Public Statement by the Third International Intersex Forum: The Malta Declaration

Between November 29th and December 1st 2013, the Third International Intersex Forum, supported by ILGA and ILGA-Europe, took place in Valletta, Malta. This event brought together 34 activists representing 30 intersex organisations from all continents. The Forum was organized by ILGA Europe’s Silvan Agius and Ruth Baldacchino, and three intersex activists selected from an open call application process managed by ILGA Europe: OII-USA’s Hida Viloria, ITANZ Executive Director Mani Bruce Mitchell, of New Zealand, and GATE Co-Director Mauro Cabral, of Argentina.

The Public Statement issued at the end of the forum, also referred to as the Malta Declaration, is a consensus of what intersex activists and advocacy organizations present at the Forum agreed that we, as an intersex community, want, as sen below.

Public Statement by the Third International Intersex Forum, aka “The Malta Declaration”

We affirm that intersex people are real, and we exist in all regions and all countries around the world. Thus, intersex people must be supported to be the drivers of social, political and legislative changes that concern them.
We reaffirm the principles of the First and Second International Intersex Fora and extend the demands aiming to end discrimination against intersex people and to ensure the right of bodily integrity, physical autonomy and self-determination.

• To put an end to mutilating and ‘normalising’ practices such as genital surgeries, psychological and other medical treatments through legislative and other means. Intersex people must be empowered to make their own decisions affecting own bodily integrity, physical autonomy and self-determination.
• To put an end to preimplantation genetic diagnosis, pre-natal screening and treatment, and selective abortion of intersex foetuses.
• To put an end to infanticide and killings of intersex people.
• To put an end to non-consensual sterilisation of intersex people.
• To depathologise variations in sex characteristics in medical guidelines, protocols and classifications, such as the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.
• To register intersex children as females or males, with the awareness that, like all people, they may grow up to identify with a different sex or gender.
• To ensure that sex or gender classifications are amendable through a simple administrative procedure at the request of the individuals concerned. All adults and capable minors should be able to choose between female (F), male (M), non-binary or multiple options. In the future, as with race or religion, sex or gender should not be a category on birth certificates or identification documents for anybody.
• To raise awareness around intersex issues and the rights of intersex people in society at large.
• To create and facilitate supportive, safe and celebratory environments for intersex people, their families and surroundings..
• To ensure that intersex people have the right to full information and access to their own medical records and history.
• To ensure that all professionals and healthcare providers that have a specific role to play in intersex people’s wellbeing are adequately trained to provide quality services.
• To provide adequate acknowledgement of the suffering and injustice caused to intersex people in the past, and provide adequate redress, reparation, access to justice and the right to truth.
• To build intersex anti-discrimination legislation in addition to other grounds, and to ensure protection against intersectional discrimination.
• To ensure the provision of all human rights and citizenship rights to intersex people, including the right to marry and form a family.
• To ensure that intersex people are able to participate in competitive sport, at all levels, in accordance with their legal sex. Intersex athletes who have been humiliated or stripped of their titles should receive reparation and reinstatement.
• Recognition that medicalization and stigmatisation of intersex people result in significant trauma and mental health concerns.
• In view of ensuring the bodily integrity and well-being of intersex people, autonomous non-pathologising psycho-social and peersupport be available to intersex people throughout their life (as self-required), as well as to parents and/or care providers.

In view of the above the Forum calls on:
1. International, regional and national human rights institutions to take on board, and provide visibility to intersex issues in their work.
2. National governments to address the concerns raised by the Intersex Forum and draw adequate solutions in direct collaboration with intersex representatives and organisations.
3. Media agencies and sources to ensure intersex people’s right to privacy, dignity, accurate and ethical representation.
4. Funders to engage with intersex organisations and support them in the struggle for visibility, increase their capacity, the building of knowledge and the affirmation of their human rights.
5. Human rights organisations to contribute to build bridges with intersex organisations and build a basis for mutual support. This should be done in a spirit of collaboration and no-one should instrumentalise intersex issues as a means for other ends.


Other attending participants included fellow U.S. organization AIC’s Sean Safia Wall and Pidgeon Pagonis, OII Australia’s Tony Briffa and Morgan Carpenter, OII Austria’s Alex Jurgen, OII Belgium’s Kris Gunther, OII Bulgaria’s Pol Naidenov, OII Francophonie’s Janik Bastien, PhD. and Vincent Guillot, OII Germany’s Ins Kromminga, Dan Christian Ghattas, PhD. and Matthias Gack, SIPD (Support Initiative for People with Atypical Sex Development)/formerly OII Uganda’s Julius Kaggwa, Mulabi’s Natasha Jimenez (Costa Rica), NNID’s Miriam van der Have and Inge Intven (Netherlands), Trans and Intersex South Africa’s Nthabiseng Mokoena, Intersex UK’s Holly Greenberry, and Zwischengeschlecht’s Daniella Truffer and Markus Bauer (Switzerland). Also present were several unaffiliated individual activists including Small Luk of Hong Kong, China and Kristian Randjelovic of Serbia.

We thank ILGA and ILGA Europe for funding this incredibly important, valuable event, as well as all of the organizers and participants.

Please share this statement widely to educate about what intersex people want. THANK YOU!!!