The United Nations Human Rights Campaign just published this new fact sheet on Intersex as part of their “Free and Equal” Campaign from the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (UN OHCH). To better explain intersex issues, the fact sheet states that intersex is “an umbrella term used to describe a wide
range of natural bodily variations.” Many of the human rights issues faced by intersex people, including forced sterilization and gender assignment surgery are outlined.
The fact sheet also clarifies that “being intersex relates to biological sex characteristics,
and is distinct from a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity” and states that between 0.05% and 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits. The fact sheet goes on to not only point out many of the ways in which intersex people experience discrimination but also provides a list of recommended actions for both governments and the media. AIC’s Executive Director, Kimberly Zieselman is a champion of the new fact sheet.
“The UN’s new fact sheet provides a poignant summary of various intersex human rights violations and makes a straightforward call for action including outlawing all medially unnecessary procedures on intersex children and ensuring families and children receive adequate counseling and peer support. I have no doubt that if parents were presented with this fact sheet and thus realized that the United Nations recognizes cosmetic genital surgery as medical torture, that the number of such surgeries would rapidly decline! Furthermore, doctors can no longer reasonably ignore what activists have been saying for two decades. It’s time for this insanity to stop.” – Kimberly Zieselman