“You shouldn’t always talk about the surgeries!”

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Unfortunately still bears repeating (9):

Every time when I want to talk about IGM,
and in particular when I raise concerns
about the pain and suffering of IGM survivors
being used as a means to an end
for LGBT and gender politics,
my voice as an intersex person and IGM survivor
is drowned out, misrepresented and abused,
usually by somebody who is not an IGM survivor
cutting me off and changing the subject:

“And what about the 3rd gender? What about my identity?”

“You shouldn’t always talk about the surgeries.”

“You should better fight for the 3rd gender, and not for less.”

“Stop always talking about the surgeries.”

“Let’s better talk about gender recognition.”

“And what about discrimination?”

etc.

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

“Hiding the Clitoris”: A new IGM Practice emerging from Britain

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity' Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookIGM doctors are not stupid, they know their practice is increasingly in the spotlight, so they do what they can to muddy the waters and keep practicising.

A well known example is the good old “divide and conquer” by splitting intersex children in a) the big group of “boys and girls with a little problem we can fix surgically” vs. b) the small group of DSD with a gender issue where we rarely do surgery anyway”, which continues to be a major score for IGM doctors in keeping the practice in public university hospitals ongoing but hidden from public or political scrutiny.

Also IGM doctors are aware that whenever intersex surgery is discussed in public, clitoral surgery is the most controversial topic. Creative perpetrators from the UK now found a new way of falsifying the statistics to their advantage, and to hide genital mutilation of intersex children behind flowery “more acceptable” language like “Surgical operations which hide an enlarged clitoris” (also favoured by Amnesty London).

From the forthcoming 2017 CRPD UK NGO Report (PDF | DOC) by StopIGM.org, IntersexUK, The UK Intersex Association and Leslie Jaye:

2.  Additional Recent Evidence of the Ongoing Practice in the UK (2016-2017)

a) “Hiding the Clitoris”: A new IGM Practice emerging from Britain

“Hiding the Clitoris” is a comparatively new surgical practice on the rise in England wherein a cut around an “enlarged” clitoris is made and thereafter the clitoral hood is pulled over the clitoris and sewn close in order to “hide” the “enlarged” clitoris.

In clinics where this practice is performed, in official statistics it is not listed under clitoral surgery but under “vaginal reconstruction”, as doctors argue they would only cut around the clitoris. In fact, in some clinics where doctors distinguish between intersex girls with CAH who had or had not clitoral surgery, all in the group of “no clitoral surgery” still had this new form of “hiding the clitoris” done in infancy.

Despite that such a procedure on a “normal” girl would be considered as FGM and illegal in the UK, on “subhuman intersex girls” this practice is not only deemed acceptable but even declared by doctors as only “vaginal surgery”.

>>> 2017 CRPD UK NGO Report (PDF | DOC)

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

CEDAW67 Italy > Major Setback for Intersex Human Rights at UN :-(

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Since 2011, intersex human rights at the UN and particularly intersex and IGM survivors NGOs participating in UN Treaty body human rights mechanisms have been a ground-breaking success story.

So far, the UN Committees CRC, CAT, CRPD, CEDAW, and the HRCttee have issued 26 reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations to 16 complicit States, unmistakably condemning IGM as genital mutilation and a hamful practice, as cruel and inhuman treatment or torture, as a violation of the integrity of the person, as institutionalised violence and as unlawful human experimentation, calling for legislation to criminalise IGM and guarantee access to redress for victims.

What’s more, UN Treaty bodies recognising the severe pain and suffering of IGM survivors and consistently reprimanding complicit states have in turn greatly increased public awareness of intersex human rights, and led to numerous positive statements by different international and national bodies and organisations.

However, after 2 1/2 particularly good years for intersex human rights with almost monthly new reprimands, now everything seems coming to a screeching halt

Intersex human rights at the UN under attack!  

“These days my most pressing concern is how our pain and suffering is constantly used as a means to an end for LGBT and gender politics, and how such misrepresentations seem to increasingly gain traction also at the UN.”
–  Daniela Truffer, CAT61 Informal Statement 26.07.2017

Currently, 

  • in UN Press releases and Summary records, intersex and IGM are inceasingly misrepresented as trans, LGBT and discrimination issues, for example IGM as “sex alignment surgeries”, IGM survivors as “transsexual children”, and intersex NGOs as “a group of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex victims of discrimination and violence”
  • the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) during its last session did NO LONGER raise intersex and IGM under “harmful practices”, but only under “health-care”
  • also in the latest Concluding observations (see below), CEDAW did NO LONGER raise intersex and IGM under “harmful practices”, but instead only issued recommendations regarding “health-care”, proposing ‘self-regulation’ of IGM by the current perpetrators including the Ministry of Health and health-care providers developing a “health-care protocol for intersex children”but NO LONGER calling for legislation to eliminate IGM and to ensure access to redress and justice for IGM survivors like in previous recommendations!

