United Nations Passes Resolution to Stop Intersex Discrimination

United Nations Passes Resolution to Stop Intersex Discrimination

The United Nations has taken a big stride in LGBTQIA+ rights by passing a resolution to stop intersex discrimination.

According to Pink News, this resolution is the first of its kind recognizing that “persons with innate variations in sex characteristics,” have faced discrimination in “all areas of life.” The resolution was published last week with no opposition from any member states. 

The resolution officially calls on all member states to “combat discrimination, violence, and harmful practices against intersex people. This is the first of its kind for the United Nations,” according to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR). It also goes further to ask that member nations address the root causes, stereotypes, misconceptions, stigma, and inaccurate information that contribute to the discrimination against intersex people. 

Countries that voted in favor of adopting this resolution included France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the U.S, Japan, India, and Lithuania, while some countries abstained from the vote including China, Indonesia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Georgia and more. 

IGLA-Europe called the UN’s resolution an “important reference point for European institutions,” and urged that countries should act upon it. 

People who are intersex are born with a range of natural variations in their sex characteristics that don’t fit the typical definition of male or female. This may include sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, or chromosome patterns. 

Intersex people account for around 1.7 percent of the global population. Throughout their lives, intersex people may be subject to harmful discrimination and medical practices. Intersex children may undergo forced medical interventions, and later in life they may have difficulty participating in sports, education, and being employed. 

Dr. Morgan Carpenter, Executive Director of Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA) and a bioethicist at the University of Sydney School of Public Health said there’s still “a long way to go.”

“Because of the way our bodies are perceived as different, we can experience stigmatization, discrimination, and harmful practices, including medical interventions to make our bodies appear or function in ways that are more typically female or male,” Carpenter said. “We are calling for the same rights as everybody else. It’s about the universality of human rights, including the rights to bodily integrity and bodily autonomy, and freedom from harmful practices.” 

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