2019 CAT Germany Intersex NGO Report


NGO Report to the 6th Periodic Report of Germany on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

>>> Download as PDF (1.3 MB)

Compiled by:
Zwischengeschlecht.org / StopIGM.org

CAT Timeline Germany 2011 – 2019

In November 2011, during its 47th Session the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) reviewed of Germany, with Experts Mr. Claudio Grossman and Ms. Myrna Kleopas raising "unnecessary", "forced surgery on inter-sex children", "often involving removal or mutilation of, for example, the clitoris or gonads" (see UN press release 04.011.2011, see also the Summary record, which attributes the second question to CAT member Felice Gaer), based on a Thematic NGO Report by Intersexuelle Menschen e.V. / XY-Frauen and Humboldt Law Clinic

In December 2011, the Committee issued the very first Concluding Observations (CAT/C/DEU/CO/5, para 20) of a UN treay body to explicitly condemn non-consensual surgery on intersex children, demanding a.o. that Germany should:

"Undertake investigation of incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex people without effective consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation."

In December 2013, the Committee issued the List of Issues Prior to Reporting (LOIPR) for Germany with questions to be answered in the forthcoming German State report with questions on the implementation of the previous Concluding Observations, including questions on access to redress and justice for IGM survivors (CAT/C/DEU/QPR/6, para 40):

“Please provide updated data on the number of complaints of incidents of medical treatment on intersex persons without their effective consent and information on investigations, prosecutions, convictions and penalties in relation to such complaints. Please also provide updates on the legal means of redress provided to intersex people who have been victims of non-consensual surgical and other medical treatment, including legal, medical and psychological aid, and adequate compensation.”

In August 2017, nearly 2 years after the due date on 25.11.2015, Germany filed its State report, including (non-)answers to LOIPR questions on intersex and IGM – in particular, the questions on access to redress and justice were completely ignored (CAT/C/DEU/6, paras 211-225).

2019-CAT-Germany-NGO-Intersex-StopIGM Above January 2019 NGO Report (PDF) provides solid evidence of ongoing IGM practices in Germany, and how despite repeated Government promises there are still no legal protections for intersex children at risk (p. 14-16, 21-22) and no access to redress and justice for IGM survivors (p. 22-23, 27-31), in clear contradiction of the 2011 CAT binding recommendations for Germany.
The report further documents recent developments including
- Minister’s conference proposes “legal ban” of IGM (p. 17)
- Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Intersexuality and Transsexuality states IGM “may constitute bodily injury”, suggests “clarifying prohibition”  (p. 18)
- Coalition Agreement promises legal prohibition of IGM (p. 19)
- CCPR raises “non-emergency” surgery, “obstacles in access to justice” (p. 19)
- CESCR64: Germany promises “legislation” to prohibit IGM (p. 19)
- Minister of Justice promises “legal provision” to “end this practice”  (p. 20)
- Social Court: Involuntary, non-urgent Clitorectomy = “state of the art” legal medical Intervention “serv[ing] the well-being of the patient”  (p. 20)

On Friday 26 April 2019 NGOs briefed the Committee in a private NGO meeting. For StopIGM.org / Zwischengeschlecht.org, German IGM survivor Claudia provided personal testimony and highlighted the failure of the government to live up to its promises, and Daniela Truffer provided latest updates including on the February 2019 Follow-up statistics study. (Full statement coming soon.)

On Monday 29 + Tuesday 30 April 2019 the human rights record of Germany will be examined in Geneva during the 66th CAT session, hopefully with tough questions on IGM and the complicity of the state:
   Session 1: Mon 29 April 10-13h CET
   Session 1: Tue 30 April 15-18h CET
   – to be transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org!

In May 2019 CAT will publish its Concluding observations with binding recommendations for Germany – hopefully including yet another strong reprimand for IGM practices for Germany!

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