This is a major setback for intersex human rights at the UN,

fueled not only by the constant denial and pinkwashing of IGM by State parties, but also by often big-money LGBT NGOs and agencies including ILGA, Amnesty London, EU-FRA, UNFE New York – and countless others – constantly misrepresenting intersex and IGM as “LGBT”, “discrimination” and “health-care” issues, while conveniently failing to recognise that intersex and IGM first and foremost constitute genital mutilation, a harmful practice, cruel and inhuman treatment, and other serious violations of non-derogable human rights, and MUST be addressed accordingly.

Also beyond the latest CEDAW Concluding observations (see below), this is a serious threat to intersex human rights, which may rather sooner than later spell their very end not only at the UN.

This is a wake-up call!

If intersex and IGM are no longer reognised by UN Treaty bodies as cruel and inhuman treatment, harmful practice, institutionalised violence, etc., this will have serious and far-reaching consequences for all intersex people everywhere – and in particular for intersex children at risk of being submitted to IGM.

So, if you care about intersex human rights, and if you don’t want intersex children to continue to be mutilated every day, stop looking the other way when voices of IGM survivors are misrepresented or drowned out, and the pain and suffering of IGM survivors is used for third party interests. Thank you!

CEDAW67: Intersex (Non-)Recommendations for Italy

StopIGM.org regrets that the Committee, after having issued 5 Concluding observations on intersex and IGM under “harmful practices” to France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, and Ireland, in its latest recommendations to Italy now considers non-consensual, unnecessary genital surgeries on intersex children as a “health issue” instead. We maintain that Intersex Genital Mutilations are NOT “health-care” or “different opinions”, and hope that in the future the Committee will again consider intersex and IGM under art. 5 “harmful practices”.

>>> CEDAW/C/ITA/CO/7, on intersex: paras 41 (e) + 42 (e), p. 13 (PDF) 

“Health

41.    The Committee is concerned about:

         […]

         (e)    The fact that intersex children are subjected to irreversible surgery for intersex variation and other medical treatments without their free and informed consent.

42.    The Committee, recalling its general recommendation No. 24 (1999) on women and health, recommends that the State party:

         […]

         (e)    Develop and implement a rights-based health-care protocol for intersex children, ensuring that children and their parents are appropriately informed of all options; that children are involved, to the greatest extent possible, in decision-making about medical interventions and that their choices are respected; and that no child is subjected to unnecessary surgery or treatment.”

2016-CEDAW-Swiss-Intersex-IGM

IGM Practices in Italy: 2017 CEDAW Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM in Italy• Complicity of the State  Harmful Practice
>>> Download as PDF (650 kb)

>>> CEDAW Timeline Italy 2017
>
>> CEDAW67 > Claudia Balsamo’s Testimony to Intersex Genital Mutilation in Italy
>>>
CEDAW67 UN Press Release on NGO Briefing english | français
>>> VIDEO + TRANSCRIPT: Italy Questioned over IGM by CEDAW – Gov Denies

>>> CRPD18 > Misappropriation of Intersex Funding by LGBT Groups

See also:
26 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
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
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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)

“Circular No. 7”: A step back for intersex human rights in Chile

Ministry of Health Chile: “Circular No. 7 of 23. Aug 2016 complementing Circular No. 18″

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

After Chile was reprimanded for Intersex Genital Mutilations by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in October 2015, in December the Chilean Ministry of Health issued a “Circular No. 18” aimed at combatting IGM practices.

Sadly, despite that in spring 2016 Chile was additionally reprimanded also by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for IGM, on 23.08.2016 the Chilean Ministry of Health issued their new “Circular No. 7” wich turned out to be a major step back undoing most of the (anyway small) advances of the earlier “Circular No. 18”.

Kudos to Laura Inter and Hana Aoi of “Brújula Intersexual” who recently published an analysis of this deplorable step back by Chile:
>>> English summary and links to documents incl. translated Circulars
>>> Extensive full article in english (PDF) 

May this dangerous precedent serve as a timely reminder of why “self regulation” by doctors and health ministries (as e.g. advocated by Amnesty London) won’t stop IGM, and neither will toothless laws without actual consequences for both perpetrators and accessories like in Malta.

Adequately sanctioning or criminalizing IGM is key!

See also:
23 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
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
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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)

UNCAT61 > Ireland Questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations by UN Committee against Torture (CAT) – Gov Denies Yet Again!

>>> UNCAT61 > Testimony by Gavan Coleman to Intersex Genital Mutilation in Ireland
>>>
CAT61 Timeline Ireland 2017

UN-CAT 61st Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 26.07.2017: Getting ready …
(bottom right corner: Committee expert Ms. Racu who asked a question on IGM)
#CATIreland  #UNCAT61  #NoMoreTortureIreland

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

At the 61st Session of the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), Ireland is being questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations, with the Committee experts for Ireland, Ms. Gaer and Ms. Racu, both raising IGM in Ireland yesterday.

