UPDATE! UN-CESCR obliges Germany to “prohibit” IGM! (see below)
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) reviewed the human rights record of Germany under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during its 64th session in Geneva. Committee experts were “very concerned” about IGM and asked about legal protections, while Germany admitted that “Data on surgeries performed on intersex children were not being collected”, promising once more to finally take action (soon):
“Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights meets with civil society from Argentina, Mali and Germany (UN press relase 24.09.2018)
Discussion on Germany
Statement from the national human rights institution
CLAUDIA MAHLER, German Institute for Human Rights […] Finally, intersexed children were still victims of often irreversible surgery, Ms. Mahler said.”
(The German Institute for Human Rights, in its 2017 NHRI report (PDF, p. 9, item 7) had already raised “medically unnecessary and deferrable operations and therapies” and, referring to CEDAW condemning IGM in Germany, also “legal steps […] to prohibit” such practices.)
“Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reviews report of Germany (UN press relase 25.09.2018)
[…] The Experts were very concerned that unnecessary operations continued to be performed on intersex children and asked what was being done to prevent such medical interventions taking place.”
Responses by the Delegation
The delegation explained that […] Data on surgeries performed on intersex children were not being collected, but the Government had agreed that medical intervention could only be carried out if there was a risk to the child’s life or health, and would bring forward such legislation.
StopIGM.org/Zwischengeschlecht.org applauds the national human rights institution (NHRI) German Institute for Human Rights for its continued efforts to report IGM practices to relevant human rights bodies.
Hopefully, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) will now go beyond previous limited recommendations on intersex and IGM falling short of adequately recognising the serious violations of non-derogable human rights constituted by genital mutilation, harmful practices and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment perpetrated on intersex children in University hospitals around the globe, but will explicitly oblige Germany to criminalise or adequately sanction IGM practices in its upcoming Concluding observations for Germany due later this month – in line with the 2016 CESCR General comment No. 22 highlighting States’ non-derogable “obligation to protect”, namely “to prohibit and take measures to prevent […] medically unnecessary, irreversible and involuntary surgery and treatment performed on intersex infants or children” (E/C.12/GC/22, para 59).
UPDATE!! While still falling short of General comment 22 stressing the (non-derogable) “obligation to protect” everybody from genital mutilation, forced sterilisation etc. (in line with CAT, CCPR etc.), CESCR at least explicitly called for legal prohibition of IGM practices in Germany: “The Committee recommends that the State party take necessary measures to prohibit medically unnecessary gender confirmation surgery on intersex infants” (E/C.12/DEU/CO/6, para 24-25) Unfortunately, the language (“gender confirmation surgery”) is severely misleading, however typical for the way how trans issues (“transgender-persons”) are also lumped in.
• ‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
• “Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
• 38 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
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 Contents
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)