Attendees intersex meeting February 29, 2020 in Moscow. Photographer unknown.

Attendees of the intersex community meeting in Moscow,  February 29, 2020. Image: photographer unknown

The Moscow Statement

Russian Intersex Community

This Statement was created on February 29, 2020 during an intersex community meeting in Moscow, which was attended by 15 intersex people from different cities and regions of Russia, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Chita, Chelyabinsk, Kursk, Tomsk, Ufa, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk, Ivanovo and  Snezhinsk.

  • Intersex people exist all around Russia and have always existed.
  • Intersex variations are not disorders or anything bad or tragic.
  • Unnecessary «normalizing» surgeries on intersex children done with no medical necessity and without full informed consent of the person are human rights violations and need to stop and be forbidden by law.
  • With no urgent medical necessity and risk for the persons life and health any medical interventions need to be done only with full informed consent of the person when that person (by the assessment of the mental health professional) reached the age when they are able to give full informed consent.
  • Patients with intersex variations, even as children, should receive from the doctors the full information (in words they can understand at their age) about their bodies and about medical interventions they are being offered, about how urgent these interventions are, the reasoning behind them, risks and potential consequences connected to them, including the need for lifelong hormonal replacement therapy.
  • Many intersex people in Russia have problems with their psychical and mental health as a result of the medical interventions they received and from those interventions and/or info about their intersex variations kept secret from them. Those people should receive reparations from the government to compensate for the harm done.
  • Quality psychological support should be available to intersex people and parents of intersex children. Patients and their parents need to be notified about such help being available.
  • If the person had the surgery performed on them and needs hormonal replacement therapy, it’s cost should be covered by the government.
  • Medical professionals should be taught about modern and human rights-based ways of working with intersex people.
  • We are not against surgeries per se, we are against surgeries that are done without the full informed consent of the person. Surgeries still need to be available as a part of the free healthcare system and should be done only on people, who gave their full informed consent.
  • Before making any decisions about treatment and medical interventions, including surgery, patient must go through full medical examination, including genetic and blood tests, functional and, if needed, any other modern ways of diagnostics.
  • We are asking doctors to, if possible, connect intersex people and their parents with the intersex organizations and intersex community.
  • Doctors should always offer parents of intersex children all possible actions, including not having surgery at all or postponement of surgery until the child would be able to give their own full informed consent.
  • Intersex patients should never be photographed or shown to medical students as a way to teach them, unless they have provided specific full informed consent to that. Treat patients as human beings, not as medical cases.
  • The current situation when the Russian media still publishes articles that describe unnecessary surgeries on intersex children as amazing achievements of the modern medicine is completely absurd and should stop.
  • If the person wants to change their gender marker they should be able to do so through the simple administrative procedure, without having to receive medical papers.
  • We are against using such terminology as «intersexuality», «hermaphrodite», «third sex», and we are asking everyone to use terms «intersex», «congenital variations of sex characteristics» and «intersex variations». We are asking journalists to use correct terminology and not to use pathologizing and outdated terminology.
  • We affirm them Malta DeclarationVienna Statement and Darlington Statement.
  • When creating any materials or resources about intersex we’re asking you to please do that together with intersex activists. Nothing about us without us! We are always happy to help.
  • Intersex children don’t need to be «fixed», they are perfect just the way they are. Intersex children deserve love and deserve to have their human rights respected.
  • Every person deserves to know everything about themselves and to decide on their own, what they want to do with their own body.
  • If you are intersex, please know, that you’re not alone, that you are completely normal and that you have human rights.
  • Russia has a growing community of intersex people all around the country.

Signed by:

  • Intersex Russia/OII Russia
  • 15 intersex community meeting in Moscow attendees
  • Anno Komarov

Under medical necessity we consider cases when the intervention is absolutely medically necessary, meaning that person’s intersex variation affects their lifespan and performance of their vital bodily functions.