Today the Irish delegation has to reply to those questions during the 2nd Session on Ireland, 27.07.2017 15:00–18:00h CET.

StopIGM.org will be reporting LIVE from Palais Wilson! The session should also be livestreamed on webtv.un.org (during the 1st session yesterday, due to technical problems the transmission was audio only.)

Session 2, Fri 28.07.2017, 15–18h CET  >>> VIDEO

14:52h: Committee members and the Irish delegation are arriving, the livestream is back on! Today the Irish Delegation will have to answer to yesterday’s questions …

15:03h: Session is on, Head of Delegation David Stanton, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, Department of Justice and Equality kicking off … announces statistics will be delivered in writing later (to be published on the Committee’s session homepage) … Michael Donnellan of the Irish Prison Service starts answering …

15:27h: Answers re: mental health now up … followed by answers on the ex-gratia scheme for survivors of symphysiotomy …

15:34h: Sarah Rose Flynn, Assistant Principal Officer, International Research and Policy Unit of the Department of Health (non-)answers on intersex genital mutilation! Allegedly only 2-3 children with ambiguous genitalia are born in Ireland, and all are treated in Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin (Dublin). Surgery would only be done when medically necessary and after an unanimous decision of the multidisciplinary and parents. Every 3 months there’s a meeting with paediatricians also from other Irish clinics and with a consultant from Great Ormons Street Children’s Hospital (London).
Besides the last item, the (non-)answer was pretty much copy/pasted from last time at CEDAW … And the (non-)answer completely ignores the question of implementation of CRC and CEDAW recommendations, completely ignores the evidence of IGM1 “hypospadias repair” also being perpetrated at the University hospitals of Cork and Tallaght (see NGO Report, PDF p. 10), completely ignores the question on children being sent abroad, as admitted to by Crumlin’s Dr Costigan in in the case of “more complicated rare surgeries” in a report in the Irish Examiner [WARNING: Grossly misleading and inappropriate pictures], makes excuses regarding data collection and statistics, and generally denies the responsability of the Irish state:-( :-( :-( Transcript to follow …

16:38h: The last answers of first round, regarding police force …

16:46h: Follow-up questions by CAT co-rapporteur Ms. Felice Gaer … psychiatric system … Magdalene laundries …Commission of investigations act … baby homes … symphysiotomy … 8th Amendment … medically unnecessary interventions during childbirth … symphysiotomy and consent … permission to leave to land …

17:00h: Follow-up questions by CAT co-rapporteur Ms. Ana Racu …training of law enforcement officers … training for medical personnel, Istambul Convention … national preventive mechanism … prison overcrowding, particilarly Mormont and Limerick …medical services in prisons … prisoners with psychological issues … remand prisoners … juveniles in detention, solitary confinement, violence … prison complaint mechanism … 

17:13h: Follow-up questions by other Committee members …

17:30h: Intermission … there were no follow-up questions on intersex

17:41h: Session resumes after short intermission with additional aswers by Delegation members …

18:01h: CAT chairperson Modvig concludes the session.

Session 1, Thu 27.07.2017, 10–13h CET  >>> VIDEO (audio only)

ca. 11:20h: YAY!! CAT expert on Ireland Ms. Felice Gaer raises involuntary surgery on intersex children, asks about implementation of previous CRC and CEDAW recommendations. 🙂 Transcript to follow.

ca. 12:25h: YAY!! CAT expert on Ireland Ms. Ana Racu raises “intersex genital mutilation”, aks about data collection disaggregated by type of IGM and age, and about plans to legislate against the practice. 🙂 Transcript to follow.

>>> UNCAT61 > Testimony by Gavan Coleman to Intersex Genital Mutilation in Ireland
>>>
CAT61 Timeline Ireland 2017

NGO Report to the 2nd Report of Ireland
on the Convention against Torture (CAT)

 
>>>  Download (PDF 250 kb)

  
Compiled by:
Gavan Coleman
StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org

See also:
23 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
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
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

UNCAT61 > Testimony to Intersex Genital Mutilation in Ireland

Gavan Coleman (centre), with Daniela Truffer (right) and Markus Bauer (left), after testifying to IGM in Ireland to the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), Geneva 26.07.2017

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

At the 61st Session of the UN Committee against Torture, before Ireland was questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations, NGOs had the possibility to brief CAT in closed briefings.

Read below the 1.25-minutes oral statement by Irish intersex advocate and IGM survivor Gavan Coleman:
>>> Download as PDF (75kb)

 

StopIGM.org
NGO Oral Statement CAT61 Ireland, 26.07.2017

Gavan Coleman

I’m an Irish intersex person. As a child I had surgery on my groin and scrotum, where I still have scars.

