surgeries violate the right to physical integrity and self-determination. It’s a human rights issue,” Truffer told

A condition that is seen in one in 2,000 births, people born neither fully male nor female have been an acknowledged part of society since Antiquity. But over time they became an invisible minority, particularly since “corrective” surgical intervention became the norm in the 20th century.

>>> Continued: Campaign against corrective surgery on children born with indeterminate genitalia argues that children should be allowed to grow up untouched (