Germany (CAT 12-12-2011)
The Committee against Torture considered the fifth periodic report of Germany (CAT/C/DEU/5), at its 1028th and 1031th meetings (CAT/C/SR.1028 and 1031), held on 4 November and 8 November 2011. At its 1046th and 1047th meetings (CAT/C/SR.1046 and 1047), held on 18 November 2011, it adopted the following concluding observations.
- The Committee takes note of the information received during the dialogue that the Ethical Council has undertaken to review the reported practices of routine surgical alterations in children born with sexual organs that are not readily categorized as male or female, also called intersex persons, with a view to evaluating and possibly changing current practice. However, the Committee remains concerned at cases where gonads have been removed and cosmetic surgeries on reproductive organs have been performed that entail lifelong hormonal medication, without effective, informed consent of the concerned individuals or their legal guardians, where neither investigation, nor measures of redress have been introduced. The Committee remains further concerned at the lack of legal provisions providing redress and compensation in such cases (arts. 2, 10, 12, 14 and 16).
The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure the effective application of legal and medical standards following the best practices of granting informed consent to medical and surgical treatment of intersex people, including full information, orally and in writing, on the suggested treatment, its justification and alternatives;
(b) Undertake investigation of incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex people without effective consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation;
(c) Educate and train medical and psychological professionals on the range of sexual, and related biological and physical, diversity; and
(d) Properly inform patients and their parents of the consequences of unnecessary surgical and other medical interventions for intersex people.