At 18 I was pressured to consent to a mastectomy, without having been fully informed.

In comparison to many of my peers, I still consider myself lucky, I can still enjoy sex and don’t have recurring pain.

Intersex children are subjected to involuntary, unnecessary genital surgeries and other procedures that would be considered inhumane on other children.

In Ireland, Intersex Genital Mutilations continue to be advocated and paid for by the public Health Service Executive (HSE). [1]

Paediatricians publicly admit to performing involuntary surgeries, or sending children to England. [2]

This Committee [3] has repeatedly considered such acts as ill-treatment in health-care settings, as did the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture [4] and the Special Rapporteur on Torture. [5]

Ireland has already been recommended by CRC [6] to prevent non-consensual unnecessary treatments on intersex children, and to adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress.

The State party fails to do so.

We therefore respectfully ask the Committee to raise this issue and to sternly remind Ireland of its obligations under the Convention articles 2, 6, 10, and 14, and General Comments No. 2 and 3.

Thank you.

[1]  2017 CAT Ireland NGO Report, p. 8-10, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2017-CAT-Ireland-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM.pdf
[2]  Irish Examiner, “What happens when a child is born intersex in Ireland?”, 04.11.2016, Cover story, p. 7-9
[3]  CAT/C/DEU/CO/5, para 20; CAT/C/CHE/CO/7, para 20, CAT/C/AUT/CO/6, paras 44-45; CAT/C/DNK/CO/6-7, paras 42-43; CAT/C/CHN-HKG/CO/4-5, paras 28-29; CAT/C/FRA/CO/7, paras 32-33
[4]  End violence and harmful medical practices on intersex children and adults, UN and regional experts urge, 24.10.2016, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20739&LangID=E
[5]  Ibid.; A/HRC/22/53, 01.02.2013, paras 77, 76
[6]  CRC/C/IRL/CO/3-4, paras 39-40

>>> CAT61 Timeline Ireland 2017

NGO Report to the 2nd Report of Ireland
on the Convention against Torture (CAT)

 
>>>  Download (PDF 250 kb)

  
Compiled by:
Gavan Coleman
StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org

See also:
23 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
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
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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)

CEDAW67 > VIDEO + TRANSCRIPT: Italy Questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations by UN Women’s Rights Committee – Gov Denies

>>> CEDAW67 > Claudia Balsamo’s Testimony to Intersex Genital Mutilation in Italy
>>>
Cedaw Timeline Italy 2017

UN-CEDAW 67th Session @ Palais des Nations, Geneva 04.07.2017: Getting ready …
#CEDAWItaly   #UNCEDAW67

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Italy was up for review of IGM practices at the 67th session
of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on 
Tue 4 July 10:00-13:00h CET + 15:00-18:00h CET.

The livestream is archived here: Session 1 | Session 2

StopIGM.org reported LIVE from Palais des Nations , hoping for strong questions on IGM practices:

CEDAW 67 Italy Intersex Q&A: Transcript + Video

Session 1, Thu 04.07.2017, 15–18h CET

Under CEDAW art. 5 (harmful practices), and also else during the 1st session, unfortunately no questions on intersex were asked … :-( :-( :-(

Session 2, Thu 04.07.2017, 15–18h CET

16:03h: (Video english | original (spanish) @ 1:02:51) YAY!!    CEDAW Task Force Italy expert Magalys Arocha Dominguez raises IGM together with forced sterislisation on Roma women 🙂 (but unfortunately calls IGM “the practice to have sex change corrections early in life when the situation might still be unclear”). :-/
Unofficial Transcript (UN simultaneous translation from original Spanish):

«And a final and last question relates to the existence of specialised services with sufficient methodological and practical guides and regular inspection, concerning these services being offered above all for Roma women and migrant women located in the country, women with disabilities, lesbians and transsexuals in specific areas which might be very sensitive, as it’s the case for example regarding the area of reproductive and sexual health or indeed operations to prevent reproduction to women with disabilities and Roma women. How does the state prevent that kind of practice in both in normative and practical way, [1:03:38] and also the practice to have sex change corrections early in life when the situation might still be unclear. Thank you.»

(The Italian Delegation then didn’t answer the bit on IGM.)

16:58h: (Video english) @ 1:58:28) YAY!!   Less than 90 seconds before the end of the session, CEDAW expert Particia Schulz is eventually allowed a follow-up question, spelling out intersex children, harmful practices and legislation to end IGM, and raising the CEDAW/CRC Joint General Recomm. “on harmful practices”! 🙂
Unofficial Transcript:

«Thank you very much Madam Chair for allowing a last question on my side. I refer to the question asked by Miss Arocha concerning corrective surgeries which is medically unnecessary very often and irreversible surgery and other medical treatment performed on intersex children, not with the consent of the persons themselves or their parents. These interventions are now seen more and more by a number of UN human rights bodies as a violation of the right to health as well a form of harmful practice according to the Joint General Recommendation this Committee and the Committee on the Rights of the Child developed. So my question: Do you plan to adopt legislation to protect the bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination of intersex persons, maybe by criminalising these interventions when unnecessary, and to provide for compensation for those who underwent those measures without their free prior and informed consent? Thank you.»

