Australia is currently up for review of Intersex Genital Mutilation at the 60th session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in Geneva. OII Australia has participated in a Joint submission to the Committee, raising IGM practices.
On March 31, the Committe questioned Australia on IGM, with the Government as per usual either denying or defending the practice, and “mistaking” intersex for transgender (pinkwashing).
The following is what was mentioned on IGM in the official UN Summary records:
«22. Mr. Uprimny (Task Force Member) said that he would like to know whether the forced sterilization of persons with disabilities was allowed if consent was given not by the person concerned but by a surrogate. He asked what the Government’s policy was regarding non-consensual genital surgery for intersex individuals and whether such surgery could be performed with surrogate consent.»
«34. [Mr. Walter (Australia) said that] The treatment of intersex children was typically carried out in two stages: firstly, the administration of hormones to suppress the advancement of puberty in the gender of birth and, secondly, the administration of hormones to promote the affirmed gender. Authorization from the Family Court was required for stage 2 but not for stage 1. The third stage, namely surgery, was not usually considered for minors. The number of applications to the Family Court had risen from 5 in 2013 to 23 in 2016. The Government was conscious of the fact that requiring judicial authorization could delay treatment and lead to depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm and was, therefore, looking into possible reforms. In that connection, a number of recent Family Court decisions concerning treatment for intersex children were under review by the Government.»
Usually, the Summary records are fragmentary at best, and unfortunately so far there is no actual transcription of the Intersex Q&A available.
According to tweets by People with Disability Australia Inc. (PWDA) who were present in Geneva, the Australian Gov in addition openly confirmed they’re not willing to implement the recommendations of the Senate inquiries on involuntary sterislisation of intersex people.
So, hopefully the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) will issue strong Concluding Observations on IGM for Australia.
CESCR has already explicitly condemned IGM practices in their General comment No. 22 (2016) on the right to sexual and reproductive health:
«59. Violations of the obligation to protect occur when a State fails to take effective steps to prevent third parties from undermining the enjoyment of the right to sexual and reproductive health. This includes the failure to prohibit and take measures to prevent all forms of violence and coercion committed by private individuals and entities, including domestic violence, rape (including marital rape), sexual assault, abuse and harassment, including during conflict, post-conflict and transition situations; violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons or women seeking abortion or post-abortion care; harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, child and forced marriage, forced sterilization, forced abortion and forced pregnancy; and medically unnecessary, irreversible and involuntary surgery and treatment performed on intersex infants or children.»
• 23 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
• “Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
• UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
• 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!
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