UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Denmark (CAT 04-02-2016)

The Committee against Torture considered the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Denmark (CAT/C/DNK/6-7) at its 1366th and 1369th meetings (see CAT/C/SR.1366 and CAT/C/SR.1369), held on 16 and 17 November 2015, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 1386th meeting, held on 30 November 2015.

Concluding observations

Intersex persons

  1. While taking note of the information provided by the delegation on the decision-making process related to treatment of intersex children, the Committee remains concerned at reports of unnecessary and irreversible surgery and other medical treatment with lifelong consequences to which intersex children have been subjected before the age of 15, when their informed consent is required. The Committee is further concerned at hurdles faced by these persons when seeking redress and compensation in such cases (arts. 14 and 16).
  1. The State party should:

(a) Take the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to guarantee the respect for the physical integrity and autonomy of intersex persons and ensure that no one is subjected during infancy or childhood to unnecessary medical or surgical procedures;

(b) Guarantee counselling services for all intersex children and their parents, so as to inform them of the consequences of unnecessary surgery and other medical treatment;

(c) Ensure that full, free and informed consent is respected in connection with medical and surgical treatments for intersex persons and that non-urgent, irreversible medical interventions are postponed until a child is sufficiently mature to participate in decision-making and give full, free and informed consent;

(d) Provide adequate redress for the physical and psychological suffering caused by such practices to intersex persons.

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