UN Report: Forced Sterilization of Trans People “is Torture”

On February 1, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT) issued a report on abusive practices in health care settings that has important implications for LGBT people and people with intersex conditions.

The report calls for repealing laws allowing “genital-normalizing” surgery on children with intersex conditions, and ending practices whereby LGBT patients or those with intersex conditions are subjected to unethical experimentation or made a subject of medical display without consent. The report also condemns the practice of so-called “reparative therapies” or “conversion therapies” that purport to change an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Especially notable for transgender people was the Special Rapporteur’s call for ending forced or coerced sterilization of transgender people as condition of recognizing their gender identities.

Section 39 of the report says, “…Medical care that causes severe suffering for no justifiable reason can be considered cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and if there is State involvement and specific intent, it is torture.”

The report details the treatment faced by many LGBT people and people with intersex conditions. Acknowledging that these populations disproportionately face ill-treatment, the report lists being denied medical treatment, public humiliation, “reparative therapies” and the unwanted sterilization of transgender people as examples of the damaging experiences LGBTI people must face. These practices, the report states, are “rarely medically necessary” and can traumatize individuals and contribute to the stigma facing LGBTI people.

In section 88, the SRT says States should:

“repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery, involuntary sterilization, unethical experimentation, medical display, “reparative therapies” or “conversion therapies”, when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned. He also calls upon them to outlaw forced or coerced sterilization in all circumstances and provide special protection to individuals belonging to marginalized groups.”

Advocates for Informed Choice, an organization which advocates for the rights of children with intersex conditions (sometimes referred to as differences of sex development/DSDs), supplied testimony in Washington, DC and will participate similarly in Geneva, Switzerland in UN events surrounding the report to educate and advocate for the intersex/DSD community. NCTE applauds the work done by AIC as well as the work of the Special Rapporteur in developing this report.

Read the Special Rapporteur’s report  here.

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10 Responses to UN Report: Forced Sterilization of Trans People “is Torture”

  1. [...] UN Report: Forced Sterilization of Trans People “is Torture”. [...]

  2. [...] UN Report: Forced Sterilization of Trans People “is Torture” | National Center forTransgender Eq…. [...]

  3. I worry about transsexual surgery being classified as “rarely medically necessary”. That’s great for those who don’t want it, but what about those of us that NEED it?

    • Damien Anderson says:

      I think what they mean is when someone is born intersex and the doctor recommends immediate surgery on the infant to ‘normalize’ the genitals.

      • HELLO IV’E GOT SOMEONE WHO HIDES AND WONT TELL ME WHO I THEY ARE AND DRUGS ME AND WHEN I’M AWAKE MY ERECTION DOESN’T WORK,ALSO IV;E HAD BIG GROUPS OF GAY PEOPLE AROUND ME ALL THE TIME CALLING ME HUMP DAY AND NIGHT IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND.I AM AN ADULT WHO IS 38 AND HAS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY 21 22 CHROMOSOMES SO CANNOT HAVE SCITZ OR BI POLA AND WAS IMPRISONED AT THE BOWMERE HOSPITAL AND TORTURED BY USING DRUGS THAT WERE ONLY MADE FOR GAY PEOPLE WHEN I AM STRAIT CHROMOSOME XY.AND THEY WILL NOT LET ME DATE OR SPEAK TO WOMEN THEY USE THE POLICE TO CLEAR THE AREA.I AM FERTILE,AND AT THE MOMENT WORRIED ABOUT BEING SORE IN BETWEEN THE LEGS AFTER BEING ATTACKED IN MACDONALDS IN BELFAST,ALSO THE INTERNET CAFE IN DUBLIN,TO WHICH THE GARDA HAVE HELPED.THE ATTACKED WERE NOT AS RECENT.I HAVE WRITTEN TO THE PRIME MININISTER AND ALSO THE PRESIDENT OF AMERICA MR OBAMA AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO IS POISONING ME THIS WAY WITHOUT EXPLANATION AND RUINING EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE.LATELY I HAVE BEEN FORCED TO WORK WITH THE POLICE AND GARDA IN IRELAND BECAUSE EVERY THING REVOLVES AROUND SENDING HEALTHY MEN OR WOMEN TO PLACES THAT STERILIZE,COULD YOU PLEASE SAVE MY LIFE AND TELL SOMONE TO SAVE 2000 YEARS OF MARRIAGE IN THE WILLIAMS FAMILY

