IDAHOT* 2015: Let’s Talk About Intersex Appropriation …

Photo: Intersex Protest #1 vs. ‘4th I-D$D Medical Symposium’, Glasgow 07.06.2013

Heidi Walcutt (1997): 'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation'

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook First the good news: In Germany, after the community in Leipzig already in 2013 started with truly including Intersex by introducing the clever new acronym IDAHIT* as well as adding thematic events doing justice to intersex persons and their struggles, and last but not least by officially adopting the demand for outlawing the still ongoing harmful practice of Intersex Genital Mutilations, in 2014 Halle (Saale) and in 2015 Jena followed suit. Thanks!! Mostly good news also from the Council of Europe (COE) – see below.

Nonetheless, also in 2015 in many places intersex people are still only seemingly “included” – or even shamelessly appropriated by third party groups! In such cases, Intersex is often “sold” as primarily being an issue of (gender) identity, birth certificates and discrimination, while a the same time Intersex Genital Mutilations, the harm caused, and adequate measures to end them a.s.a.p. are omitted, suppressed, downplayed, belittled, put on the back burner and/or swept under the carpet.

A particularly typical case: The “Focus paper ‘The fundamental rights situation of intersex people'” of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),
>>> Focus paper (PDF)     >>> Press Release FRA 
which was presented at the “IDAHO-Forum 2015” in Montenegro:

  • The only practical legislative proposition therein is – you get 3 guesses – to adapt sex registration laws, i.e. “Gender markers in identity documents and birth registries should therefore be reviewed to [allegedly] better protect intersex people.”
  • In contrast, not mentioned at all are the serious and lifelong harm and impairments resulting from IGM practices – and instead of practical and effectice demands to end IGM (like proposed by intersex persons and their organisations, and seconded e.g. by CAT, NEK-CNE, CRC, WHO, UNICEF), once more there is only non-binding, mutilator-friendly wish-wash.

Whose interests and priorities this alleged “Intersex focus paper” (for which intersex persons and their organisations obviously were consulted only in form and not in substance) really represents, is also emphasised by a comparison of which key words appear in it how often (and which ones were omitted):

gender: 42
certificate/certification/registration: 33
discrimination/discriminated/discriminatory: 30
identity: 28
orientation: 9

vs.

surgery: 14
integrity: 8
[intersex] mutilation: 2

harmful practice (CRC art, 24.3, CEDAW art. 5): 0
inhuman treatment, torture (CAT art, 2, 4, , CEDAW art. 5): 0

harm [done by IGM]: 0
(loss of) sexual sensitivity/sensation: 0
trauma: 0

redress: 0
statutes of limitation: 0
data collection: 0
monitoring: 0

Bottom line: Intersex Appropriation – Bingo! Once more, survivors of IGM (and intersex children at risk of being submitted to IGM practices) are abused at the “IDAHO Forum 2015” to pursue third party, (gender) identity and civil status politics at their cost – while at the same time, intersex children keep getting mutilated daily – for how much longer?! Yuck!! If those appropriators had their own genitals forcibly cut for a change – their priorities would change pretty fast and thoroughly – wanna bet?!

On the other hand, how such a study can be done better, demonstrates the “Issue Paper ‘Human rights and intersex people'” >>> Issue paper PDF  >>> COE Press release, published by the Commissioner on Human Rights of the Council of Europe (COE), authored by Silvan Agius, and presented at the same “IDAHO-Forum 2015”. Thanks!! Not only does this paper include most of the above missing key words, but generally talks straight, also on IGM practices.

However, also in the COE Issue Paper there are still painful exceptions, for example “statutes of limitation” and “monitoring” are still missing, and, most egregious, regarding the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), of all things the crucial art. 24 para. 3 (“Harmful practices”) went missing – despite having been highlighted also by the Committee in their ground-breaking 2015 recommendations on IGM – pity! A further deficit of the COE issue paper, how John Money is – in accordance with the ever popular gender studies myth – once more counterfactually portrayed as the “inventor” of IGM practices, while in fact this “honour” belongs to Lawson Wilkins.

How much longer?!

