Nepal > UN-CEDAW condemns Intersex Infanticide & Genital Mutilation

Photo: 1st Nepali Intersex National Workshop 2016, co-organised by Esam Regmi and Parsu Ram Rai  >>> More info on FacebookThe UN Women’s Rights Committee (CEDAW) condemned “infanticide, forced marriage and medically unnecessary procedures” on intersex children in Nepal as a “harmful practice” (just like FGM).
, already reprimanded by the UN Child Rights Committee (CRC) in 2016, remained silent on questions by CEDAW experts in Geneva.
CEDAW now calls on Nepal to “prohibit”
and “prosecute” such acts, and to ensure “effective remedies for victims”.
Nepal can no longer ignore harmful practices on intersex people! (Nor continue to falsely claim to prevent harmful practices by introducing a “3rd gender in legal documents” and generally misrepresent intersex as “transgender”.)

During its 71st Session in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) examined the human rights record of Nepal.

Nepali intersex advocates Esan Regmi and Parsu Ram Rai together with submitted a Joint Thematic Intersex NGO Report (PDF) and briefed the Committee, providing compelling evidence. CEDAW then raised these serious violations with Nepal, first in the written questions in the List of Issue (LOI) and then during the Session in Geneva – both times, the Nepali Government remained silent.

The intersex advocates welcome the strong binding recommendations (fulltext see below) now issued by the Committe, explicitly condemning infanticide, genital mutilation and other harmful practices on Nepali intersex people in Nepal – both domestic and abroad!

Esan Regmi and Parsu Ram Rai (Nepali intersex advocates):

“These renewed Concluding Observations by CEDAW are another milestone for the rights and dignity of intersex people in Nepal, yet there is still much to do. We hope that this strong recommendations will break through the differences in the discussion on intersex issues and that Nepal will take a leap for change!”

Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer (

“This marks the first time that CEDAW (or any UN Committee) explicitly addressed intersex infanticide in Concluding observations. Intersex advocates in Africa [1] [2] 3 [4] [5], Asia and South America have long denounced intersex infanticide and child abandonment as a pressing issue, same as genital mutilations in in ‘western’ children’s clinics. Also CRC already explicitly condemned medical genital mutilation and massive bullying preventing intersex children from attending school in Nepal as harmful practices. These serious violations must stop!”

Nepal: Full Binding CEDAW71 Intersex Recommendations
>>> Download Full Concl Obs:
CEDAW/C/NPL/CO/6 –> paras 18(c),(d) – 19(a),(c),(d)
>>> 2018 CEDAW Joint Intersex NGO Report (PDF) | Joint Intersex Statement (PDF)
UN Press Releases Highlight Intersex Infanticide and IGM in Nepal
Timeline Nepal CEDAW 2018

Stereotypes and harmful practices

18.   The Committee welcomes the criminalization of a number of harmful practices, including chhaupadi, dowry, accusation of witchcraft, discrimination against Dalit and child marriage. It, however, expresses concern at:


       (c)    Discrimination against intersex persons, namely abuse, reported infanticide, forced marriage and conduct of medically unnecessary procedures on Nepali intersex infants and children, on the territory of the State party or abroad, before they reach an age when they are able to provide their free, prior and informed consent;

       (d)    Underreporting of harmful practices and insufficient short- and long-term support for victims.

19.    Recalling its previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/NPL/CO/4-5, para. 18), the Committee recommends that the State party, in line with the Joint General Recommendation No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices, as well as with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for the elimination of all harmful practices:

       (a)    Expedite (i) the adoption of legislation prohibiting all forms of harmful traditional practices, investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of such practices, impose adequate sanctions and provide compensation to victims; and (ii) the development of a comprehensive strategy, with concrete goals and resources, in collaboration with civil society and local government, to raise awareness of all stakeholders, including the police, the judiciary, village-based health networks, as well as of religious and community leaders on legislation on harmful practices and on the effects of these practices on the lives of women and girls;


       (c)    Adopt legislative provisions that explicitly prohibit the performance of unnecessary surgical or other medical procedures on intersex children before they reach the legal age of consent, and train medical and psychological professionals on the rights of intersex persons;

       (d)    Ensure that victims of harmful practices can file complaints without fear of retribution or stigma and have access to effective remedies and victim support, such as legal, social, medical and psychological assistance and shelters.

2018-CEDAW-Nepal-NGO-Intersex-IGMMIntersex Genital Mutilations in Nepal: 2018 CEDAW
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reprod. Anatomy
Infanticide + IGM in Nepal • Complicity of the State • Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (328 kb)

>>> 2018 CEDAW Joint Intersex Statement Nepal (PDF)
>>> UN Press Releases Highlight Intersex Infanticide and IGM in Nepal
Timeline Nepal CEDAW 2018

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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