Friday 13 May 2016 – A Good Day for Intersex Human Rights?


(Human Rights Bodies / Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights)

Friday 13 May: A sign of hope for intersex children everywhere – and yet another stern warning for IGM perpetrators and complicit states? Keep your fingers crossed!

UPR: Ireland critisised over Intersex Genital Mutilations

All UN Member States have to submit regularly to a “Universal Periodic Review (UPR)” of their human rights records, reported by a “troika” of their peers and considered by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), who then adopts recommendations.

Despite that human rights violations of intersex people have been reported to the HRC since at least 2012, so far the HRC never specifically discussed intersex human rights concerns, let alone issued recommendations to stop IGM practices.

Most welcome therefore the news (thx ILGA) from the ongoing 25th session of the UPR Working Group where Israel went on record addressing IGM practices in its Statement regarding Ireland (PDF):

“Israel is concerned by the cases of medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they were able to provide their informed consent;”

The Human Rights Council will adopt the recommendations for Ireland today Friday 13 May 16–18h.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has recently reprimanded Ireland over IGM practices, considering them a “harmful practice” (like FGM) and calling on Ireland to “adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation.” 

CAT to reprimand France over IGM Practices

Also today Friday 13 May concludes the 57th Session of the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), which knowledgeably questioned France over IGM practices and is hoped to issue strong binding recommendations for France. This will mark the 11th reprimand by a UN Treaty Body of a State complicit in the continuation of IGM. 

France was also recently reprimanded over IGM practices by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

10 Verdicts by UN Treaty Bodies Condemning IGM – And Counting …

The Committee against Torture (CAT) has repeatedly considered Intersex Genital Mutilations as constituting at least inhuman treatment in breach of the Convention against Torture, and since 2011 reprimanded Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Hong Kong over IGM.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) considers IGM as violence and a harmful practice (like FGM) and since 2015 reprimanded Switzerland, Chile, France and Ireland over IGM.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) also considers IGM asinhuman treatment and reprimanded Germany.

In all above 10 verdicts, the Committees issued binding recommendations to take legislative action to end the practice and/or to ensure access to redress and justice for IGM survivors.

In addition, the Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the governing body of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) is currently investigating IGM and called onSwitzerland to disclose statistics.

This news update is taken from a newsletter of 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.