CESCR64 Germany > UN criticises “unnecessary operations on intersex children” – Gov promises “legislation”

UPDATE!  UN-CESCR obliges Germany to “prohibit” IGM! (see below)

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookThe UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) reviewed the human rights record of Germany under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during its 64th session in Geneva. Committee experts were “very concerned” about IGM and asked about legal protections, while Germany admitted that “Data on surgeries performed on intersex children were not being collected”, promising once more to finally take action (soon):

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights meets with civil society from Argentina, Mali and Germany (UN press relase 24.09.2018)
[…]
Discussion on Germany
Statement from the national human rights institution

CLAUDIA MAHLER, German Institute for Human Rights […]  Finally, intersexed children were still victims of often irreversible surgery, Ms. Mahler said.”

(The German Institute for Human Rights, in its 2017 NHRI report (PDF, p. 9, item 7) had already raised “medically unnecessary and deferrable operations and therapies” and, referring to CEDAW condemning IGM in Germany, also “legal steps […] to prohibit” such practices.)

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reviews report of Germany (UN press relase 25.09.2018)
[…]
Follow-up Questions
[…] The Experts were very concerned that unnecessary operations continued to be performed on intersex children and asked what was being done to prevent such medical interventions taking place.”
[…]
Responses by the Delegation
[…]
The delegation explained that […] Data on surgeries performed on intersex children were not being collected, but the Government had agreed that medical intervention could only be carried out if there was a risk to the child’s life or health, and would bring forward such legislation.
[…]”

StopIGM.org/Zwischengeschlecht.org applauds the national human rights institution (NHRI) German Institute for Human Rights for its continued efforts to report IGM practices to relevant human rights bodies.

Hopefully, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) will now go beyond previous limited recommendations on intersex and IGM falling short of adequately recognising the serious violations of non-derogable human rights constituted by genital mutilation, harmful practices and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment perpetrated on intersex children in University hospitals around the globe, but will explicitly oblige Germany to criminalise or adequately sanction IGM practices in its upcoming Concluding observations for Germany due later this month – in line with the 2016 CESCR General comment No. 22 highlighting States’ non-derogable “obligation to protect”, namely “to prohibit and take measures to prevent […] medically unnecessary, irreversible and involuntary surgery and treatment performed on intersex infants or children” (E/C.12/GC/22, para 59).

UPDATE!! While still falling short of General comment 22 stressing the (non-derogable) “obligation to protect” everybody from genital mutilation, forced sterilisation etc. (in line with CAT, CCPR etc.), CESCR at least explicitly called for legal prohibition of IGM practices in Germany: “The Committee recommends that the State party take necessary measures to prohibit medically unnecessary gender confirmation surgery on intersex infants” (E/C.12/DEU/CO/6, para 24-25) Unfortunately, the language (“gender confirmation surgery”) is severely misleading, however typical for the way how trans issues (“transgender-persons”) are also lumped in.

>>> Intersex: How to Distinguish Medical Crimes from Health Care

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!

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)

Genève > Grand Conseil: Motion visant à l’interdiction des mutilations génitales intersexes (MGI)

[ English ]  [ Deutsch ]

UPDATE!  Soumission au Grand Conseil de Genéve par StopIGM.org (PDF 136 kb)


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

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookSuite au travail de et en consultation avec StopIGM.org/Zwischengeschlecht.org, une Motion (PDF) a été déposée au Grand Conseil de la République et canton de Genève par des député-e-s du Parti “Ensemble à Gauche”, qui revendique une prohibition légale des Mutilations Génitales Intersexes (MGI), pour fournir aux personnes intersexes et leurs familles un soutien psychosocial gratuit, pour faire des enquêtes sur des MGI à Genève, et indemniser les personnes qui en ont été victimes.

La motion fait explicitement référence à des stipulations similaires dans les recommandations de 2012 de la Commission nationale d’éthique pour la médecine humaine (NEK-CNE), les 4 réprimandes de l’ONU à la Suisse pour MGI, notamment par le Comité des droits de l’enfant (CRC), le Comité contre la torture (CAT), le Comité pour l’élimination de la discrimination à l’égard des femmes (CEDAW) et le Comité des droits de l’homme (HRCttee) en tant qu’organe de suivi du Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques (CCPR), ainsi qu’à la nouvelle enquête du CAT sur les MGI en Suisse — tous des résultats directs des travaux de StopIGM.org/Zwischengeschlecht.org.

