OII-UK welcomes the UN report on LGBT and Intersex people

By on .

OII-UK welcomes the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights  report published on Monday – “Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”,  A/HRC/29/23.  Within it’s pages the report makes detailed references to LGBT and Intersex human rights issue.

The report details a wide range of actions and recommendations affecting people who are same sex attracted and transgender, and also contains specific statements on the medical interventions (not just surgeries) of intersex children:

53. Many intersex children, born with atypical sex characteristics, are subjected to medically unnecessary surgery and treatment in an attempt to force their physical appearance to align with binary sex stereotypes. Such procedures are typically irreversible and can cause severe, long-term physical and psychological suffering.

The UN report also mentions the recently adopted Maltese GIGESC legislation that is a world first in offering comprehensive legal protections to people born intersex, for gender identity recognition and gender affirming treatments.

Whilst Intersex advocacy groups continue to call for the cessation of  forced medical  interventions, it is recognised that gender affirming treatments, with fully informed consent,  are a benefit for some intersex people.

The conclusions made a number of recommendations for people born intersex:


78. The High Commissioner recommends that States address violence by …
(g) Banning “conversion” therapy, involuntary treatment, forced sterilization and forced genital and anal examinations;
(h) Prohibiting medically unnecessary procedures on intersex children;

79. States should address discrimination by …
(c) Ensuring that anti-discrimination legislation includes sexual orientation and gender identity among prohibited grounds, and also protects intersex persons from discrimination;
(i) Issuing legal identity documents, upon request, that reflect preferred gender, eliminating abusive preconditions, such as sterilization, forced treatment and divorce;
(k) Ensuring that LGBT and intersex persons and organizations are consulted with regard to legislation and policies that have an impact on their rights

OII-UK warmly welcomes these recommendations, particularly those calling for an end to pre-emptive medical interventions on intersex people, and other forms of coercive violence.

OII-UK urges the UK government to acknowledge the need to address the human rights abuses enacted on people born intersex in the UK today, and looks forward to the day that everyone born intersex in the UK has the same rights of personal autonomy and bodily integrity that others are accorded.