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. Zwischengeschlecht.org, 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 Zwischengeschlecht.org):
“[…] 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.”
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)