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COE Resolutioner

Resolution 2191

“Promoting the Human Rights of and elimination discrimination against intersex people"


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Para 1

Intersex people are born with biological sex characteristics that do not fit societal norms or medical definitions of what makes a person male or female. Sometimes a person’s intersex status is detected at birth; sometimes it only becomes apparent later in life, notably during puberty. Despite the wide variety of situations concerned, the majority of intersex people are physically healthy. Only a few suffer from medical conditions that put their health at risk. Yet the situation of intersex people has for a long time been treated as an essentially medical issue. The prevailing medical view has been that intersex children’s bodies can and should be made to conform to either a male or a female paradigm, often through surgical and/or hormonal intervention; that this should be done as early as possible; and that the children should then be raised in the gender corresponding to the sex assigned to their body.

Para 2

The Parliamentary Assembly considers that this approach involves serious breaches of physical integrity, in many cases concerning very young children or infants who are unable to give consent and whose gender identity is unknown. This is done despite the fact that there is no evidence to support the long-term success of such treatments, no immediate danger to health and no genuine therapeutic purpose for the treatment, which is intended to avoid or minimise (perceived) social problems rather than medical ones. It is often followed by lifelong hormonal treatments and medical complications, compounded by shame and secrecy.

Para 7.1.1

Prohibit medically unnecessary sex-“normalising” surgery, sterilisation and other treatments practised on intersex children without their informed consent;

Para 7.1.2

Ensure that, except in cases where the life of the child is at immediate risk, any treatment that seeks to alter the sex characteristics of the child, including their gonads, genitals or internal sex organs, is deferred until such time as the child is able to participate in the decision, based on the right to self-determination and on the principle of free and informed consent;


Resolution 1952

Children’s Rights to physical integrity


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Punkt 2

The Parliamentary Assembly is particularly worried about a category of violation of the physical integrity of children, which supporters of the procedures tend to present as beneficial to the children themselves despite clear evidence to the contrary. This includes, among others, female genital mutilation, the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, early childhood medical interventions in the case of intersex children, and the submission to, or coercion of, children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery.

Punkt 7.5.3

undertake further research to increase knowledge about the specific situation of intersex people, ensure that no-one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment that is cosmetic rather than vital for health during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to persons concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;

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