Making Depathologisation a matter of Law

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The ripples from Malta’s adoption of legal protections for intersex, trans and gender-queer people continues to resonate.

The Maltese GIGESC Act not only defends children’s rights in Malta, including those of bodily integrity, self-determination and health. It also makes a fundamental contribution to intersex people’s human rights by recognizing in law the pervasive role that “social factors” play in justifying medically unnecessary procedures aimed to “normalize” intersex bodies. The Maltese Act explicitly exposes the vulnerability of intersex infants, children and adolescents in medical settings, while affirming, at the same time, that this can be successfully addressed as a matter of law. We hope this clear and strong message to be heard and followed not only by other governments around the globe, but also by the World Health Organization.

Mauro Cabral and Justus Eisfield make the articulate case for other countries to follow Malta’s lead.

The 21st century has a deep and abiding recognition of it’s human rights obligations toward minority groups, and people whose lives are degraded by the prejudice and ignorance of others. It does not have such a good record of addressing those concerns.  It is long overdue that the human rights of everyone born intersex were recognised and acknowledged.

Everyone born intersex has a right to grown up as they know themselves, not have their lives dictated by the impositions of others.

OII-UK warmly welcomes Malta’s world leading step in adopting this legislation, and urges UK legislators to follow a similar path.