Action + Letter on Intersex Awareness Day in Chile, Santiago 26.10.2015:
Camilo Godoy Peña outside Government Palace with placard “No to IGM”
In December, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), published an extensive >>> Report “Violence against LGBTI Persons” (PDF 7 MB, spanish) – with an english version to follow –, which contains a seperate Chapter E “Medical Violence against Intersex Persons” (p. 126-133) and clearly and unmistakably criticises IGM practices.
For this from this blog a heartfelt “Thank you!” to everybody involved!
The report is based on testimonies to and reports on IGM practices amongst others from Argentine, Brasil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA, and refers amongst others to the Thematic Intersex NGO Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by Zwischengeschlecht.org/StopIGM.org from 2014 und and the CRC reprimanding Chile in October 2015.
IACHR also published a >>> Press Release No. 143/15 zum Bericht (english); which again contains clear statements on intersex:
For example, violence against intersex persons is based on prejudice toward body diversity and specifically toward those whose bodies differ from what is considered male or female. The violence suffered by intersex persons for the most part is different from that suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) persons. […]
Meanwhile, the violence that affects intersex persons is very different. Intersex children are often forced to undergo surgical operations and procedures that, for the most part, are not medically necessary, for the sole purpose of changing their genitals to look more like those of a boy or a girl. These surgeries, which are irreversible in nature, tend to be done without their consent—on newborn babies or very young children—and can cause enormous harm to intersex persons, including chronic pain, loss of genital sensitivity, sterilization, trauma, and reduced ability or inability to feel sexual pleasure.
IACHR Criticises Lack of Data Collection and Monitoring
From January 2013 to February 2014, the Commission also collected data on violence against LGBTI persons and published the resulting statistics in December 2014. In a >>> Press Release and an >>> Annex (PDF), the Commission explicitly critisised the lack of data collection on medical violence against intersex people, and concluded that root causes include that this form of violence is State approved and mostly ignored by media and organisations, with shame and fear of survivors compounding the invisibility:
Achievements Thanks to Initiatives and Testimonies by Persons Concerned
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights investigated human rights violations against intersex people latest since 2013. Crucial were once more initiatives and moving testimonies by survivors of IGM practices and their allies:
IACHR Intersex Hearing, Washington 15.03.2013 (left to right): Natasha Jiménez (Mulabi, Costa Rica), Paula Sandrine Machado (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil), Pidgeon Pagonis (Advocates for Informed Choice, USA), Mauro Cabral (initiator of the hearing, Consórcio Latino Americano de Trabalho sobre Intersexualidade, Argentina).
>>> Video (multilingual) >>> Report AIC (en) >>> Report HRBrief (en) >>> Photos
In addition, IACHR commissioned a >>> Thematic Report by Anne Tamar-Mattis of Advocates for Informed Choice (PDF, english).
Hopefully, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and survivors of IGM practices will internationally continue upping the pressure – until Intersex Genital Mutilations will finally be history, historical reappraisal and coming to terms with the past will take place internationally, victims will be adequately compensated, and future perpetrators will feel the full force of the law!
• UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) 2015: IGM = Harmful Practice
• UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
• UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) to examine IGM Practices
• UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condems IGM
• CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!
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 are IGMs?
>>> 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 as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB) >>> Table of Contents