2018 CRC Italy NGO (for Session) Intersex IGM

NGO Report (for Session) to the 5th and 6th Report of Italy on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

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Compiled by:
Claudia Balsamo
StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org
Endorsed by:
Intersexioni • Intersex Esiste

CRC Chronology Italy 2018-19

2018 CRC Italy NGO (for PSWG) Intersex IGM

In March 2018, the initial Thematic Intersex NGO Report (for PSWG) (PDF) provided solid evidence of ongoing IGM practices in Italy, advocated and paid for by the State party (p. 10-14). In addition, it shows how Italian case law promotes and endorses IGM by punishing its prevention (p. 11-12).

In June 2018 during the CRC80 Pre-Sessional Working Group, the Committee heard NGOs in a private meeting >>> Joint Intersex PSWG NGO Statement 06.06.2018 (PDF):

[...] from an interview with an Italian paediatric urologist conducted for a forthcoming study on intersex human rights in Italy presented yesterday at a conference at the University of Bologna:

“I carry out a large number of genitoplasty operations [that is partial clitoris amputation and vaginoplasty] when the children are no more than one year old...then before menarche we run a check in the operating room and if there is a vaginal tightening we re-operate. This is so the girl feels alright, instead of waiting and saying ‘well if she starts being sexually active then we’ll perform surgery...’” [1] [...]

The persistence of IGM in Italian clinics is a matter of public record, as is the criticism of persons concerned and their organisations, also to Government bodies including the Ministry of Health and the Italian Senate. In addition, CRPD [4] has already considered IGM practices in Italy as a serious human rights violation. Nonetheless, the Italian Government still refuses to take any appropriate action to protect intersex children. [...]

The Committee then drafted the List of Issues (LOI) with questions for Italy, which was published in July 2018 and includes good questions on intersex and IGM (CRC/C/ITA/Q/5-6, para 17 e–f):

17. Please provide, if available, updated statistical data disaggregated by age, sex, ethnic origin, national origin, geographic location and socioeconomic status, for the past three years, on: [...]

(e) Children who are born intersex;

(f) The number of non-urgent, irreversible surgical and other procedures that have been undertaken on intersex children before an age at which they are able to provide informed consent;

In Italy's written answers to the LOI published in October 2018, the State party replied (CRC/C/ITA/Q/5-6/Add.1, paras 105-106).

Question 17

[...]

(e) [Data on intersex births]

105. No data is available in this area, as the Italian legislation does not allow for the registration of children at birth as intersex

(f) [Data on non-urgent, non-consensual prodecures on intersex children]

106. Data on this point is available in Annex I (Tab 17).

The Annex I referred to (INT/CRC/ARL/ITA/33009, tab 17) [ Original XLS file currently not available: Mirror full intersex data PDF (132 kb) | XLS (83 kb) | Mirror complete annexe (XLS 4 MB) ], contains the following summarised data:

- A list of 7 ICD9-CM diagnoses used to determine intersex cases ("DSD")

- A list of 15 ICD9-CM procedures to determine cases of relevant "urogenital surgical procedures"

- Statistics 2015-17 of "Non-urgent hospital discharges for DSD with and without surgical procedures. Age 0-17", with totals:
   2015: 1418
   2016: 1379
   2017: 1252

- Statistics 2015-17 of "Non-urgent hospital discharges for DSD with surgical procedures. Age 0-17", with totals:
   2015: 12
   2016: 13
   2017:   3

- An overview 2015-17 of percentages of "hospital discharges for DSD" with "non-urgent [...] surgical procedures" (out of total "non-urgent [...] discharges for DSD"):
   2015: 0.8%
   2016: 0.9%
   2017: 0.2%

2018 CRC Italy NGO (for Session) Intersex IGM Above December 2018 follow-up Thematic Intersex NGO Report (for Session) (PDF) investigates the statistic claims made by Italy, and documents much higher numbers published by Italian IGM doctors themselves (p. 10-12). It also contains personal testimonies from IGM survivors (p. 14-19), and extensive evidence of the most common IGM practices in Italy (p. 20-24).

During the 80th CRC Session in Geneva, on 22-23 January 2019 the Committee will examined the human rights record of Italy – including strong questions on intersex and IGM, archived on webtv.un.org:
   Session 1: Tue 22 January 2019, 15-18h Report | Video
   Session 2: Wed 23 January 2019, 10-13h  Report | Video
   When CRC asked about harmful practices on intersex children,
   Italy answered on trans legislation and 3rd gender in birth assistance certificates ...

   >>> CRC80 Italy Session Report, Transcripts, Videos

In February 2019 the CRC will publish its Concluding observations with binding recommendations for Italy – hopefully followed by yet another strong reprimand for IGM practices for Italy!