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

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%

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 Itlay (p. 20-24).

On Tue 22 January 2019, 15-18h and Wed 23 January 2019, 10-13h the actual State review of Italy will take place in Geneva, to be transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org – hopefully followed by yet another strong reprimand for IGM practices for Italy in February 2019.