2019-CEDAW-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGMNGO Report (for Session) to the 8th Report of the United Kingdom on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

>>> Download: PDF (430 kb)  

Compiled by:
Intersex NGO Coalition UK
IntersexUK • UK Intersex Association
StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org

CEDAW Chronology UK 2018-19

2018-CEDAW-PSWG-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM

In June 2018, the initial Thematic Intersex NGO Report (for PSWG) (PDF) provided solid evidence of ongoing IGM practices with impunity in all 4 Nations of the UK, advocated and paid for by the State party (p. 11-16), how UK doctors and the NHS conciously dismiss human rights concerns (p. 17). In addition, it contained background on intersex and IGM (8-10).

In July 2018 during the CEDAW 72 Pre-Sessional Working Group, the Committee heard NGOs in a private meeting >>> Joint Intersex PSWG NGO Statement 23.07.2018 (PDF):

As an NHS surgeon says, “[...] we remain happy to undertake clitoral reduction surgery [...] Until such time as there is a change in the law, parents will continue to have the right to decide [...]” [5]

CRC [6] recognised IGM in the UK as a harmful practice in 2015, seconded by CRPD [7] [8] in 2017. However, to this day the Government fails to act.
To this day, the UK denies these serious human rights violations, but tries to misrepresent IGM as a “health care” or “gender  identity” issue instead.
This misrepresentation is also evident in the State report. [9]

The Committee then drafted the List of Issues (LOI) with questions for for the UK, which include a good questions on intersex and IGM under CEDAW art. 5 “harmful practices” (CEDAW/C/GBR/Q/8, para 8):

Discriminatory gender stereotypes and harmful practices

[...]

8. The report indicates that in 2015 the State party introduced a number of provisions to strengthen the Female Genital Mutilation Act in order to help break down barriers to prosecution (para. 183). Please provide information on the extent to which these changes to the law have facilitated the prosecution of female genital mutilation cases in the State party. What progress has been made following the introduction of a mandatory reporting duty, which requires regulated health-care and social-care professionals, as well as teachers, to report to the police all “known” cases of female genital mutilation in girls under the age of 18 years? Please provide information on the progress made to provide medical and psychosocial support to women and girls who are victims of female genital mutilation. Please provide data on the number of surgical and other procedures that have been undertaken on intersex children under the age of 18 years in the State party.

In November 2018 the UK (non-)answered to the LOI as follows (CEDAW/C/GBR/Q/8/Add.1, para 46):

Intersex children

46.   Issues faced by people who are living with variant sex characteristics is an emerging policy area for Government. UK Government has announced its intention to publish a call for evidence on these issues. The evidence gathered from this exercise will inform the Government’s next steps in this area. UK Government is aware of some calls from the sector to ban the practice of medical interventions on minor’s sex characteristics.

2019-CEDAW-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGM Above January 2019 follow-up Thematic Intersex NGO Report (for Session) (PDF) documents recent developments including
- Children from Ireland and Malta submitted to IGM in the UK (p. 12);
- Selective intersex abortions (p. 15);
- The  British Association of Paediatric Urologists (BAPU) (p.13), the General Medical Council (GMC) (p. 13) and the Scottish DSD Network (SDSD) (p. 14) admitting to continuing with IGM;
- The Government fails to take effective measures to prevent IGM practices to continue with impunity (p. 18-19);
- Intersex funding is misappropriated by LGBT NGOs (p. 16-17).

On Monday 25 February 2019 NGOs will have another possibility to brief the Committee in both public and private NGO briefings:
   Private NGO MeetingLunchtime
   Public NGO Briefing: 16-17h CET (3pm-5pm UK time)
   >>> UK Intersex Coalition: CEDAW72 Briefing Update (PDF)

On Tuesday 26 February 2019 the human rights record of the UK will be examined in Geneva during the 72nd CEDAW session:
   Session 1: 10-13h CET (9am-noon UK time)
   Session 1: 15-17h CET (2pm-4pm UK time)
   to be transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org!

In March 2019 CEDAW will publish its Concluding observations with binding recommendations for the UK – hopefully including yet another strong reprimand for IGM practices for the UK!