(The session goes into extra time.)

17:00h: (Video english | original (italian) @ 1:59:49) Italian Delegate Assunta Morresi (Ministry of Health) issues the usual denials, allegedly only “very few” mutilations and only for medical reasons with allegedly “no data or indication of forced interventions”, parent’s consent allegedly sufficient, but if wished by the doctors (!!!) they would be open for “discussions” … 🙁
Unofficial Transcript (UN simultaneous translation from original Italian):

«This kind of surgery is very limited, there have been 9 surgical operations between the years of 0 and 9 in 2015, and all these interventions have taken into account medical requirements. And of course we need the informed consent of the parents or of a tutor. So far we had not had any data or indication of forced interventions. Everything has taken place case by case according to medical indications and with consent. If scientific societies believe that it is necessary to have a discussion on this the ministry of course will be available.»

17:01h: (Video english) @ 2:01:01) CEDAW expert Particia Schulz follows up, explains parents cannot ‘consent’ to IGM! 🙂
Unofficial Transcript:

«Yes, actually, more and more the discussion is that parents cannot consent to such interventions because of the gravity they have and the consequences that are lifelong. So the child suffers during the childhood and may suffer during the whole adulthood. So this is a question that I think should be adressed in view of these considerations. Thank you very much.»

(There was no follow-up answer by Italy.)

17:04h: Chairperson Dalia Leinarte closes the session.

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

This was way too close for comfort, as in UN Treaty body mechanisms there is the iron-cast rule, “no questions during the review, no recommendations”. Even more worrying however is the fact that the issue was only raised under art. 10 “healthcare”, and NOT under art. 5 “harmful practices”, and that obviously at the UN the harmful misconception persists, intersex and more specifically would be about “sex change”, and generally a trans or LGBT issue, a harmful prejudice that is constantly fueled at the UN (and elswhere) by big money LGBT NGOs and agencies including Amnesty London, EU-FRA and UNFE New York, and which may rather sooner than later spell the end of intersex human rights at the UN! Nonetheless, let’s hope for strong Concluding observations for Italy under art. 5, due at the end of the 67th CEDAW session …

>>> CEDAW67 > Claudia Balsamo’s Testimony to Intersex Genital Mutilation in Italy
>>>
CEDAW67 Italy: UN Press Release on NGO Briefing english | français
>>>
Cedaw Timeline Italy 2017

2017 CEDAW Italy NGO Intersex IGM

NGO Report to the 7th Report of Italy on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

>>>  Download (PDF 650 kb)

 
Compiled by:
Claudia Balsamo
StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org

See also:
23 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
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
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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)

“Inferior”, “Abnormal”, “Deformed”: Intersex, IGM and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD)

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

The following is an excerpt from an NGO submission by StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
>>> fulltext DOC (83 kb) | PDF (102 kb
for a Study on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls with disabilities (more info), to be presented at the upcoming 72nd session of the UN General Assembly starting on 12 September .

4. “Inferior”, “Abnormal”, “Deformed”: Intersex, IGM and the CRPD

Individual doctors, national and international medical bodies, public and private healthcare providers have traditionally been framing and “treating” intersex variations as a form of disability in need to be “cured” surgically, often with racist, eugenic and suprematist undertones.  [10] [11] [12] [13]

It is important to note that Intersex is an umbrella term for many diverse variations and “diagnoses”, of which only a few specific and comparatively rare conditions represent an immediate medical situation or impairment, notably Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) in the salt-losing form which constitutes a vital (metabolical) medical need for daily hormone substitution of lacking cortisol – however, this does NOT constitute a need for genital surgeries!

Nonetheless, doctors persistently use this specific exception as a justification for imposing unnecessary genital surgery and other treatments on ALL persons with variations of sex anatomy to “fix” them. [14]

Thus, as a result of having been submitted to IGM practices, most intersex people have actual physical and psychological impairments and medical needs (chronic pain, loss of sexual sensibility, lifelong psychological trauma, metabolic problems, and need for daily hormone substitution after castration, etc.). Many can’t work anymore, and live in poverty due to persistent barriers preventing them from full and effective participation in society on an equal basis as well as from the full enjoyment of all human rights, including their rights to physical integrity and self-determination, their rights to freedom from violence, harmful practices and torture or ill-treatment, their rights to the best attainable standard of health, and their rights to justice, redress and compensation. For example in Germany, many IGM survivors are officially recognised as “disabled” due to the consequences of IGM. [15]

On top, both IGM survivors and intersex persons having escaped surgery are facing (fear of) stigmatisation, ostracism and rejection by modern society because of their (sometimes) “unusual appearance”, compounded by doctors’ constant conjuring up the birth of an intersex child as a “psycho-social emergency” and qualifying it as a “Disorder” in need of urgent involuntary “treatment”.