Le texte intégral de la motion propre :

«M 2491

Proposition présentée par les député-e-s :
Mmes et MM. Jean Burgermeister, Jocelyne Haller, Pablo Cruchon, Stéphanie Valentino, Olivier Baud, Pierre Bayenet, Christian Zaugg, Salika Wenger, Pierre Vanek, Jean Batou, Marjorie de Chastonay, David Martin, Katia Leonelli, Adrienne Sordet, Yves de Matteis, Yvan Rochat, Paloma Tschudi, Frédérique Perler, Delphine Klopfenstein Broggini, François Lefort, Pierre Eckert, Anne Marie von Arx-Vernon, Claude Bocquet, Diego Esteban, Salima Moyard, Jean-Charles Rielle, Léna Strasser, Caroline Marti, Nicole Valiquer Grecuccio, Alessandra Oriolo, Sylvain Thévoz, Grégoire Carasso
Date de dépôt : 12 juillet 2018

Proposition de motion

Pour en finir avec les mutilations des personnes intersexes

Le GRAND CONSEIL de la République et canton de Genève

considérant :

– le non-respect du choix des personnes concernées lors d’opérations non-urgentes sur des enfants présentant une variation de l’anatomie sexuelle à la naissance ;

– les dommages psychiques et physiques infligés aux personnes qui ont subi ce type d’opérations ;

– le fait que des hôpitaux genevois, et tout particulièrement les HUG, pratiquent ce type d’opérations ;

– le fait que la Suisse ait été condamné à quatre reprises par divers organes de l’ONU à ce sujet ;

– le fait que le Comité contre la torture de l’ONU (CAT) demande actuellement à la Suisse des informations sur les mesures prises contre les mutilations

invite le Conseil d’Etat :

– à interdire les opérations non urgentes, et sans consentement des personnes intéressées, sur des personnes présentant une variation de l’anatomie sexuelle ;

– à reconnaître de telles opérations, lorsque elles se sont déroulées sans le consentement de la personne, comme des mutilations et à indemniser les personnes qui en ont été victimes ;

– à présenter un rapport établissant un état des lieux au sujet de ces pratiques dans les hôpitaux et cliniques du canton et recensant les cas de mutilations de ce type durant les 50 dernières années ainsi que l’évolution des pratiques médicales en la matière ; 

– à garantir aux personnes intersexes le droit de prendre leurs propres décisions concernant les traitements et les soins médicaux dont elles peuvent bénéficier, sur la base d’un consentement informé ;

– à mettre sur pied un soutien psychosocial gratuit à destination des personnes intersexes et de leurs familles. »

Mettre fin à l’impunité des praticiens des MGI

StopIGM.org accueille favorablement cette motion. A notre connaissance, il s’agit de la toute première initiative politique vraiment adressant les MGI en Suisse (au lieu de simplement instrumentaliser les intersexes et les MGI pour la politique LGBT et du genre) puisque le rejet en 2017 de notre pétition 2015 aux deux Conseils fédéraux (15.2043), e référant aux affirmations contrefactuelles du gouvernement fédéral répétée depuis lors, prétendent que les MGI auraient lieux strictement “[p]ar le passé” et les “recommandations émises par la CNE qui concernent la Confédération sont mises en œuvre ou en passe de l’être”.

Nous espérons que le Grand Conseil de la République et canton de Genève, ainsi que la Commission nationale de bioéthique et les organes de traités de l’ONU, ne se laissera pas tromper, mais qu’il examinera attentivement la réalité des MGI à Genève et ses conséquences néfastes durables, et reconnaisse que la MGI constitue une question non partisane et une violation grave des droits humains non-dérogables, notamment le droit à une protection contre la torture et la mutilation génitale.

Les Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG) sont des praticiens et défenseurs bien connus de la MGI sous le couvert de l’infame “approche individuelle au cas par cas”. StopIGM.org a documenté la pratique des HUG auprès de tous les organes de traités de l’ONU mentionnés comme faisant partie des preuves qui ont abouti aux 4 réprimandes de l’ONU pour la MGI en Suisse — y compris la promotion des pratiques MGI sur la page d’accueil des HUG et des médecins des HUG rapportant publiquement une déficience ou une perte des sensations sexuelles suite à une amputation clitoridienne partielle chez des patients intersexes aux HUG (36.9°).

UPDATE!  Soumission au Grand Conseil de Genéve par StopIGM.org (PDF 136 kb)

>>> StopIGM.org > Pages françaises

>>> Le droit de choisir (RTS, le journal, 11.10.2009, 19:30)

En Suisse, un enfant sur deux mille naît intersexuel, un cas rare que défendent certaines associations:
On a beaucoup parlé de la sud-africaine Caster Semenya, suspectée d’être hermaphrodite après son titre de championne du monde du 800 m. Une association se bat en Suisse pour que l’on n’impose plus d’opérations génitales à ces enfants dont le sexe est ambigu.

