Intersex Genital Mutilations: UN to reprimand NZ + ZA today – South Africa first state to recognise ongoing harmful practice

UPDATE: UN-CRC reprimanded both South Africa + New Zealand for IGM practices! YAY!!

Head of South African Delegation, Deputy Minister Hendrietta Ipeleng Bogopane-Zulu speaking:
UN-CRC 73rd Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 19.09.2016 on FacebookPress Release by, 06.10.2016:

During its 73rd Session, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) investigated Intersex Genital Mutilations in New Zealand and South Africa, expertly questioning both delegations.

Since 2015, CRC has consistently recognised IGM as a “harmful practice” (like FGM) in breach of Art. 24(3) of the Convention. is again expecting stern reprimands for both states in the “Concluding Observations” to be published by the Committee later today, marking

  • 8 reprimands for IGM practices by CRC
  • 18 UN reprimands for IGM so far
  • now 13 countries reprimanded in Europe, South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa.

Typically, UN treaty bodies oblige complicit State parties to

  • take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent involuntary non-urgent surgery and other treatment on intersex children, and to guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to the children concerned
  • adopt legal provisions to ensure access to redress and adequate compensation for victims
  • provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support

Besides the Committee on the Right of the Child (CRC), also the Committee against Torture (CAT), the Committee for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) have regularly recognised IGM practices as a violation of the relevant UN Conventions. Currently, also the Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) is investigating IGM as a breach of CCPR.

After evidence and testimony, UN acts and South African and New Zealand intersex advocates, NGOs and NHRIs including Legal Resources Centre, Iranti-org, Gender DynamiX, ITANZ Intersex Awareness New Zealand and the NZ Human Rights Commission provided the Committee with evidence of the ongoing practice in both countries, resulting in repeated questions by Committee experts during the interactive dialogue in Geneva, including on New Zealand sending intersex children overseas to RCH Melbourne for non-consensual genital surgeries.

Intersex Genital Mutilations in NZ: 2016 UN-CRC Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Persons With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM in NZ  Children sent overseas for surgery  A Harmful Practice
>>  Download (PDF 720 kb)

Answering for New Zealand, Dr Pat Tuohy, paediatrician and Chief Adviser of the Ministry of Health, went down the well-trodden path of denial and pinkwashing, claiming “no surgery from 2006” while at the same time patently “confusing” involuntary intersex surgery and “gender assignment surgery”. >>> Full Transcript

Intersex Genital Mutilations in ZA: 2016 UN-CRC Report 
Human Rights Violations Of Persons With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM in ZA  Infanticide of intersex newborns  A Harmful Practice
>>  Download (PDF 929 kb)

On the other hand, South African delegate Zane-Udien Dangor (Deputy Minister’s Special Advisor, Department of Social Development) made intersex human rights history – and South Africa the very first State to officially recognise the “essentially harmful practices” on “intersex children” at the UN:

“I think as a government we do recognise that being intersex is a sexual characteristic and not a medical condition, but at the same time we recognise that there are still practices where newborns and young children are being, surgeries are performed on them which are harmful. So we are now beginning a process in its early stages, to acknowledging that it’s happening, to engage with universities, particularly the university children’s clinics and other medical practitioners around the fact that this is not a medical condition, that surgeries performed at a very young stage are harmful and that it needs to stop.”  >>> Full Transcript

The international intersex human rights NGO 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.

Kind regards

Daniela “Nella” Truffer, Markus Bauer
Founding members human rights NGO /

Mobile +41 (0) 76 398 06 50
Mobile +41 (0) 78 829 12 60

UPDATE: UN-CRC reprimanded both South Africa + New Zealand for IGM practices! YAY!!

See also:
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) condemns IGM
Historic 56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments over IGM 
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors! 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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