22 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)

Markus Bauer @ Genital Autonomy 2015: “IGM considered a ‘Harmful Practice’ by UN – Intersex Social Movement Strategies in Action”

Markus on ABC Nightline, filmed during the “I-D$D 2013” Protests  >>> Full “I-D$D” Video

Markus Bauer (Zwischengeschlecht.org/StopIGM.org) is an invited speaker at “Genital Autonomy 2015” in Frankfurt a.M. (Germany), May 6-9. Together with fellow activist Simon Zobel, Markus will represent intersex issues at GA 2015.
Following the annual demonstration in Cologne on the 7th of May to support genital autonomy for all children, there will be a two-day conference in Frankfurt on 8th and 9th May exploring some legal and medical issues relating to the genital cutting of children.
“Genital Autonomy” was established in 1989 as an originally bi-annual international symposium on children’s rights promoting interdisciplinary dialogue about genital cutting practices of male, female, and intersex children. At last year’s symposium in Boulder (Colorado) (abstracts, PDF), Markus presented together with fellow activist Hida Viloria (OII). In 2012 (abstracts, PDF), speakers on intersex were Julius Kaggwa (SIPD, Uganda) and Mika Venhola (youtube-interview), and the symposium issued the 2012 “Helsinki Declaration of the Right to Genital Autonomy”.

Abstract: 2015: Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM) Considered a ‘Harmful Practice’ by UN –– Intersex Social Movement Strategies in Action

In February 2015, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) considered Intersex Genital Mutilations a “Harmful Practice” – a powerful concept calling not only for legislation aimed at eliminating harmful practices, but also stressing implementation, monitoring, enforcement, and remedies. I’ll discuss this and other recent achievements in the context of the ongoing 20-year-struggle of intersex activists to end IGM, employing social movement strategies including coordinated use of nonviolent action, human rights mechanisms, and lawsuits against perpetrators.

Markus Bauer is the co-founder and campaign organiser of the international human rights NGO Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org, and legally responsible for their online presence. He is the partner of an intersex person, and a decade-long writer, editor, performing artist, political activist, and social organiser. Since 2007, he facilitated countless nonviolent intersex protests in front of mutilators’ clinics and medical congresses, as well as parliamentary motions, submissions and testimonies for ethics and human rights bodies. He has spoken and published internationally on IGM at universities and symposia, and appeared on radio and television, and in newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal. Zurich, Switzerland.

VIDEO Action vs. ‘I-D$D’ Genital Mutilators!
4th I-D$D Symposium, Glasgow 2013
Thanks to Richard Duncker (MenDoComplain)

>>> on Vimeo

VIDEO Action vs. ‘ISHID’ Live Mutilators!
IV ISHID World Congress, London 2012
Thanks to Richard Duncker (MenDoComplain)

>>> on Youtube

Intersex Genital Mutilations
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy

2014 NGO Report to the UN Committe on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Documents 17 Forms of IGMs and Nazi-Crimes a.o. in CH, D, A
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)    
>>>
Table of Contents

UN-CRPD Criticises Intersex Genital Mutilations, Calls for Legal Provisions to Provide Redress to Survivors

Ana Peláez Narváez asks Germany questions on IGM and castrations, Geneva 26.03.2015

'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!' - UNHRC Geneva 20.10.2012

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookHip, hip! On occasion of their 13th session, the UN-Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) published Concluding Recommendations on Intersex for the 1st time ever, explicitly criticising Germany for allowing IGM Practices to continue unhindered (>>> DOC –> p. 6–7, paras 37-38), after having questioned the state delegation on this topic in Geneva earlier (see below).

This success is the result of German Intersex Groups and allies participating in the UN human rights mechanism of the initial review of Germany under the Convention on the Rights of People With Disabilities (CRPD):

  • Intersexuelle Menschen e.V. participating in the 2013 Collective NGO Report facilitated by CRPD Alliance (>>> PDF –> p. 36–37),
  • plus a  2014 NHRI Report by the German Institute for Human Rights, a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and the official German CRPD Monitoring Body (>>> PDF –> p. 6),

leading to the Committee asking Germany questions on Intersex and IGM Practices in their 2014 List of Issues (LoI) (>>> as reported on this blog), as well as to (evasive) answers by the German Gov (>>> same report –> Update).

Germany’s clearly less than satisfactory answers were then criticised again by NGOs and the NHRI for the session

  • in a 34-page 2015 Thematic Intersex NGO Report by Zwischengeschlecht.org/StopIGM.org (>>>  PDF | HTML | DOC | DOCX),
  • in a 2015 Collective NGO Follow-Up Report facilitated by CRPD Alliance, again with participation of Intersexuelle Menschen e.V. (>>> DOC –> p. 10–11),
  • and in a 2015 NHRI Follow-Up Report by the German Institute for Human Rights (>>> PDF –> p. 15).

