CRC80 > TRANSCRIPT + VIDEO: Belgium questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilation by UN – Gov denies, claims it’s “Medical Treatment”

UN-CRC 80th Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 24.01.2018: Getting ready … on together with Belgian intersex advocate Thierry Bosman, with the support of Intersex Belgium, and with additional help from Londé Ngosso submitted 2 comprehensive NGO Reports on the Situation of Intersex People in Belgium to CRC, which demonstrate that intersex genital mutilation practices continue in Belgium, and during the Pre-Session on 04.06.2018 briefed the Committee with a Joint intersex Statement.

>>> Full CRC Timeline Belgium 2018-2019

During the 80th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Committe is examining the human rights record of Belgium on 24-25 January 2019, with both Session being transmitted on is reporting LIVE from Geneva, hoping the Committee will ask tough questions on IGM practices in Belgium!

Session 1, Thu 24 January 2019, 15-18h

15:50h: (Video @ ca. 00:50:00)YAY!! Committee expert and Country co-rapporteur Ms. Velina Todorova (Bulgaria) raises intersex children and IGM! Criticises non-urgent irreversible surgery and prenatal treatment before the children are old enough to provide informed consent. Asks for statistics. How does the government plan to adress this issue? Maintains this is both an issue of harmful practices and child participation:-)  Unofficial Transcript:

«Intersex children. We have been informed that many non-urgent, irreversible surgical and other procedures including prenatal have been undertaken on intersex children before an age at which that they are able to provide informed consent. Is there statistics available on this matter, and how does the government plan to address this issue? It is both a matter of harmful practice and of participation. The child should be able to agree or disagree on a matter affecting his or her identity.»

Session 2, Fri 25 January 2019, 10-13h

11:24h: (Video @ ca. 01:24:00) Non-answer on “medical procedures for intersex children” by Ms. Christel de Craim, Representative of the Minister of Justice to the National Commission of the Rights of the Child. Refers to Belgian Constitution art. 22bis which guarantees the right to physical integrity, however, there’s no law prohibiting non-vital procedures on intersex children. Decisions are made by parents, medical personnel and the child if old enough. There is no fixed age for children to be able to consent. Mentions trans law of 25 June 2017, but then says herself that this is off-topic. No answers on statistics and how to address human rights issues … :-( (Though kudos for publicly noticing trans legislation is not relevant to intersex children!) Unofficial Translation from original French:

«Ms. Karen van Laethem (President of National Commission on the Rights of the Child): There was a rather specific question on medical procedures for intersex children.»

«Ms. Christel de Craim: Indeed, Article 22bis of the Belgian Constitution provides that every child has the right to respect for his or her moral, physical, psychological and sexual integrity, but there is no legal prohibition in Belgium of non-vital treatment or interventions concerning intersex children who do not have the capacity of discernment to make such a decision.

Article 12 of the Law of 22 August 2002 on the patient’s right stipulates that, depending on age and maturity, the patient is involved in the exercise of his rights.The rights listed in this law may be exercised autonomously by the minor patient who may be considered capable of reasonably assessing his or her interests. When choosing a medical treatment for a child several people are involved, the parents, the caregiver and of course the child himself.

Belgian legislation does not impose age limits because they are relative. The practitioner or caregiver must actually assess the maturity of the minor and verify whether he or she is competent for all or only one of the patient’s rights. Nevertheless, the minor who has the capacity for discernment may exercise the right to refuse medical treatment autonomously, this could also include the refusal of vital treatment. 

Concerning the law of 25 June 2017 reforming the regimes relating to transgender persons regarding the mention of a change in the registration of sex in civil status records and its effects, it is, in my opinion, something else and it makes no sense to mention them here. Thank you.»

>>> Belgique > Communiqué de l’ONU souligne l’absence de protection législative
Italy + Belgium > UN-CRC80 to examine Intersex Genital Mutilation
>>> UPDATE!! UN-CRC condems IGM in Belgium as a “harmful practice” (like FGM)

2018 CRC Belgium NGO (for PSWG) Intersex IGMIntersex Genital Mutilation in Belgium: 2018 CRC Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reprod. Anatomy
IGM in Belgium • Complicity of the State • Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (376 kb)

2018 CRC Belgium NGO (for Session) Intersex IGMIGM in Belgium: 2018 Follow-Up Report (for Session)
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reprod. Anatomy
Gov sidelines Intersex NGOs • International IGM Networks in Belgium
>>> Download as PDF (210 kb)

See also:
‘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)

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