Urgent need to address intersex human rights violations, says European Parliament

51985863_10156890862252159_7199205696015958016_oOn 14 February 2019, the European Parliament adopted its first-ever resolution dedicated to intersex human rights.

“Intersex people are exposed to multiple instances of violence and discrimination in the European Union and these human rights violations remain widely unknown to the general public and policy makers” (para. A.), says the European Parliament. It also stresses the “urgent need to address violations of human rights of intersex people and calls on the Commission and Member States to propose legislation to address these issues” (para. 1).

“EU values must be about caring for the most vulnerable people in or society. It is important that we make their voices heard and that we face up to those discrimination.” said Claude Moraes MEP, rapporteur for the resolution and member of the LGBTI Intergroup at the European Parliament. “This resolution is a major first step towards recognizing human rights violations against intersex people and acting at the EU level. It makes clear that every citizens across the EU, irrespective of their sex markers or gender, should be able to fully enjoy their rights and provides clear recommendations to do so”

The resolution takes a strong stance against the medicalisation and pathologisation of intersex people, and condemns sex normalising treatments and surgeries , performed in at least 21 Members States and only prohibited in two (Malta and Portugal).

“It is unacceptable that intersex children are subject to medical treatment and surgeries, without their expressed and informed consent. For too long, intersex people have experienced a direct violation of their fundamental rights. This is against our core values enshrined in the Treaties and in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child” commented Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP, EPP shadow rapporteur for the resolution, member of the LGBTI Intergroup, co-chair of the Children’s Rights Intergroup at the European Parliament and European Parliament Coordinator and Spokesperson on Children’s Rights.

With this resolution, the European Parliament also raises attention on other difficulties faced by intersex people throughout their life, such as for example the lack of access to their medical records, the difficulty to access legal gender recognition based on self-determination.
It also calls for better support intersex civil society organisation, and asks the Commission to ensure EU funds do not support research & medical projects that contribute to violations of intersex people’s rights.

“This Resolution is an historic step forward that sends a strong political message to the next Parliament and shows to thousands of intersex children and people in Europe that they are not forgotten”- concluded Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP.

This is a joint press release of the LGBTI Intergroup & the Children’s Rights Intergroup at the European Parliament.

Read more:

• Our work on intersex rights