Human Rights and INIA

INIA aims to conduct research that supports the human rights, health and wellbeing of intersex people / people with variations of sex characteristics

INIA recognises the need for human rights for intersex people / those with variations of sex characteristics, and that these rights are regularly infringed. We see a pressing need for the implementation of intersex human rights. INIA supports the position taken by the United Nations regarding intersex. The United Nations recognises that medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they are able to provide informed consent constitute harmful practice and they make a number of recommendations including State enactment of legislation to prohibit these practices Other international and national bodies also address these practices as human rights abuses, including the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.  INIA also draws on the Yogyakarta Principles including Principle 18 which concerns medical abuses and the Yogyakarta Principles +10 notably:

Principle 10: Relating to the Right to Freedom from Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, including:

* The recognition that forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary modification of a person’s sex characteristics may amount to torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment;
* The prohibition of any practice, and the repeal of any laws and policies, allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments on the basis of sex characteristics, including forced genital-normalising surgery, involuntary sterilisation, unethical experimentation, or medical display, when enforced or administered without the free, prior and informed consent of the person concerned.

Principle 30: The Right to State Protection including the eradication of violence, discrimination and other harm.

Principle 32: The Right to Bodily and Mental Integrity, including:

* Ensuring that legislation protects everyone, including all children, from all forms of forced, coercive or otherwise involuntary modification of their sex characteristics;

* Taking measures to address stigma, discrimination and stereotypes based on sex and gender, and combat the use of such stereotypes, as well as marriage prospects and other social, religious and cultural rationales, to justify modifications to sex characteristics, including of children;

* Ensuring that children are fully consulted and informed regarding any modifications to their sex characteristics necessary to avoid or remedy proven, serious physical harm, and ensure that any such modifications are consented to by the child concerned in a manner consistent with the child’s evolving capacity.

Principle 37: The Right to Truth, including the right to know the truth about the facts, circumstances and reasons why a violation on the basis of sex characteristics occurred.

INIA recognises that there is still an ongoing need for real implementation of the universal human rights of intersex people, and that organisations and individuals support the human rights and wellbeing of intersex people in different, and differently failing ways, including direct work on human rights issues, developing implementation tools and frameworks (for example via Equality and Diversity initiatives), raising awareness, community organisation, political lobbying and activism, running support groups, and providing healthcare that maximises the bodily integrity, choice and agency of intersex infants, children, young people, and adults.
INIA aims to contribute constructively to these debates.