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ILGA-Europe and OII Europe welcome the adoption of the resolution “Children’s right to physical integrity” by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which for the first time ever addressed the issue of bodily integrity of intersex children: Resolution 1952 (2013) Children’s right to physical integrity.

This resolution covered other issues such as female genital mutilation, the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, and the submission to or coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery.

The resolution calls on Council of Europe Member States to “undertake further research to increase knowledge about the specific situation of intersex people, ensure that no-one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment that is cosmetic rather than vital for health during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to persons concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support“.

This is the first resolution of its kind by any European institution. The language of the resolution signals a shift from the current medical domain to a human rights approach, and addresses the right to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination while calling for the end of cosmetic medical and surgical treatment.

ILGA-Europe and OII Europe call for relevant European institutions to take note of this resolution and indeed carry out the research that is necessary to increase knowledge about the specific human rights and social situation of intersex people. ILGA-Europe and OII Europe also thank Marlene Rupprecht who was the Rapporteur of the report that led to this resolution for taking on board the input provided by our two organisations and Genital Autonomy and for putting the human rights of intersex people firmly on the agenda.

Brussels, 3 October, ILGA-Europe and OII Europe