Intersex Genital Mutilation: Denmark stands in shame – UN acts

UPDATE!  Now 29 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – Still Counting …

Photo: Rigshospitalet security attempts to shut down nonviolent intersex protest
on occasion of the ‘6th I-D$D Symposium’, Copenhagen 29.06.2017 – nice try … 😉 on FacebookPress Release by, 08.02.2018:

2018 CAT Denmark LoIPR NGO Intersex>>> Shocking new report to the UN Committee against Torture UNCAT (PDF 385kb) by international intersex NGO and intersex advocate Ditte Dyreborg documents genital mutilation of intersex children persisting in Danish university clinics including the Rigshospitalet, and will likely give rise to a follow-up investigation by the Committee, kicking off at the upcoming 63rd UNCAT session in May.

UN: Genital Mutilation and Torture

After previous evidence and testimony by and Ditte Dyreborg, UNCAT had already investigated Danish children’s clinics during the last review cycle, and consequently reprimanded Denmark for IGM in 2016, recognising IGM to constitute at least “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” falling under the prohibition of torture, and obliging Denmark to, inter alia,

“Take the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to guarantee the respect for the physical integrity and autonomy of intersex persons and ensure that no one is subjected during infancy or childhood to unnecessary medical or surgical procedures”
     – CAT/C/DNK/CO/6-7, paras 42–43

Again as a result of evidence provided by and Dyreborg, also the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child UNCRC reprimanded Denmark in 2017, recognising IGM as a “harmful cultural practice” just like FGM, and again obliging Denmark to, inter alia,

“undertake investigation of incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex children without informed consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the child victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation
     – CRC/C/DNK/CO/5, para 24

Currently, thanks to collaborative reports by and fellow intersex NGOs and advocates, the total count stands at 28 UN Treaty body reprimands for IGM, with UNCRC expected to add yet another one later today in the afternoon!

UPDATE: YAY!!  CRC/C/ESP/CO/5-6 –> p. 7, para 24 “Harmful Practices”   :-)  :-)  :-)

Ministry of Health: “Denmark plans to continue this practice”

As the >>> new UNCAT report substantiates, also in 2018 in Denmark unnecessary and harmful interventions on intersex babies continue, including partial clitoris amputation, forced sterilisation and “crippling” penis surgery known to cause severe, lifelong physical and psychological pain and suffering, for example at the Rigshospitalet (Copenhagen University Hospital), the Aarhus University Hospital and the Odense University Hospital.

However, instead of finally acknowledging the serious human rights violations of IGM denounced by UNCAT and UNCRC and taking action towards human rights and justice, the Danish Ministry of Health defiantly vows to continue mutilating intersex toddlers just in spite:

«Denmark plans to continue this practice of helping intersex children through genital surgery to overcome functional and practical difficulties, but surgery will always be based on a medical indication, and parents are always involved in the decision regarding the operation.»  
     – Danish Ministry of Health, Geneva 15.09.2017

Government and Parliament: Acquiescence = Complicity

Denmark as a contracting State party to CRC, CAT, CCPR, CRPD and CEDAW is under binding and non-derogable obligation to prevent and prosecute genital mutilation and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment also on intersex children.

State officials, including members of parliament standing idly by while the state-sponsored daily mutilations continue, even after repeated reprimands by UN treaty bodies, make themselves just as guilty as those wielding the scalpels or coaxing overwhelmed parents into illegally “consenting” to IGM on their defenceless children.

Intersex children abused as cannon fodder for LGBT politics

Also Denmark has its share of national Trans and LGBT NGOs instrumentalising the pain and suffering of intersex children submitted to IGM as a means to an end for LGBT politics and their own gain, instead of demanding effective remedies to end IGM.

An interrelated harmful misconception is misrepresenting IGM as “health-care issue” and the promotion of “self-regulation” by the current perpetrators, again instead of demanding effective legal remedies to end IGM practices.

Currently, such abuse and harmful misrepresentations of intersex dominate the political discourse.

Repentant surgeon: “Only the fear of the judge will make things change”

On the other hand, so far there are hardly political actors consistently proposing effective measures to end IGM (as stipulated by international right), including legislation explicitly criminalising or adequately sanctioning all forms of IGM, and including addressing typical obstacles to access to redress and justice for IGM survivors, particularly the statutes of limitations (again as stipulated by CRC, CAT, CCPR, CRPD, CEDAW, etc.).

“Things hardly evolve in the medical world.”
“In my opinion, only the fear of the judge will make things change. We need statutes of limitation long enough so that victims may sue as adults.”

     – Dr Blaise Meyrat demands the prohibition of forced genital surgeries on children and adolescents with Variations of Sex Anatomy, and “Human Rights for Hermaphrodites too!”

Persons concerned shall later decide themselves, if they want surgeries or not, and if yes, which.

“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
29 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – and counting … on Facebook

2018 CAT Denmark LoIPR NGO IntersexIGM in Denmark: 2018 CAT LoIPR NGO Report
Human Rights Violations Of Persons With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM in Denmark  Complicity of the State  IGM = Inhuman Treatment
>>> Download PDF (385 kb) on Facebook

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 on Facebook

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 on Facebook

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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