Accordingly, the easier an intersex trait can be tested prenatally, the higher the (selective) abortion rates, [16] most intersex diagnoses are listed as permissible for deselection in State sponsored preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) guidelines [17], and e.g. in Switzerland IGM practices are paid for by the Federal Disability Insurance. [18]

In consequence, intersex persons and organisations are applying the social model of disability to devise strategies in their fight for bodily integrity and recognition as fully human beings, often in collaboration with disability groups. As Jay Hayes-Light of UKIA, an IGM survivor as well as wheelchair user (due to an accident not related with his intersex condition) puts it: [19]

“Medical practitioners view intersex as something that needs to be fixed. We are regarded as deformed, somehow in deficit anatomically, and therefore the way to fix it is to cobble us together into what they deem to be an acceptable format, instead of allowing us to exist in society.”

[10] 2014 CRC NGO Report, p. 52, 69, 84, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2014-CRC-Swiss-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM_v2.pdf

[11] In the WHO “World Atlas of Birth Defects (2nd Edition)”, many intersex diagnoses are listed, including “indeterminate sex” and “hypospadias”: http://web.archive.org/web/20160305152127/http://prenatal.tv/lecturas/world%20atlas%20of%20birth%20defects.pdf

[12] “The Racist Roots of Intersex Genital Mutilations” https://www.stopigm.org/post/Racist-Roots-of-Intersex-Genital-Mutilations-IGM

[13] For 500 years of “scientific” prejudice in a nutshell, see 2016 CEDAW France NGO Report, p. 7, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2016-CEDAW-France-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM.pdf

[14] This excuse constitutes also the historic root for imposing systematic unnecessary early surgeries, see 2014 CRC NGO report, p. 54–56 http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2014-CRC-Swiss-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM_v2.pdf

[15] For example in Germany, see 2015 CRPD Germany NGO Report, p. 16, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2015-CRPD-LoI-Germany_NGO-Report_Zwischengeschlecht_Intersex-IGM.doc

[16] For stats and references, see “Selective Intersex Abortions: XXY 74%, Indeterminate Sex 47%, Hypospadias 2%”, https://www.stopigm.org/post/Selective-Intersex-Abortions-Hypospadias-Intersex-XXY

[17] For example in the UK, see http://guide.hfea.gov.uk/pgd/ [Note: The HFEA homepage is under reconstruction, currently the list can be found at https://www.hfea.gov.uk/pgd-conditions/], See also 2014 CRC NGO Report, p. 76, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2014-CRC-Swiss-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM_v2.pdf

[18] See 2014 CRC NGO Report, p. 76, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2014-CRC-Swiss-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM_v2.pdf

[19] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/02/male-and-female-what-is-it-like-to-be-intersex

2017 SR Disability Intersex IGM

Intersex, IGM and CRPD: 2017 Submission to SR Disability
Sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls with disabilities
IGM and CRPD  Harmful Stereotypes and Prejudice  Harmful Practice
>>> Download DOC (83 kb) | PDF (102 kb)

2017 CRPD PSWG NGO Intersex IGM

IGM Practices in the UK: 2017 NGO Report to CRPD
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM and CRPD  UK & NHS violating Human Rights  Right to Integrity

>>> Download DOC (486 kb) | PDF (254 kb)  

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

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

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 as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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 in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

“eUROG€N”: More €U Millions for Intersex Genital Mutilators (1)

Click to enlarge!   (Picture from “eUROG€N” self-presentation, PDF)

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook

State-sponsored Intersex Genital Mutilation stays in business – (not only) allover the EU and associated states.
“ERNs”
or “European Reference Networks” are the next batch of €uro millions over the next 5 years to practice and proliferate IGM, paid out to the usual international consortium of Intersex Genital Mutilators represented mainly in the 2 ERNs, “eUROG€N” or “Network Urogenital Diseases”, and “Endo-€RN” (more soon), as well as their regional trade organisations including ESPU, ESPE, ESE and EAU

>>> “eUROG€N” self-presentation March 2017 (PDF)
>>>
3rd conference on European Reference Networks, Vilnius, 9 March 2017 
>>> Open Letter by Persons Concerned, Partners, Families, Friends and Allies (PDF) with 92 101 signatories to ‘I-DSD’, ‘DSDnet’, ‘eUROGEN’, ‘Endo-ERN’, ‘DSD-Life’ and Affiliates including 115 EU-funded IGM clinics in 27 countries.