>>> Un corps, deux sexes (RTS, 36.9°, 14.11.2012)

21’28’’ « Je crois pas qu’on a le droit de traiter la détresse des parents par de la chirurgie, je crois que c’est faux là, je crois que là on se place pas, éthiquement, sur quelque chose de correct.
On parle de traumatisme des parents, ok, ça je vous dit, je suis absolument certain qu’il y a un traumatisme extrêmement grave, alors moi je vous pose la question et je pose la question à ceux qui opèrent tôt : est-ce que ce traumatisme-là peut être effacé par le traumatisme de son enfant qu’on opère, qu’on met en salle d’opération, une fois, deux fois, trois fois, quatre fois ? Est-ce que ce traumatisme-là, n’est pas encore plus grave ? Alors moi j’estime que oui. »

23’14’’  « Las plupart ne nécessite pas de chirurgie, on opère parce qu’on pense que c’est une solution rapide et ensuite tout ira bien psychologiquement une fois que les organes génitaux correspondent à un genre quelque sois celui assigné à l’individu. Mais manifestement ce n’est pas le cas. […]
En tôt que gynécologue je vois des patients qui ont un rétrécissement de leur ouverture vaginale, je vois des patientes, dont les sensations sont perturbées parce que l’opération touche des tissures qui sont sexuellement sensibles de même que les nerfs qui les entourent et on constate une réduction des sensations en raison de ses opérations et du tissus cicatriciel qui c’est formé. »

>>> Intersexualité: interview de Jean Martin, membre de la Commission nationale d’éthique pour la médecine (RTS INFO 12:45, 09.11.2012)

Intersexualité: interview de Jean Martin, membre de la Commission nationale d’éthique pour la médecine
Les enfants dont le sexe n’est pas clairement défini à la naissance doivent pouvoir se prononcer eux-mêmes sur leur identité masculine ou féminine.


Photo: Daniela Truffer (StopIGM.org) 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)

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

[ Français ]  [ Deutsch ]


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

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookAs a result of the work of, and in consultation with StopIGM.org/Zwischengeschlecht.org, 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 StopIGM.org/Zwischengeschlecht.org.

The full text of the Motion in English:

Read moreGeneva > Motion Filed to Prohibit Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM)

CEDAW70 > TRANSCRIPT + VIDEO: Mexico Questioned Over Intersex Genital Mutilation by UN – Gov Admits “Practice”, Ignores Redress

[ E s p a ñ o l ]

>>> Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Liechtenstein reprimanded for IGM by UN


UN-CEDAW 70th Session @ Palais des Nations, Geneva 06.07.2017: Getting ready …
On the right (below the screen): Madame Arocha, who asked the question on intersex,
discussing with Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookStopIGM.org, Brújula Intersexual and Vivir y Ser Intersex, with the support of Adiós Al Futuro and Intersex y Andrógino, Yo Intersexual and Eva Alcántara presented a comprehensive NGO Report on the Situation of Intersex People in Mexico to CEDAW (2018), which demonstrates that intersex genital mutilation practices continue to be carried out in public hospitals in Mexico, and on 05.07.2018 briefed the Committe with a Joint intersex Statement.

During the 70th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Mexico was questioned about Intersex Genital Mutilation – and while the Delegate didn’t reply to the part of the question about “punish[ing]” perpetrators, she at least was honest about the persisting practice:

« We know that it is an issue that we still have the task of reaching the base of the national health system, disseminating and eliminating the practices that are persisting, both in counseling and in the performance of surgical interventions in this regard […] »

Session 2, Fri 06.07.2018, 15-17h

>>> VIDEO: Watch the entire Session in Spanish and English on UN Web TV

Ms. Magalys Arocha Dominguez (CEDAW Vice-Chairperson and Head of Task Force for Mexico) (Video @ 1:03:47) raises intersex and IGM together with other examples of violence in health care settings. :-)
Unofficial Transcript (based on the original Spanish one):

« Thank you, Madam Chair, with your indulgence, because I really did not have time to include a question I had, which is actually a follow-up to something we have seen since the morning, which has to do with the intersectionality of discrimination in general; and in the case of health in particular, the situation that certain groups face with the health services themselves.

There are things that I do not like to ask under the health article, because in fact there are certain groups, especially disability, the problems of the LBTI community, which are generally medicalised, are seen from a very medical point of view, as problems of disorders…. and that should not be the approach, it must be a human rights point of view, therefore, receive my question as a concern in this area, but it must be seen in a more general framework, there in articles 1 and 2, where this was briefly mentioned this morning.

