UN Human Rights Council discusses intersex rights, health issues for first time

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

The rights of intersex people were discussed at a recent UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, marking the first time that it had been mentioned at this level.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein spoke of the intersex community during his opening address, and then held a meeting with intersex human rights defenders from around the world.

During his address to the council, Hussein highlighted the lack of awareness around issues faced by the intersex community.

“Far too few of us are aware of the specific human rights violations faced by millions of intersex people,” he said.

“Because their bodies don’t comply with typical definitions of male or female, intersex children and adults are frequently subjected to forced sterilisation and other unnecessary surgery, and suffer discrimination in schools, workplaces and other settings.”

In attendance was the president of OII Australia, the national body for the Australian intersex community, Morgan Carpenter.

Regarding local intersex rights, Carpenter mentioned the 2013 Senate committee inquiry into the involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people, and said that many of its recommendations were yet to be implemented.

“Non-medical interventions still take place in Australia on infants and children with intersex traits,” Carpenter said.

“The meeting was a really significant milestone, and it means that the UN has understood our health and human rights concerns and is committed to action.”

Read full, original post: Intersex rights addressed at the UN Human Rights Council for the first time

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