“The ERN initiative receives support from several EU funding programmes, including the Health Programme, the Connecting Europe Facility and Horizon 2020.”ERN 2017 Brochure (PDF), p.8

This renewed €uro injection comes timely for the IGM perpetrators, as current funding vehicles “D$Dnet” and “D$D-Life” will expire in 2018, same as predecessors “EuroD$D” and “Netzwerk D$D/Intersexualität” earlier. From early on, both the “European Association of Urology (EAU)” and the “European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE)” have been actively involved in securing this funding.

(Meanwhile in the States, ‘to keep pace with’ these EU ‘advances in basic and clinical DSD research’, the NIH keeps funding a similar ‘D$D Transnational Research Network’ for U.S. mutilators – as do other public bodies in other regions, too.)

“eUROG€N Work Stream 1” includes all of the most frequent forms of IGM practices.

The paeditaric urologists of “eUROG€N” represent the most prominent speciality of paediatric surgeons actually wielding the knife in IGM practices and, together with their buddies, the paediatric endocrinologists, they are the main culprits in the “interdisciplinary groups” leading the systematic practice since 1950.

“eUROG€N Work Stream 2” includes further “rare conditions” and “highly specialised” surgical “reconstructions”, and is led by a notorious public advocate and perpetrator of IGM practices, from a public University Hospital which has been a notorious advocate and perpetrator of IGM practices for over 60 years, and both the hospital and Prof Fisch tried in vain to pressure intersex activists including Zwischengeschlecht.org to take down posts denouncing them as genital mutilators. (Picture: “eUROG€N” self-presentation, PDF)

Compared to the more “purist” approach of precursor funding vehicles “DSDnet” and “DSD-Life”, as well as predecessors “EuroDSD” and “Netzwerk DSD/Intersexualität”, “eUROGEN” does its best to muddy the waters by also including non-DSD-related actual medical issues like for example penile and abdominal cancer in the “eUROGEN Work Stream 3” (as does “Endo-ERN” by including “Gender Dysphoria” and “Disorders of sex maturation (DSM)”), leading to some perpetrators lamenting less generous funding.

“MoH of Lithuania”, “European Commission”, “Under the Auspices of Malta EU 2017”:
Logos displayed at the 2017 €RN “Kick-Off” Conference in Vilnius (Official Report, PDF)

Nonetheless, this “camouflage” still seems to work wonders on willing politician accomplices, as demonstrated amongst others by the Maltese Health Minister publicly welcoming this public funding of IGM perpetrators and practices this spring (despite that IGM is – at least on paper – prohibited in Malta), and the Maltese Member of the ERM Board of Member States (BoMS) in her presentation (PDF, p. 6) unwillingly highlighted the quite common State practice (particularly within the Comonwealth) of sending intersex children “overseas” for IGM, by underlining Malta’s long “special” relationship with notorious IGM perpetrator “Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH)” in London.

How much longer?!!

>>> Open Letter by Persons Concerned, Partners, Families, Friends and Allies (PDF) with 92 101 signatories to ‘I-DSD’, ‘DSDnet’, ‘eUROGEN’, ‘Endo-ERN’, ‘DSD-Life’ and Affiliates including 115 EU-funded IGM clinics in 27 countries.

>>> EU Parliament condemns IGM, calls “to prevent, ban and prosecute”

>>> EU: Biggest funder of IGM – how much longer?! 
>>>
‘D$Dnet’ – EU Millions for IGM Perpetrators
>>>
‘D$D-Life’ – The Global IGM Cartel Explained 

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

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

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 as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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 in Geneva 26.–27.10.2015
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

CCPR120 > Testimony to Intersex Genital Mutilation in Switzerland

Daniela Truffer testifying to IGM in Switzerland to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee), Geneva 03.07.2017

IGM = Torture, NOT 'Discrimination' or 'Gender Identity'

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At the 120th Session of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) as the Treaty body monitoring implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), before Switzerland was questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations, NGOs had the possibility to brief the HRCttee in a closed meeting.

Read below the 5-minutes oral statement by Swiss intersex advocate and IGM survivor Daniela Truffer:  >>> PDF (103 kb) 
 

StopIGM.org – STOP Intersex Genital Mutilations
NGO Oral Statement CCPR 120 Switzerland, 03.07.2017

Daniela Truffer

Thank you, Chair

I was born 1965 in Switzerland, with so called “ambiguous” genitalia. The doctors couldn‘t tell if I was a girl or a boy.

First they cut me open between my legs to see, if they find a vagina.

At two months they opened my abdomen and found healthy testes, which they threw in the garbage bin, without telling my parents.

At seven they cut my genital to make me look more like a girl, allegedly with my consent. Today they probably would make a boy out of me, by even more surgeries.

The doctors always lied to me and my parents. I spent my life in fear, pain and shame. I couldn’t talk to anybody.

Only at 35 I discovered that I am not alone and that there are self-help groups.