I would just like to ask if in the health services… what has the Mexican state done, if there are resources for this, if there is training for medical personnel in general for care, first of all for the groups of women with disabilities in general, and in particular indigenous and Afro-descendant women with disabilities who are often more vulnerable to access to health services, and this access to comprehensive health care, as an issue that also has to do with the development of their capacities, of their potential, and not only of people with a degree of disability, in a degree of exclusion from social life, and the issue, above all, of an informed, inclusive sexuality that also recognizes that people with disabilities have these rights. So I would like to know what progress has been made, what the limitations are, where we are going in Mexico on this issue.

And a next issue has to do with this same approach to the LBTI population, which yes, we are talking about the LBTI population but the needs of lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women are completely different, including in the health field and in other areas. But in the health field in particular, I would like to emphasize only the issue that civil society organizations and other alternative sources have brought us here, too, about the violations that have occurred in the past and that still exist in many places, and that we must try to rebuild the social fabric of people affected by intersex genital mutilation in times when it was not well known, we all know that times have changed, but how are we working in the Mexican state in the medical capacity to order this situation, to prevent, to deal with, and to punish when there is a wrongful malpractice? […]

Ms. Aurora del Rio Zolezzi (Deputy Director General of Gender Equality at the National Centre for Gender Equality and Reproductive Health, Ministry of Health) (Video @ 01:12:03) replies on intersex, admitting that IGM is still an issue in Mexico – but ignoring the question about what Mexico does “to deal with, and to punish when there is a wrongful malpractice”: :-(
Unofficial Transcript (based on the original Spanish one):

« Thank you, good afternoon again. In Mexico, as part of the programs related to equality, for the incorporation of the gender equity and human rights perspective, in the areas of gender equality and human… »

Chairperson [interrupts]: «Sorry, just please go directly to Madame Arocha’s questions.»

Ms. Aurora del Rio Zolezzi [continues]: « OK, yes, thank you, […]

In terms of guaranteeing access to all persons with disabilities, indigenous and Afro-Mexican persons, staff have been trained in human rights, sexual diversity, interculturality, inclusive communication and non-discrimination. On average, 18,000 public servants a year are trained in these subjects. […]

As for LBTTTI populations, and in particular the issue of intersex and genital mutilation in persons born with intersex characteristics there is… recently, it is a very recent protocol that was published in the country, which was developed by experts from different institutions, it is the protocol for the care of sexually diverse and intersex persons, in which there is a specific guide for the care of people living with intersex, with characteristics of an intersex state, and which establishes the need not to carry out surgical interventions, especially irreversible surgeries, in early childhood. We know that it is an issue that we still have the task of reaching the base of the national health system, disseminating and eliminating the practices that are persisting, both in counseling and in the performance of surgical interventions in this regard […] »

Cover: 2018 CEDAW Mexico Intersex NGO ReportIGM in Mexico: CEDAW Intersex NGO Report
>>> English (PDF 559 kb)
  >>> Summary (PDF)
>>> Español (PDF 513 kb)
Compiled by:
Brújula Intersexual
Vivir y Ser Intersex
StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org

• CEDAW70 Intersex Testimony Mexico: IGM State-sponsored – Gov Fails to Act
Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Liechtenstein reprimanded for IGM by UN-CEDAW

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
32 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!

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)

Mexico-AU-NZ-LI: UN Condemns Intersex Genital Mutilation #CEDAW70

[ E s p a ñ o l ]


On the way to the CEDAW70 examination of Mexico: Place des Nations, Geneva 06.07.2018

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookMonday 23.07.2018 has been a particularly good day for intersex human rights literally around the globe! On this day the 70th Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) unmistakably and publicly condemned intersex genital mutilation and lack of adequate support for intersex children and their families as serious human rights violations in no less than four countries in South America, Oceania and Europe – namely Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Liechtenstein! YAY!!!!

We welcome these clear verdicts, marking
the 1st UN reprimand for IGM for both Mexico and Liechtenstein
the 2nd UN reprimand for IGM for both Australia and New Zealand
the 1st ever UN reprimand for extraterritorial violations connected to IGM
the 8th-11th reprimand for IGM by UN CEDAW
in total 36 UN Treaty body reprimands for IGM so far 
now 22 states reprimanded in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

StopIGM.org together with Brújula Intersexual and Vivir y Ser Intersex in collaboration with Adiòs Al Futuro and Intersex y Andrógino submitted an extensive Intersex NGO report for Mexico demonstrating the ongoing practice and the complicity of the State party’s public health system, as well as further Intersex NGO reports for New Zealand and Liechtenstein by StopIGM.org highlighting extraterritorial violations, and briefed Committee members on all countries in public and private hearings and/or personal communications. Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA) submitted an Intersex NGO report for Australia.

