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UN-CRC 77th Session @ Palais Wilson, Geneva 22.01.2018, 09:56h: Getting ready …
Geneva, 22 January: Spain is up for review at the 77th session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Intersex organisations StopIGM.org and Brújula Intersexual and Spanish intersex advocates submitted compelling evidence of the ongoing practice in public Spanish children’s clinics to the Committee, and are now hoping for tough questions on intersex and Intersex Genital Mutilation.
The review of Spain was transmitted live in English and Spanish on webtv.un.org:
• VIDEO Session 1 (English + Español) with Committee questions: 10-13h CET
• VIDEO Session 2 (EN + ES) with Spain’s answers and follow-up question: 15-18h CET
StopIGM.org was reporting LIVE from Palais Wilson [original report]:
Session 1, Mon 22.01.2018, 10-13h CET
10:10h: The live transmission is on! Head of Spanish Delegation presenting introductory statement …
12:31h: (Video @ 2:33:35)YAY!! Second round of questions, CRC task force coordinator and vice chairperson Ms. Olga Khazova […] raises intersex children! Says the Committee is concerned about non-consensual genital mutilation and other detrimental treatment imposed on intersex children in various clinics in Spain, which is often unnecessary and always very painful, with lifelong consequences. Question: Do you plan to stop such surgeries until a child is able to make its own decision? 🙂 Unofficial Trancript:
«Another question on intersex children. The Committee is concerned about the still existing practice of non-consensual genital mutilation as well as other detrimental procedures that are imposed on intersex children in various clinics in Spain.
Such surgeries and procedures, which are often unnecessary and are always very painful produce life-long negative consequences and I don’t have time to develop this issue, I believe you are familiar with all the problems that are accompanying.
So my question is: do you plan to stop such surgeries or procedures and postpone them until later time when a child is able to make his or her own decision or at least participate in decision making, and perhaps when it turned out that such a surgery is not necessary at all.»
12:58h: Session adjourned until 3 pm …
Session 2, Mon 22.01.2018, 15-18h CET
15:02h: Session resumed, the live transmission is back on!
15:40h: (Video @ 39:16) Answer on intersex by Ms. Sagrario Mateu (Chief Health Services for Mothers and Children)!Says children are dealt with in primary health services, which do a good job, although they are overburdened, and is supported by scientific community. Genital mutilation is a very complex issue, no specific figures available here. Best thing is to wait. Children are also referred to specialised services. :-/ Unofficial transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original Spanish):
«You also asked about intersex children, and in answer to this I can say that intersex children are dealt with within the primary health care services. They are overburdened but work very well and do have common protocols. They are heavily supported by the scientific communities and work well.
So intersex children are seen just like any other child in mainstream primary health care services, and the question of mutilations or surgical operations, I think these are very complex issues, I really don’t have specific figures for you here, but I know that it’s something that child health care professionals do deal with. We have to look at the hormonal development of these children when it’s not very clear how the development will take place.
There are once again in this area some communities that work better than others, but it’s I think obviously the best thing to do is to wait in the case of intersex children, and primary health care service refer cases to specialised health care services if appropriate.»
15:43h: (Video @ 43:19) YAY!! Committee expert and CRC vice chairperson Mr. José Rodríguez follows up on intersex! Asks if there are systems in place for statistical collection? Are there manuals for training of health care staff? Are there any legal provisions? 🙂 Unofficial transcript (of UN simultaneous translation from original Spanish):
«Thank you, good afternoon, and my greetings to the distinguished delegation that is here with us this afternoon.
You have been telling us that you have very few cases of intersex children. I wonder whether you have any statistical collection system to know exactly how many intersex children there are in Spain, and whether you have any practical manuals or training which is provided to health care staff precisely so they can become more familiar with this issue.
And finally whether you have any legal provisions that relate to intersex children.»
15:44h: (Video @ 44:12) Follow-up answer on intersex by Ms. Sagrario Mateu (Chief Health Services for Mothers and Children):There is no national register, autonomous communities collect own data. Some have manuals and legislation, others not. National Health System is aware, children can also be sent to regional centers for treatment. Plus she simply ignored the question about legal privisions! 🙁 Unofficial transcription (of UN simultaneous translation from original Spanish):
«Thank you, Sir, for that question. We don’t have a national register because we don’t have a national assistance register in Spain. All of the autonomous Communities collect their own data, and obviously, if we want to re-evaluate policy at the central level then we have to ask the Communities for their figures.
And guides on intersex children, well, there are such guides, there are autonomous Communities that have such good guides in place. The scientific community is also involved here and it works very well in this area, as well as training is concerned, while at the national level I believe that this is training which is being attempted at the autonomous Community level, because the intersex child must be seen by someone who has been trained whether they are operated on or not.
There is no national register, I would repeat, but the health care system is aware of these children. So it is a question of how the system is coordinated.»
17:55h: Closing remarks by CRC chairperson Ms. Renate Winter … Session closed.
IGM Practices in Spain: 2017 CRC NGO Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM in Spain • Complicity of the State • IGM is Harmful Practice
>>> English (PDF, 815 kb) >>> Español (PDF, 335 kb)
>>> Endorsement of Intersex NGO Report by CoPPA: English | Español
>>> UN-CRC to investigate Intersex Genital Mutilation in Spain
>>> CRC77 > Intersex Genital Mutilation in Spain reported to UN
• “Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
• 29 UN Reprimands for Intersex Genital Mutilations – 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) to examine IGM Practices
• CAT 2011: Germany must investigate IGM practices and compensate survivors!
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 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