  4. THEY KEEP DOING I DIDN,T

    • THE LAW STATES THAT TO BE ARRESTED UNDER THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT YOU MUST FIRST BE ARRESTED TAKEN TO A POLICE STATION FOR A VIOLENT OR SEXUAL CRIME AND BE KEPT THERE AWAITING TRIAL,WHEN YOU GO TO TRIAL YOU ARE BEING PUT IN FRONT OF A COURT OF LAW WITH CIVIL PROCEEDINGS,IF YOU ARE THEN CONVICTED YOU ARE THEN SUBJECT TO A JUDGE AND IF FOUND GUILTY UNDER THE CUSTODY OF THE JUDGE AND PAROLE SERVICES,THEN IF YOU ARE CAUSING PROBLEMS YOU CAN BE TAKEN TO A PLACE OF SAFETY,AFTER PLEADING MENTAL HEALTH BEFORE THE JUDGE.ONLY A DOCTOR CAN GIVE MEDICATION AND THE PERSON HAS TO CONSENT OTHER WISE THE DOCTOR MAY NOT GIVE THEM MEDICATION.PEDOPHILES CAN CHOOSE PRISON OR MEDICATION SOME TIMES BUT ARE ON RECORD AND REGISTER .ONLY A DOCTOR CAN GIVE MEDICATION TO SOMEONE WHEN THEY ASK FOR TREATMENT WHO IS AN ADULT BY LAW 18,THE DOCTOR CAN ONLY GIVE TREATMENT TO SOMEONE THAT IS REGISTERED WITH THE PRACTICE THEY WORK IN WHICH COVERS AN AREA WHERE THEY ARE STATIONED. FOR A MENTAL HEALTH EVALUATION THE DOCTOR CAN RECOMMEND THE RIGHT SERVICES AND THEY MUST HELP THE PERSON WHO WANTS TREATMENT.SOMEONE VOLUNTARY AND NOT UNDER CUSTODY CANNOT BE GIVEN TREATMENT WITHOUT CONSENT BY ANY ACCOUNT,A PERSON HAS TO BE AWAKE BECAUSE THEY MAY BE TAKING A MEDICATION OR HAVE A CONDITION WHICH MAY WORSEN OR KILL THEM IF NOT KNOWN OR OVERLOOKED.MEDICINES ONLY WORK AS A COARSE AND A PERSON MUST FINISH THE COARSE ON ADVISE OR THE DRUG WONT WORK AGAIN OR MAY CAUSE HARM.IT IS UP TO THE PERSON,CERTAIN DRUGS CANNOT BE MIXED SO ONLY A PHARMACIST CAN MAKE UP THE DRUG AND IT HAS TO HAVE THE STAMP OF MEDICAL APPROVAL.CHANGING DRUGS CAN TEAR THE BODY TO PIECES,IF A DOCTOR IS NEGLIGENT THEN THEY ARE TO BE QUESTIONED BY THE MEDICAL COUNCIL AND IF FOUND NOT DOING THEIR DUTY SHOULD BE STRUCK OF THE REG.A CLINICAL NURSE MAY GIVE DRUGS ON THE PERMISSION OF THE DOCTOR AND PATIENT,CARE WORKERS BUY ICE CREAM AND TAKE PEOPLE THE SWINGS,THE POLICE ARREST CRIMINALS.THANK YOU DANIEL WILLIAMS

  5. I DON’T SEE ANY HARM WITH TRANSVESTITES THAT WEAR OTHER PEOPLES CLOTHES BUT THE ONES THAT KIDNAP AND STEAL AND MAIM AND DECAPITATE USING MENTAL HEALTH MAY NEED TREATING ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY HAVE A FIX ON BRIDES AND GROOMS,ESPECIALLY GROOMS TORTURED WITH SEDATION AND THEIR SEEDS MANIPULATED.

  6. I DON’T BELIEVE GAYS SHOULD HAVE JOBS WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE SANE ARE,BECAUSE I KNOW THEY HURT FERTILITY AND CLEVER PEOPLE,THE ACT WAS MADE FOR THESE PEOPLE

  7. […] tar innover seg den kritikken av denne typen steriliseringskrav som har kommet fra både Amnesty, FN og EU-kommisjonen. Den forrige regjeringen kom med en pressemelding tidligere i år, og det er […]

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