Analysis: IGM = Crime, NOT “Health Care”

These latest binding recommendations on intersex and IGM first published on 23.07.2018 by the UN Women’s Rights Committee (CEDAW) strongly re-affirm the non-derogable obligations of State parties on all continents and in all regions to

  • “Adopt necessary provisions explicitly prohibiting the performance of unnecessary surgical or other medical treatment on intersex children until they reach an age when they can give their free, prior and informed consent” 
  • “provide families of intersex children with adequate counselling and support”
  • “provide redress to intersex persons having undergone medical treatment”

This is a timely reminder that – unlike “clear legislative provisions explicitly prohibiting” IGM – mere “self-regulation” by the current perpetrators (i.e. doctors, medical bodies and Ministries of Health)  a.k.a. “new Health Care Protocols” won’t stop IGM nor end the impunity of IGM practitioners and accessories, as such protocols constitute only “limited provisions” and in no way “effective” means to prevent further pain and suffering caused by IGM and the lack of adequate support.

We particularly welcome that CEDAW70 overwhelmingly recognised IGM and the lack of adequate support for intersex people and families to constitute “harmful practices” according to the Convention (just like e.g. FGM, forced marriage or “honour killings”), namely in the case of Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, explicitly referring to CEDAW art. 5(a) and the CEDAW-CRC Joint General Recommendation No. 31/18 on harmful practices. And that the Committee explicitly criticised “lack of effective remedies” and lack of access to “redress” for IGM survivors in Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, and for these countries further explicitly stipulated to “provide families of intersex children with adequate counselling and support”.

While we deeply regret that in the case of the Concluding Observations for Liechtenstein the Committee referred not to CEDAW art. 5 (stereotypes and harmful practices) but to art. 12 (health), we recognise that CEDAW nonetheless obliged all countries – including Liechtenstein! – to “specifically prohibit” IGM practices a.k.a. non-consensual unnecessary genital surgery and other procedures on intersex children. (Though we really wish the Committee hadn’t again in the case of Liechtenstein wrongly referred to IGM practices as “sex reassignment surgery”, as this is seriously misleading (PDF, p. 8-9)).

And we particularly welcome that in the case of Liechtenstein the Committee for the first time reprimanded a State party for extraterritorial violations connected to IGM (as the small country of Liechtenstein sends its intersex children to specialised contractual clinics in neighbouring states to be submitted to IGM, namely to Switzerland and Austria, see NGO Report (PDF), p. 10-14), and that CEDAW70 further raised extraterritorial violations during its examination of New Zealand in Geneva, as also New Zealand is sending intersex children abroad for IGM, namely to RCH Melbourne in Australia (see NGO Report (PDF), p. 10-13). Further known countries involved in extraterritorial violations connected to IGM include Luxembourg sending children to Belgium, as well as Ireland to the UK – and Malta to both.

CEDAW70: All Intersex Recommendations + Reports

1.  Mexico: Binding CEDAW70 Intersex Recommendations
>>> Download Concl Obs:
CEDAW/C/MEX/CO/9, 20 July 2018, para 21 – 22
>>> IGM in Mexico: Intersex NGO Report (PDF) | Summary (PDF)
>>> Testimony:
IGM State-sponsored – Gov Fails to Act

Harmful practices

21.    The Committee notes with concern:

The limited provisions prohibiting unnecessary medical procedures on intersex children and the inadequate support and lack of effective remedies for intersex persons, who have undergone medically unnecessary surgical procedures.

22.    In light of the joint general recommendation/general comment No. 31 of the Committee and No. 18 of the Committee of the Rights of the Child on harmful practices (2014), the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a)    Adopt necessary provisions explicitly prohibiting the performance of unnecessary surgical or other medical treatment on intersex children until they reach an age when they can give their free, prior and informed consent; and provide families of intersex children with adequate counselling and support.

