Council of Europe’s statement on intersex people’s need for equal rights!

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In recognition of the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17th, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has released the statement, A boy or a girl or a person — intersex people lack recognition in Europe. The statement examines the intense difficulties and human rights abuses  – such as “normalizing” infant surgeries — which intersex people face due to the fact that we do not conform to binary sex and gender norms.

It concludes:

There is a need to raise awareness of and collect more data on the situation of intersex persons in society and the discrimination and prejudice they encounter in daily life also as adults. The reform of the Sex Discrimination Act in Australia last year introduced the ground of “intersex status” among other prohibited grounds of discrimination. This is a powerful tool to foster the equality of intersex people.

I urge governments in Europe to review their current legislation and medical practices to identify gaps in the protection of intersex people and take measures to address the problems. Policy makers should involve civil society advocates of intersex persons such as the OII Europe and ILGA-Europe in these efforts. The enjoyment of human rights is universal and it cannot depend on the sex of the person.

We thank the Commissioner and all who worked on this statement for acknowledging intersex people and advocating for our need for equal human rights!

See full statement here: