Council of Europe’s statement on intersex people’s need for equal rights!

In recognition of the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17th, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has released the statement, A boy or a girl or a person — intersex people lack recognition in Europe. The statement examines the intense difficulties and human rights abuses  — such as “normalizing” infant surgeries — which intersex people face due to the fact that we do not conform to binary sex and gender norms. It even specifically acknowledges OII’s EU umbrella affiliate, OII-Europe!

It concludes:

There is a need to raise awareness of and collect more data on the situation of intersex persons in society and the discrimination and prejudice they encounter in daily life also as adults. The reform of the Sex Discrimination Act in Australia last year introduced the ground of “intersex status” among other prohibited grounds of discrimination. This is a powerful tool to foster the equality of intersex people.

I urge governments in Europe to review their current legislation and medical practices to identify gaps in the protection of intersex people and take measures to address the problems. Policy makers should involve civil society advocates of intersex persons such as the OII Europe and ILGA-Europe in these efforts. The enjoyment of human rights is universal and it cannot depend on the sex of the person.

We thank the Commissioner and all who worked on this statement for acknowledging intersex people and advocating for our need for equal human rights!

See full statement here:


  1. Kailana S. Alaniz on May 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks Hilda for reposting/sharing. I saw this from OII Australia earlier this morning. Would like to see continued Intersex advocacy and awareness of the same discrimination and bigotry experienced by Americans whom happen to be intersex. Many of us experience similar bias in our lives around the world also within the intersex community by other intersex affected people. Many such incidents happen due to lack of access to our own personal medical records, surgical histories, biopsy reports even though they are openly published by researchers and our own doctors we have seen at different times throughout our lives.would also concentrate on the experience of adults whom also experience the same treatment, non consentual surgeries due to surgical sex of assignment in childhoo and teen year. We all have a right to be informed, to have options and counseling for all surgeries, the right to refuse surgeries not in our self interest should we not identify with the sex of assignment our parents and or doctors forced onto us. Many of us have life experiences that vary, we are not all treated equally nor justly and it is time for all to be given proper medical and psychological care. The past is the past, some people say, “the past can’t be corrected”, but the fact is the mistakes of the past must be corrected in order for everyone to be happy and lead productive lives.

    thank you for continued activism Hilda and to all board members from all OII chapters. Your dedication to improve the care of all intersex affected people around the world is making a difference. Things are perfect yet but they are getting better.

  2. Kailana S. Alaniz on May 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Sorry Hida, auto correct is changing your names spelling.