 

2.  Australia: Binding CEDAW70 Intersex Recommendations
>>> Download Concl Obs:
CEDAW/C/AUS/CO/8, 20 July 2018, paras 25(c) – 26(c)
>>> IGM in Australia: Intersex NGO Report (PDF)

Harmful practices

25.    The Committee takes note of the State party’s commitment to provide women who are victims of forced marriage with support, regardless of their cooperation with the prosecution authorities. It is concerned, however, at:

[…]

(c)    The conduct of medically unnecessary procedures on intersex infants and children before they reach an age when they are able to provide their free, prior and informed consent, and at inadequate support and counselling for families with intersex children and remedies for victims;

[…]

26.    Recalling 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, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure adequate protection and support to victims of forced marriage regardless of their collaboration with the prosecution authorities, and:

[…]

(c)    Adopt clear legislative provisions explicitly prohibiting the performance of unnecessary surgical or other medical treatment on intersex children before they reach the legal age of consent, implement the recommendations of the 2013 Senate inquiry on involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex persons, provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support, and provide redress to intersex persons having undergone medical treatment;

[…]

 

3.  New Zealand: Binding CEDAW70 Intersex Recommendations
>>> Download Concl Obs:
CEDAW/C/NZL/CO/8, 20 July 2018, paras 23(c) – 24(c)
>>> IGM in New Zealand: Intersex NGO Report (PDF) | Summary (PDF)
>>> Gov Lies + Denies:
TRANSCRIPT + VIDEO of Intersex Q&A in Geneva, 12.07.2018

Discriminatory stereotypes and harmful practices

23.    While noting the efforts made by the State party to eliminate negative stereotypes affecting women, the Committee expresses concerns at:

[…]

(c)        The conduct of medically unnecessary procedures on intersex infants and children before they reach an age when they are able to provide their free, prior and informed consent, and at inadequate support and counselling for families with intersex children and remedies for victims.

24.    The Committee recommends that the State party […]

[…]

(c)        Adopt clear legislative provisions explicitly prohibiting the performance of unnecessary surgical or other medical treatment on intersex children before they reach the legal age of consent, provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support, and provide redress to intersex persons having undergone medical treatment.

 

4.  Liechtenstein: Binding CEDAW70 Intersex Recommendations
>>> Download Concl Obs:
CEDAW/C/LIE/CO/5, 20 July 2018, paras 35 + 36(c)
>>> IGM in Liechtenstein: Intersex NGO Report (PDF)
>>> Testimony:
Extraterritorial Violations (PDF) | UN Web TV (44’45”)

[…]

35.    […] The Committee is further concerned about the performance of medically irreversible sex reassignment surgery on intersex persons from Liechtenstein in neighbouring countries at its request. […]

36.    The State party should:

[…]

(c)    Specifically prohibit non-consensual sex reassignment surgery on intersex persons and develop and implement a rights-based health-care protocol for intersex children that requires their informed consent about the performance of medically irreversible sex reassignment surgery;

[…]

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
32 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …

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)

Pakistan > Intersex children considered “birth defects” and “transgender”, parents offered surgery “to make them normal again”

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIntersex children in Pakistan are considered as “birth defects” and disabled, with an IGM ‘charity’ called “Birth Defects Foundation BDF”, which is headed by prominent Pakistani IGM surgeons, “provid[ing] treatment free-of-cost to make them normal persons again”, as the doctors >>> told Pakistani newspaper The Nation:

“The Birth Defects Foundation, a local organisation, has taken up the gauntlet to bring such children with congenital genitalia birth defects out of oblivion and provide treatment free-of-cost to make them normal persons again.

“Around 100 children suffering from congenital intersex abnormality, with dominant XX hormones, are surgically converted into females enabling them to lead a normal life with ability for procreation of offspring,” said Prof Dr Afzal Sheikh, an eminent Paediatric Surgeon, while conducting a follow-up session with the children getting a new lease of life out of utter despondency.”

“Out of 18 congenital birth defects, including genital disorders, the organisation is focusing on four major genital disorders among children. These disorders include intersex or ambiguity of sex; hypospadias in which phallus is curved down with urethral opening abnormally placed on ventral aspect; un-descended testis; and hernia, which are the major cause of infertility among such patients.”

Particularly, under “children suffering from congenital intersex abnormality, with dominant XX hormones” the “Foundation” is obviously targetting children diagnosed with “Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)”.

At the same time, in Pakistan intersex persons are legally considered as a subset of “transgender persons” according to the Pakistani “Transgender bill of Protections/Rights” (PDF), which promotes the following definition:

“Transgender Person” is a person who is
(i) Intersex (Khunsa) with mixture of male and female genital features or congenital ambiguities; or
(ii) Eunuch assigned male at birth, but undergoes genital excision or castration; or
(iii) a Transgender Man, Transgender Woman, KhawajaSira or any person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the social norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth”

This “landmark bill” (which has stil to be ratified by the Pakistati president) is unsurprisingly >>> universally hailed by Trans advocates as “historic” and a “victory for human rights”, despite its obvious negative consequences for intersex persons. As Leslie Jaye >>> wrote on FB: “This bill will not protect intersex ppl. What it will do is forstall future efforts to legitimately protect intersex ppl, b/c politicians will simply point ot the legisation and say ~ hey, we’ve already done our bit.”

