Gay Star News, UK

Nepal and the UK have been reprimanded by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for intersex genital mutilation

The UK still has doctors doing unnecessary and dangerous genital surgery on intersex children and now the UN has stepped in.

Activists say the surgery in Britain is even done by the National Health Service.

Now the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has issued binding reprimands on the UK and Nepal about intersex genital mutilation (IGM).

Intersex people are the 'I' in LGBTI and are born with chromosomes, gonads or genitals that are not entirely male or female.

Doctors often decide if they are 'more male' or 'more female' and then conduct genital surgery to increase those characteristics. Sometimes the child isn't even told this has been done.

The new UN report sees the Committee on the Rights of the Child reprimand the UK and Nepal for:

'Cases of medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they are able to provide their informed consent, which often entail irreversible consequences and can cause severe physical and psychological suffering, and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases.'

The committee didn't accept both countries' flat denials that intersex genital mutilation takes place. And it describes the surgery as 'violence against children'.

Daniela Truffer from Stop IGM, who helped get the issue on the agenda, told GSN: 'These are binding concluding recommendations. But of course, it is mostly the governments don't do anything at all.'

'The way to change something would be a law to prohibit genital mutilations on intersex persons.'

GSN has asked the UK's Department of Health and Nepal's Ministry of Health to comment and is awaiting a response.

The countries are not alone, however. The UN has previously reprimanded Ireland, France, Chile and Switzerland.

by Tris Reid-Smith

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