Genital mutilation: German draft law fails intersex children

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Photo: Intersex Protest vs. German medial societies + D$D guidelines , Leipzig 08.11.2014

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'! on FacebookA Draft of a law for the protection of children from sex-modifying surgical interventions” (PDF, in german) published by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) claims to protect intersex children from non-consensual and unnecessary genital surgery. However, the Draft law contains fatal shortcomings and loopholes due to unqualified and harmful legal misconceptions of applicable human rights standards, and in fact proposes to explicitly legalise most IGM practices:

Opinion by on the BMJV Draft Law

>>> Full opinion (in german): PDF | DOCX


The Intersex-NGO welcomes that the Federal Government, after many years of promises and expert meetings with no consequences, now finally wishes to effectively protect intersex children from unnecessary genital surgery, and that the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), referring to the demands of persons concerned and their organisations, as well as to constitutional and human rights, is putting forward a draft bill for discussion. Unfortunately, however, the BMJV draft massively disregards and misinterprets the demands of the persons concerned and their constitutional and human rights, which is why it must be rejected in its present form for the purpose of rectification.

In particular, we criticise that the draft bill

  1. wants to protect intersex children only partially and to a limited extent from non-consensual, unnecessary and harmful interventions, and in turn wants to explicitly allow, among other things, the most frequent unnecessary interventions (p. 2-3)
  2. by making a pseudo-distinction between “sex-aligning” and “sex-altering” interventions, inadmissibly focuses on the perception of the fallible medical practitioners instead of on the consequences for the person concerned and their non-derogable constitutional and human rights (p. 4)
  3. only selectively and incompletely acknowledges relevant constitutional and human rights and UN recommendations, inter alia by focusing one-sidedly on an (unsubstantiated) “right of the child to sexual self-determination”, while completely disregarding the crucial non-derogable human rights to protection against inhuman treatment, harmful practices, etc. (p. 4-7)
  4. disregards minimum requirements for effective protection against serious violations of non-derogable human rights of intersex children, inter alia, ending impunity by criminalising or adequately sanctioning them, ensuring access to justice for victims, inter alia, by adapting the statutes of limitations, the right to compensation, reparation and rehabilitation (p. 7)
  5. one-sidedly focuses on degrading, stigmatising and pathologising medical views and expertise, while continuing to ignore psychosocial, human rights and experiential expertise and support (p. 8)

>>> Full opinion (in german): PDF | DOCX

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
49 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): 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

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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