How much longer?!

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
32 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …

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: 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

CEDAW70 > TRANSCRIPT + VIDEO: New Zealand questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations – Gov denies again

CEDAW70 examining New Zealand @ Palais des Nations, Geneva 12.07.2018

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookAt the 70th Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), in addition to Mexico, Liechtenstein and Australia, on Thursday 12 July also New Zealand was questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations – thanks to an >>> NGO report by StopIGM.org who also briefed Committee members in Geneva. As per usual, New Zealand ignored human rights obligations to ban the ongoing mutilations, announcing more funding for the perpetrators instead …

Session 2, Thu 12.07.2018, 15-17h

>>> Archived VIDEO of entire session @ webtv.un.org

Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (CEDAW Vice-Chairperson and Head of Task Force for NZ) (Video @ 00:51:02) raises IGM and extraterritorial violations. :-)
Unofficial Transcript:

“Secondly, an issue that is also related in fact to stereotypes [i.e. CEDAW art. 5, harmful practices], and that is the practice of the unnecessary medical or hormonal interventions that are imposed on intersex girls without their prior and informed consent. This issue was also brought up in the CRC, and it was also alerted that New Zealand not only practices this in the State party itself but also sends young children, very young children to undergo these operations out of New Zealand. So I would like you to address this issue, thank you.

Heather Janet Logie (Head of NZ Delegation, Under-Secretary for Justice) (Video @ 00:53:29) non-answers on intersex children, claims governement-funded perpetrators (specialised “paediatrics organisation”) best suited to tackle the “practice”, ignores question on extraterritorial violations. :-(
Unofficial Transcript:

“In relation to the protection of the bodily integrity of intersex children and babies in our country, I would like to particularly thank you for raising that, and to commend our human rights commission for acting to bring together a roundtable of medical practitioners, paediatricians, intersex people, family members and parliamentarians to start the process to change that practice in New Zealand, and that that has resulted in the establishment of a ministry of health funding a new paediatrics organisation focused in this area and that we are, while this is not formally on the government’s agenda, there is certainly, we are watching what is happening.”

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookTellingly, the mentioned New Zealand Human Rights Commission‘s 2017 Pre-Session NHRI Report to CEDAW misaddresses IGM – and also FGM and involuntary sterilisation – as a “Health” issue (CEDAW art. 12), whereas CEDAW overwhelmingly considers IGM a harmful practice (CEDAW art. 5(a)). Also the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) already recognised IGM in New Zealand to constitute a harmful practice (CRC art. 24(3)). On the other hand, the NZHRC 2018 CEDAW NHRI Report only mentioned intersex once – in the context of “self-identities of sex, gender, and sexually diverse people”. IGM = Violence, Torture and a Harmful Practice – NOT “Health Care“ or “Identity”!

>>> IGM in New Zealand: 2018 CEDAW NGO Report | Summary

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
32 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

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)

CEDAW70 > Mexico > Joint Intersex NGO Statement 05.07.2018

[ E s p a ñ o l ]

Photo: Intersex statement @ CEDAW70 Mexico private briefing, Geneva 05.07.2018
Background: CEDAW Task Force Mexico members, centre: Task force coordinator and CEDAW Vice-chairperson, Ms. Magalys Arocha Dominguez (Cuba)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookJoint intersex NGO Statement on harmful practices on intersex children in Mexico, presented at the private CEDAW Lunch briefing by an Mexican intersex advocate on behalf of reporting intersex NGOs Brújula Intersexual, Vivir y Ser Intersex and StopIGM.org: (Wrongly announced as “Transsexual statement” [!] by the Mexican NGO coalition … when will they ever learn?!)

I’m M, an intersex woman from Guadalajara Mexico, my diagnosis is congenital adrenal hyperplasia in the salt-losing form, and I am a survivor of Intersex genital mutilation.

I was born with ambiguous genitalia, and before the age of two the first “reduction” of the clitoris was performed with the consent of my mother. From 18 months of age to 22 years I was subjected to 6 “corrective” surgeries to as my doctors called it “retouch my clitoris” and “enlarge my vagina”.

I was also submitted to other invasive procedures: constant genital examinations, also in front of student classes, and to vaginal dilations without anaesthesia, to human experimentation and to excessive doses of cortisone that gave me Cushing syndrome as a child and osteroporosis as an adult. All these procedures were paid by the Mexican state through the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) through my father’s insurance until I turned 25.

