Geneva > Motion Filed to Prohibit Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM)

[ Français ]  [ Deutsch ]

Photo: Nonviolent Intersex Protest by, Geneva 25 January 2009   #CEDAW43

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'! on FacebookAs a result of the work of, and in consultation with, a Motion (french, PDF) has been filed in the Great Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva by Members of Parliament of the Party “Ensemble à Gauche”, which calls for a legal prohibition of Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM), to provide free psychosocial support for intersex people and their families, to investigate cases of IGM in Geneva, and to pay compensation to IGM survivors.

The Motion explicitly refers to similar stipulations in the 2012 recommendations of the Swiss National Bioethics Commission (NEK-CNE), the so far 4 UN reprimands to Switzerland for IGM, namely by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the Treaty body monitoring the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), as well as to the renewed investigation of IGM in Switzerland by CAT – all of them direct results of the work of

The full text of the Motion in English:


Proposal presented by MPs:
Jean Burgermeister, Jocelyne Haller, Pablo Cruchon, Stéphanie Valentino, Olivier Baud, Pierre Bayenet, Christian Zaugg, Salika Wenger, Pierre Vanek, Rémy Pagani, Jean Batou, …
Date of deposition : 12 July 2018

Proposal for a motion

To end the mutilations of intersex people

The GREAT COUNCIL of the Republic and Canton of Geneva,


– the failure to respect the choice of the persons concerned during non-urgent surgeries on children with a variation of sex anatomy at birth;

– the psychological and physical damage inflicted on persons who have undergone this type of surgery;

– the fact that Geneva hospitals, and especially HUGs, practise this type of surgery;

– the fact that Switzerland has been condemned four times by various UN bodies on this subject;

– the fact that the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) is currently requesting information from Switzerland on measures taken against these mutilations

invites the Council of State:

– to prohibit non-urgent surgeries, without the consent of the person concerned, on persons with a variation of sex anatomy;

– to recognise such surgeries, which have taken place without the consent of the person, as mutilations and to compensate the persons who have been victims of them;

– to present a report establishing an overview of these practices in the canton’s hospitals and clinics and documenting cases of such mutilations over the past 50 years as well as the evolution of the medical practices in this field;

– to guarantee intersex people the right to make their own decisions about the treatment and medical care they can receive, on the basis of informed consent;

– to provide free psychosocial support for intersex people and their families. »

To end the impunity of IGM practitioners welcomes this Motion. To our knowledge, this is the very first political initiative to actually do something against IGM in Switzerland (instead of merely instrumentalising intersex and IGM for LGBT and gender politics) since the 2017 rejection of our 2015 Petition in both Federal Councils, referring to counterfactual claims by the Federal Government alleging IGM would be strictly a “thing of the past” and all NEK-CNE recommendations were “implemented or in the process of being implemented”.

We hope that – like the National Bioethics Commission and the UN Treaty bodies – the Great Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva will not have the wool pulled over their eyes, but will take a hard look at the reality of IGM in Geneva and its lasting harmful consequences, and recognise that IGM is a non-partisan human rights issue constituting serious violations of non-derogable human rights, namely the right to protection from torture and genital mutilation.

The Geneva University Hospital (HUG) is a well-known practitioner and defender of IGM in the guise of the infamous “individual case by case approach”. has documented the practice at the HUG to all mentioned UN Treaty bodies as part of the evidence that resulted in the 4 UN Reprimands for IGM to Switzerland – including advocacy of IGM practices on the HUG homepage and HUG doctors publicly reporting impairment or loss of sexual sensation from partial clitoris amputation in HUG intersex patients.

Photo: Daniela Truffer ( speaking in Geneva at the Rainbow Cities Network NGO meeting, 20.11.2015

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
36 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)

Leave a comment