In addition, there was a Intersex Side Event in Geneva prior to the session, with participation of Zwischengeschlecht.org/Stop IGM.org, OII Germany and OII Australia, co-facilitated by GATE. Zwischengeschlecht.org and OII Germany also contributed short statements during the NGO briefing on Germany just before the session, with Daniela Truffer (Zwischengeschlecht.org) once more being the only survivor of IGM giving firsthand testimony on the consequences of IGM practices, as well as providing practical, referenced examples of past and present examples of IGM and other gross human rights violations of intersex people in Germany.

Diane Kinston mentions intersex in her opening statement on Germany, Geneva 26.03.2015

During the 13th CRPD Session, on 26 March 2015, intersex was mentioned by CRPD Country Rapporteur for Germany Diane Kingston in her introduction; and CRPD member Ana Peláez Narváez asked the German State Party explicit questions regarding genital mutilations and castrations of intersex children, also referring to the review of Germany under CEDAW during their 43th session in 2009 (the first time ever that intersex NGOs particpated in a human rights mechanism, and also the very first time a UN Committee criticised a country regarding human rights violations of intersex people in Concluding Observations).

In their reply, the State Party once again longwindedly claimed everything would be different now, and in fact intersex people would rather the committee would’t get active, and therefore legislation wouldn’t be necessary, preferring an “individualised” medical approach (as called for by IGM doctors, too). As per usual, videos of the whole session are available online via treatybodywebcast.org >>> english audio + sign language | german audio + video of speakers.

Fortunately, the Committee didn’t allow the state party to pull the wool over their eyes. Instead, in their Concluding Observations (>>> DOC –> p. 6–7, paras 37-38), for the first time CRPD explicitly criticised IGM Practices as well as the lack of legal provisions for access to redress for survivors, referring to the UN Committee against Torture (CAT)’s 2011 recommendations for Germany.

As reported on this blog, the binding 2011 CAT recommendations for Germany (CAT/C/DEU/CO/5 >>> PDF, p. 6–7, para 20) referred to by CRPD include a call for the state party to:

“Undertake investigation of incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of  intersex people without effective consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation”.

The following are the binding 2015 recommendations for Germany regarding intersex by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
(CRPD/C/DEU/CO/1 >>> DOC –> p. 6–7, paras 37-38)

Protecting the integrity of the person (art. 17)

37. The Committee is concerned about: […] c) the lack of implementation of the 2011 recommendations CAT/C/DEU/CO/5, para. 20, regarding upholding bodily integrity of intersex children.

38. The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures, including of a legislative nature to: 

[…]

(d) Implement all the recommendations of CAT/C/DEU/CO/5, para. 20 relevant to intersex children.

On behalf of our German constituency and supporters, Zwischengeschlecht.org/StopIGM.org warmly thanks the Committe for these recommendations! While many had hoped for additional recommendations also on the topic of lack of data collection and monitoring, especially considering the German gov’s long history of empty promisies and ongoing refusal to do so, as well as on the current denial of needed healt care for persons with CAH with salt loss, these recommendation is an important first step and will greatly help increasing the pressure on German perpetrators of IGM practices and IGM-friendly politicians.

'Human Rights For Hermaphrodites, Too!' - 2015 CRPD NGO Report

Intersex Genital Mutilations: 2015 CRPD NGO Report
Documents ongoing Human Rights Violations in Germany under CRPD
 What is Intersex? • How Common are IGM-Practices?
 No Law to Prevent IGM  No Data Collection & Statistics
 No Access to Justice & Redress  Denial of Needed Health Care
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)    >>> HTML    >>> DOC | DOCX

Intersex Genital Mutilations: 2015 CRPD Intersex NGO Report online

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookThe UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilites (CRPD) will examine Germany March 26-27 in Geneva – and IGM practices will be in the focus!

The thematic NGO report by Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org sheds light on the decade-long refusal of the German Government to protect intersex children and adults from IGM practices, to collect data and statistics on related human rights violations, to ensure access to justice and redress for survivors, and to ensure availability of appropriate medication for intersex adults with the salt-losing form of CAH. Version 2.0 PDF with improved accessability.

