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‘Stop causing serious physical harm to intersex persons’, says PACE General Rapporteur

Intersex awareness / Day

The Parliamentary Assembly’s General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI people, in a statement on the eve of Intersex Awareness Day (26 October 2023), has called for an end to surgical or hormonal procedures which cause serious physical harm to intersex persons.

"These procedures are regularly performed, without therapeutic necessity, on the bodies of intersex persons, from an early age, without their free and informed consent, in order to make them conform to a so-called female or male paradigm,” said Christophe Lacroix (Belgium, SOC). “These are serious violations of physical integrity and bodily autonomy, which can have long-term repercussions.”

"Lack of knowledge of the situation of intersex persons, and the maintenance of a culture of secrecy, can contribute to their stigmatisation in our societies. There is still a lot of discrimination against intersex persons, whether in the fields of education, health or employment,” he added.

The launch in January 2023 of work to draft a new recommendation of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to ensure equal rights for intersex persons was “a step in the right direction", he said.

"On the occasion of 2023 Intersex Awareness Day, I call on Council of Europe member states to end the serious harm to the physical integrity of intersex persons and to step up their efforts to prevent and combat the discrimination faced by intersex persons in all areas of life."