Overnight, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a new report, “Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”, A/HRC/29/23, which includes detailed reference to intersex and other LGBTI persons. OII Australia warmly welcomes this report, which for the first time calls for an end to forced medical treatment on people born with intersex variations in all UN member states.
As well as a wide range of well-reported actions and recommendations affecting people who are same sex attracted and transgender, it contains the following statement on the medical treatment (not just surgeries) of intersex children:
53. Many intersex children, born with atypical sex characteristics, are subjected to medically unnecessary surgery and treatment in an attempt to force their physical appearance to align with binary sex stereotypes. Such procedures are typically irreversible and can cause severe, long-term physical and psychological suffering.
Similar statements, and a call to end forced treatments, have been made by the cross-party 2013 Senate committee report, “Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia” and the 2015 Council of Europe Issue Paper, as well as longstanding calls by OII Australia and other intersex-led organisations. Recognition of lifelong impact is significant.