>>> Download as PDF    >>> HTML     >>> DOC     >>> DOCX

“Compounding the Harm of IGM” – Ellen Feder says it as it is

Zwischengeschlecht.org on Facebook Intersex: No Reckoning, No Reconciliation!>>> Excellent post by Ellen Feder on the typical (non-)reaction of the IGM surgeon Terry Hensle when confronted by survivor Saifa Wall in a ground-breaking segment of “Nightline”, laying bare the continuation of abuse due to the ongoing lack of willlingness of  the perpetrators to engage in reconciliation: 

[I]n refusing to recognize his responsibility to repair the harm he has caused, Hensle commits another harm. As Margaret Walker has argued in her book, Moral Repair, to turn away from the task of repair, “is not only not to do something, it is to do wrong once again”:

Failures to repair wrongs are additional wrongs that create additional obligations to repair the failures. Where wrongs persist unrepaired repeatedly, in an extended series of refusals or failures to repair, the lack of reparative effort on the part of those responsible for repair accrues layers of disregard, indifference, disrespect, contempt, belittlement, or intended careless humiliation.

Thanks, Ellen Feder and Saifa Wall!

Nuremberg: “Intersex person sues clinic for unncessary surgery” – The Local, 27.02.2015

Michaela “Micha” Raab in front of Nuremberg court with solidarity rally, 26.02.2015 (dpa/FAZ)
Placards (left to right): We demand: Comprehensive information against manipulation!” (Katrin Ann Kunze †
during 1st ever intersex lawsuit, Cologne 12.12.2007); STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation” (Heidi Walcutt †
during intersex rally, NYC 1997); “No reckoning, no reconciliation.”

Intersex person Michaela Raab is suing doctors [and the Erlangen University Clinic] in a Nuremberg court, who she said operated on her genitals and put her through female hormone therapy without having told her she was genetically a man.

In 1995, Raab consulted doctors at the University Hospital Erlangen in Southern Germany, wondering why she had never had her period or had her breasts grow by the age of 20.

Doctors put her on female hormone therapy, and she went through an operation to reduce what they told her was an oversized clitoris.

Years later, Raab would discover she had XY chromosomes – making her genetically male – and that her doctors had never let her know.

She said if she had known, she may have decided against the doctors’ treatment strategy.

>>> Read full article at TheLocal.de 
>>> Nuremberg, 26.02.2015: Peaceful Intersex Solidarity Rally for Michaela “Micha” Raab

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

Nuremberg, 26.02.2015: Peaceful Intersex Solidarity Protest for Michaela “Micha” Raab – Trial vs. IGM Surgeon + University Clinic!

Photo: Cologne, 12.12.2007 – World’s first litigation vs. Intersex Genital Mutilator
100’000 € damages for Christiane Völling (3rd from right)!  (Photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation!Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPeaceful Intersex Solidarity Rally at Nuremberg Court
• Thur 26.02.2015 12:30–13:20h (near Main Entrance)

• 13:30h Trial vs. Prof. S. + Erlangen University Clinic because of non-consensual “Clitoral Reduction” and Castration.

Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM) are a fundamental human rights violation – see you where the action is!

On Thursday, 26 February 2015 the Nuremberg Court – yes, the Nuremberg Court! – will witness a piece of Intersex History, when the case of Michaela “Micha” Raab vs. her former surgeon and his University Clinic will finally kick off after years of stalling and back and forth.

Micha is only the second survivor of IGM worldwide to succeed in suing her mutilator, and the first in Germany to succeed in suing also the University Clinic facilitating the deed; and her case is only the third case reaching a court at all (after Christiane Völling and the still ongoing #justice4MC case) – a stark testament to the factual impunity of IGM doctors, clinics and other responsible bodies and persons, which has been criticised by survivors, the Swiss Ethics Commission (NEK-CNE) and several UN Bodies, including the Committee against Torture (CAT), already in 2011 explicitly calling on Germany to “Undertake investigation of incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex people without effective consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation” (see CRC NGO Report, PDF, p. 28-29).

How much longer?!  Enough with mutilating intersex people with impunity!!!

>>> 2015: UNCRC: Intersex Genital Mutilations = “Harmful Practice” + “Violence”!

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

The Racist Roots of Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM)

Dana Aliza Levy: “Conceptions and Perceptions of Human Difference: Albinos and Hermaphrodites in the Enlightenment” (Bachelor Thesis, 2012)    >>> Fulltext PDF
W A R N I N G : 
The thesis uses pathologising and demeaning language to describe intersex variations troughout, i.e. not only when quoting sources. In the following excerpts, pathologising expressions (with exception of direct or indirect quotes) have been replaced by [variations]:

The myth of Hermaphroditus lasted through the eighteenth century and as a result, the very existence of the hermaphrodite was more heavily debated than the origin of the [variation]. (p 94)

Buffon and De Pauw believed the rise of hermaphrodites was a natural occurrence resulting from excessive heat in climactic conditions and so they maintained that the hermaphrodite was a problem localized to warmer climates – specifically Africa and Asia. (p 108)

This effort aimed to regionalize hermaphroditism as a problem to the other (warm) regions of the world, where Buffon had successfully deemed the natives uncivilized, barbaric, and flawed as compared to Europeans. (p 96)

Michael-Anne chose to continue to live her life as a female. Jaucourt, the philosopher, wished to truly examine her genitalia and dictate the sex as which she should lead her life. Yet, her parents’ refusal to concede to a formal medical examination to assign her a sex troubled Jaucourt’s quest […] (p 100)

Although his discourse was initially somewhat scientific, Jaucourt subjectively cast the female hermaphrodite into a sexualized role. Almost by rule, in his opinion, there were hermaphrodites in Angola who possessed an enlarged clitoris and on their own volition asked others to remove it and enlarge their vaginal canal to better suit their male lovers. [212] Already embodying an excess of sexual genitalia, the notion that these women intended to alter their body for pure sexual gratification – whether it was for themselves or their mates—made the hermaphrodite into a sex-crazed creature concerned solely with pleasure. This sexualization of the hermaphrodite alluded to the erotic libertinism of the time; yet, this reduction of the hermaphrodites to their sexual urges made them less reasonable and more driven by instinct and need like animal. (p 99)

Voltaire’s idea of a hermaphrodite was an imperfect mixture of both sexes within a single human and thus, they became a combination of animal and human – a perfect monstrosity. (p 105)

Diderot made no differentiation between the category of the hermaphrodite and the normal human. (p 102)

Buffon and De Pauw believed the rise of hermaphrodites was a natural occurrence resulting from excessive heat in climactic conditions and so they maintained that the hermaphrodite was a problem localized to warmer climates – specifically Africa and Asia.  (p 108)

Additionally, De Pauw noted that climate motivated the rise of hermaphroditism, and therefore this human deformity was natural. Yet, this natural condition was a “radical” monstrosity. [219] He contested its actual existence, and claimed that almost all hermaphrodites were merely females with overdeveloped sexual organs, which became more enlarged with time and maturation. [220] In most cases, these deformities naturally cured themselves, but in the case of the hermaphrodite, nature had willed the enlargement to remain. Although Maupertuis’s opinion of nature would have concluded that if nature had maintained the deformity, it was an attractive and favorable development, De Pauw maintained hermaphroditism as a disease similar to Jaucourt’s work.

Although other authors’ concession of naturalness in the hermaphrodite somewhat normalized their condition, De Pauw insistently repeated his belief that hermaphrodites represented another type of human –though not so much as to define a variety or race—which was a monster. [221] Possessing both male and female genitalia marked the hermaphrodite’s inferiority to other normal humans. This [variation], to De Pauw, was enough to make them a different degree of human, though his discussion of their humanity did not delve into greater detail. Their physical condition indicated their inferior nature and status as a bastardized group of people. [222]

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 Briefing for UN-CRC
• IGM: A Survivor’s Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are IGM Practices? • What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?
• IGM and Human Rights • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

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

“May your hand rot off, which you used to mutilate defenceless children!”

Kinderspital Zürich - Universitäts-Kinderklinik “Human Rights for Hermaphrodites too!” – Zurich, July 6, 2008 (Photo: Ärger)

From a speech by Daniela “Nella” Truffer to future doctors:

At two and a half months, they castrated me, threw my healthy testicles into the dust bin. The doctors decided, I should grow up as a girl, my parents were instructed accordingly. At seven, they shortened my ambiguous genital. After the surgery I went into shock, developed multiple haematoma and necrotic tissue. Pain and scars remained. That I could have died during these surgeries because of a serious heart condition, was of no interest to the doctors. At eighteen, a vagina was tinkered, where there was nothing before.

Personally, I don’t want to resort to an eye for an eye, though I admit to having thought about it, and I don’t want to have to be imprisoned even more on behalf of my castrators and genital mutilators.

So the only thing left for me is finding other ways of standing up for hermaphrodite children, so that at least they may live in the future. To be a voice for your future patients, to convince you, that cosmetic genital surgeries and other medically not necessary interventions violate human rights and must stop.

To all those among you, who in spite still choose pursuing a career as genital mutilators, to you I wish with all my heart, may a horde of crazed hermaphrodites find you, who will direct their anger not at themselves, but against you. May they turn your lives into hell with lawsuits for grievous bodily harm, may they ruin your reputation and plunder your bank accounts! And to those, who even then still don’t have enough, may your hand rot off, which you used to mutilate defenceless children! And perhaps, one day even a hermaphrodite will come to you with a pair of hedge shears, and will teach you what it feels like having to scrape a living with scarred genitals! And the same also to all of you, who, though you don’t perpetrate the mutilations by yourselves, still participate or look the other way.

However, to all those among you, who will abide by “first do no harm”, and one day will enter the medical profession in the name of humanity, to you, even more with all my heart, I wish you all the best for your future.

>>> Full Text: “May your hand rot off, which you used to mutilate defenceless children!” 

“Harmful Practice” and “Violence”: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Condemns Non-Consensual Genital Surgeries on Intersex Children

UPDATE 11.10.2015: Chile > CRC criticising IGM as “harmful practice” – again!

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookPress Release by StopIGM.org, 05.02.2015:

Heidi Walcutt (1997): 'STOP Intersex Genital Mutilation'

Zwischengeschlecht.org warmly welcomes the historic 2015 “Concluding Observations” of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for Switzerland.
>>> CRC/C/CHE/CO/2-4, DOC, on Intersex: p. 8-9, paras. 42-43

Not only do they mark the first time the Committee tackled intersex and IGM practices, but indeed the first time any human rights body recognisied non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible, cosmetic genital surgeries and other procedures on intersex children as a “harmful practice”.

We especially appreciate the Committee specifically addressing the “lack of redress and compensation” for survivors, as well as referencing both the recommendations by the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (underlining the need for legal revision including liability, criminal law and statutes of limitation) and the CRC-CEDAW Joint Geneneral Comment No. 18 on harmful practices (highlighting the necessity of developing a holistic policy).

The fight of intersex people and their organsiations for “bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination” and to eliminate IGM practices is far from over. The CRC’s Concluding Observations however mark an important and most welcome step towards these goals – a sign of hope for intersex children everywhere!

>>> 21.01.2015: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child criticises IGM Practices
>>> Transcript: Intersex Q&A during the 68. Session of CRC, Geneva 2015
>>> 2014 CRC NGO Report “Intersex Genital Mutilations” (PDF 3.65 MB)
>>>
2015 CRC Briefing “Intersex Genital Mutilations on a Global Scale” (PDF 3.14 MB)

The Concluding Observations on intersex and IGM practices (p. 8-9, paras. 42-43):

E.    Violence against children
(arts. 19, 24, para. 3, 28, para. 2, 34, 37 (a) and 39)

[…]

Harmful practices 

42.    While welcoming the adoption of a new provision of criminal law prohibiting genital mutilation, the Committee is deeply concerned at:

[…]

(b)    Cases of medically unnecessary surgical and other procedures on intersex children, which often entail irreversible consequences and can cause severe physical and psychological suffering, without their informed consent, and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases.

43.    The Committee draws the attention of the State party to the Joint General Comment No. 18 on harmful practices (2014), together with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and urges the State party to:

[…]

(b)    In line with the recommendations on ethical issues relating to intersexuality by the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics, ensure that no-one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to children concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support.


The international human rights NGO StopIGM.org demands the prohibition of forced genital surgeries on children and adolescents with ‘atypical’ 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 Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org

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

presse_at_zwischengeschlecht.info

http://StopIGM.org

UPDATE 11.10.2015: Chile > CRC criticising IGM as “harmful practice” – again!

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 Briefing for UN-CRC
• IGM: A Survivor’s Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are IGM Practices? • What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?
• IGM and Human Rights • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

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