As a freelance visual artist I’m not able to pay for IMSS coverage myself because this has become much more expensive than at the time of my parents. Only then I eventually realised that for me there are other options than cortisone to stay healthy.

In Mexico there is a very diverse intersex community. Unlike the developed countries a large part of the population don’t have access to specialised medical services, especially rural and indigenous people. Therefore there are many who could escape IGM. I know people from small towns who still have their bodies intact but who suffer from ostracism and discrimination in their communities. Sometimes intersex children are killed after birth.

Some intersex children are unable to attend school due to massive bullying and the failure of schools to prevent it, or because they can’t obtain a birth certificate because of their appearance. Those who actually need intersex specific medication often find it impossible to obtain it.

Of those submitted to Intersex genital mutilation, many are suffering from lifelong consequences, including loss of sexual sensations, pain during sex, and complications requiring more and more surgery.

Something that the whole community suffers is the anxiety and depression that these experiences have left, and due to the lack of awareness of intersex human rights, most of the Mexican intersex community has remained anonymous, that explains why only I am here to testify.

>>> Intersex NGO Report + CEDAW70 Timeline Mexico

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
32 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)

“Fragments. An Intersex Experience” by Adiós Al Futuro 02.07.2018 ApsaraArts Geneva

[ Français ]   [ DeutschZwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook


click to enlarge!

Intersex and IGM in Mexico   # UN CEDAW 70
“Fragments. An Intersex experience” (Mexico 2018)
Shortfilm + Talk
with Adiós Al Futuro (Proyecto Intersexual, Mexico)
Daniela Truffer & Markus Bauer (StopIGM.org)
Geneva 2 July 2018
18:30h @ ApsaraArts

Cultural space at the heart of quartier Pâquis
43, rue de Neuchâtel • 1201 Genève
Tram 15 stop Môle (or stop Cornavin and 5min walk)
Bus 1 stop Place de la Navigation

« it’s a cut
I had a catheter
it was extremely painful »

The first week in July, in Geneva the UN Women’s Rights Committee (CEDAW) will examine intersex genital mutilations in Mexico, thanks to a collaborative NGO report from Mexico and Switzerland.

Mexican intersex visual artist Adiós Al Futuro (Proyecto Intersexual) will testify before the Committee, and will present and discuss her short film “Fragments. An Intersex experience” (Mexico 2018, 10 minutes, Spanish with English subtitles) – an unflinching look at IGM in Mexico, partly based on testimony from Mexican NGOs Brújula Intersexual and Vivir y Ser Intersex, co-rapporteurs to CEDAW.

With an introduction to intersex, IGM and human rights at the UN and on a global scale by Daniela Truffer and Markus Bauer, co-rapporteurs for StopIGM.org.

See also:
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
32 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …

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: 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)

Communiqué de presse de l’ONU sur le refus de l’Argentine de reconnaître les Mutilations Génitales Intersexes

Un récent >>> Communiqué de presse de l’ONU sur l’examen de l’Argentine fait mention des questions du Comité et des (non-)réponses de la délégation Argentine sur les mutilations génitales intersexes (MGI) lors de la 78ème session du Comité des droits de l’enfant (CDE), affirmant faussement que la pratique médicale préjudiciable involontaire n’aurait plus lieu en Argentine, et niant en outre tout obstacle à l’accès à la justice et à la réparation pour les survivants des MGI en Argentine :

« Examen du rapport

Questions et observations des membres du Comité

[…] Une autre experte a demandé si des mesures avaient été prises pour prévenir les actes chirurgicaux qui visent à donner un sexe spécifique à un nouveau-né avant que cet enfant ait pu exprimer son souhait à cet égard.  […]

Présentation du rapport

Réponses de la délégation

[…] Un enfant sur 4000 naît sans que son sexe puisse être déterminé, a poursuivi la délégation.  Les personnels concernés doivent alors fournir des informations adéquates aux parents.  Ces dernières années, les opérations chirurgicales aux conséquences irréversibles ont été repoussées – sauf si la vie de l’enfant est en danger – afin d’attendre que l’enfant ait atteint un âge où il puisse donner son avis et faire part de son souhait quant au sexe qu’il désire.  Des enfants qui auraient subi une intervention chirurgicale sans leur consentement ont toujours la possibilité de porter plainte en justice, a ajouté la délégation. […] »

>>> VIDEO: Argentina questioned by UN Committe on the Rights of the Child

See also:
31 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee against Torture (CAT): IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) condems IGM Practices
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) condemns IGM
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

>>> Intersex human rights at the UN are under attack!!!

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN intersex expert meeting
>>> Download PDF (831kb)