At 42, I was lucky to obtain my medical records, but only after a long hassle, and with statutes of limitations long expired.

I still suffer from periodical pain between my legs, hypersensitivity, and painful scars.

I did ten years of psychoanalytic therapy, otherwise I wouldn‘t be here now.

While all surgeries were paid for in full by the State, for the psychotherapy I had to pay a third by myself.

As substantiated in our 2017 NGO report, [1] in Switzerland all forms of Intersex Genital Mutilations are still perpetrated with impunity, paid for by the Swiss federal Disability Insurance, while adequate psychosocial support is still not available.

However, the Swiss State party can no longer in good faith claim ignorance of the severity of the human rights violations perpetrated against intersex children.

In 2012, the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK-CNE), having been tasked by the Swiss Federal Government, recommended a legal review into
   1. prohibiting the practice
   2. ensuring access to redress andc ompensation, and
   3. to provide access to free counselling.

In 2015 and 2016 Concluding observations CRC, CAT and CEDAW recognised IGM in Switzerland to constitute ill-treatment and a harmful practice, and explicitly obliged the State party to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to implement above Ethics Commission recommendations.

However, despite in the 2016 State report to this Committee for the first time acknowledging that IGM practices have been “denounced […] by the Federal Parliament and Council as well as by the National Ethics Commission”, and in a Federal Council statement on the Ethics Commission recommendations further acknowledging that IGM practices result in “considerable consequential damage and severe suffering”, to this day the Swiss State party undeviatingly refuses to take effective measures, but instead counterfactually claims,

  • IGM practices would only be “approved for between one and three children per year of birth”,
  • IGM practices would be strictly a thing of the “past”,
  • the recommendations of the Ethics Commission would all be “already implemented or in the process of being implemented”,
  • however “free psychosocial support” for persons and families concerned would be “impossible” to finance. [2]

Accordingly, in 2017 votes on a petition by our NGO, both the Council of the State [3] and the National Council [4] refused to legislate against IGM practices, referring to above counterfactual claims. Although both chambers conceded that “premature unnecessary” genital surgery “constitutes a violation of the right to physical integrity”, they nonetheless claimed, “We believe medical professionals are nowadays sufficiently sensitised to the issue and only undertake such interventions when they are justified.” [5]

However, the true state of awareness of the medical profession is illustrated by a current “review” of the medical practice at the Zurich University Children’s Hospital funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, [6] where the so called “interdisciplinary team” in charge consists mostly of doctors actively involved in today’s treatments while persons concerned are not represented, enabling the Hospital to destroy about 80% of its historic medical files on IGM practices, including those of a member of the self-help group, [7] thus depriving him of his last chance to ever learn what exactly was done to him at at the Department of Surgery when he was five. [8]

We therefore hope the Committee will ask the Swiss delegation tough questions on IGM, and will sternly remind Switzerland of its obligations under the Covenant, art. 7 and 24, and the general comment No. 20.

Thank you.

[1]  2017 CRPD Swiss NGO Report, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2017-CCPR-Swiss-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM.pdf
[2]  ibid., B.3.a), p. 7-8
[3]  Vote of 16.03.2017, https://www.parlament.ch/de/ratsbetrieb/amtliches-bulletin/amtliches-bulletin-die-verhandlungen?SubjectId=39798
[4]  Vote of 16.06.2017, https://www.parlament.ch/de/ratsbetrieb/amtliches-bulletin/amtliches-bulletin-die-verhandlungen?SubjectId=40660 
[5]  Report of the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council (LAC-N, 06.04.2017 recommending [rejection]), p. 2 https://www.parlament.ch/centers/kb/Documents/2015/Kommissionsbericht_RK-N_15.2043_2017-04-06.pdf
[6]  http://www.snf.ch/en/researchinFocus/newsroom/Pages/news-161010-press-release-reviewing-the-treatment-of-differences-of-sex-development.aspx
[7]  Case No. 1 in the 2017 CCPR Swiss NGO Report, p. 18
[8]   See 2017 CAT LoIPR Swiss NGO Report, A.5., p. 9, http://intersex.shadowreport.org/public/2017-CAT-LoIPR-Swiss-NGO-Zwischengeschlecht-Intersex-IGM.pdf

>>> CCPR120 > TRANSCRIPT + VIDEO: Switzerland Questioned over IGM
>>> Bearing witness to IGM: UN-CEDAW67 Italy + CCPR120 Switzerland

>>> UN Press release on intersex Q&A during the review of Switzerland

NGO Report to the 4th Periodic Report of Switzerland on the  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)

>>> Download as PDF (809 kb)

Compiled by:
StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org
Intersex.ch
SI Selbsthilfe Intersexualität

See also:
23 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condemn IGM
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
56th Session of Committee against Torture reprimands 4 Governments for IGM
CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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

Zwischengeschlecht.org 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)