Intersex – the last great worldwide struggle for fundamental human rights

By on .


5 September 2011
Brussels, Belgium


The world’s 1st International Intersex Organising Forum took place in Brussels between 3-5 September 2011. The historic event brought together 24 activists representing 17 intersex organisations from all continents.

Around the world intersex individuals are being subjected to inhumane and degrading altering surgical and hormonal procedures, without consent of the intersex person, at the discretion of doctors and outside legal regulation. This is done to “normalise” genitals and bodies in order to fit intersex people within the sex binary of men and women. Pathologisation of intersex individuals results in gross human rights violations and abuse bodily integrity and personal dignity.

The Forum agreed on the demands aiming to end discrimination against intersex people and to ensure the right of bodily integrity and self determination:

1. To put an end to mutilating and “normalising” practices such as genital surgeries, psychological and other medical treatments, including infanticide and selective abortion (on the grounds of intersex) in some parts of the world.

2. To ensure that the personal, free, prior, and fully informed consent of the intersex individual is a compulsory requirement in all medical practices and protocols.

3. Creating and facilitating supportive, safe and celebratory environments for intersex people, their families and surroundings.

This newly established informal network will campaign for the respect of intersex people’s human rights on international, regional and national levels. The next meeting of the Forum is expected to take place towards the end of 2012.

The Forum was facilitated and sponsored by ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) and its European region, ILGA-Europe.

The Forum also reached out to representatives of TGEU (Transgender Europe) and IGLYO (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation) and will continue building wider alliances with other human rights and equality organisations working in such areas as women’s rights, the rights of indigenous people and people with disabilities.


For further information please contact:

Sally Gross, +27 827884205

Latin America:
Mauro Isaac Cabral, +54 (9) 351 5589876

North America:
Jim Bruce, +1 707-793-1190

Hiker Chiu, +886 0923868653

Australia & Pacific:
Gina Wilson, +61 418290336 or +61 2 97499989

Del LaGrace Volcano, +46 7626 88 312 or +46 19 33 52 03

Sebastian Rocca (ILGA), +32 471 80 20 99
Silvan Agius (ILGA-Europe), +32 2 609 54 17 or +32 496 708 370

OII Australia Limited ACN 143506594 PO Box 1553 Auburn NSW 1535