The Committee against Torture considered the seventh periodic report of France (CAT/C/FRA/7) at its 1396th and 1399th meetings, held on 19 and 20 April 2016 (see CAT/C/SR.1396 and 1399), and adopted, at its 1418th meeting, held on 4 May 2016, the following concluding observations.
- The Committee is concerned about reports of unnecessary and sometimes irreversible surgical procedures performed on intersex children without their informed consent or that of their relatives and without their having all possible options always explained to them. It is also concerned that these procedures, which are purported to cause physical and psychological suffering, have not as yet been the object of any inquiry, sanction or reparation. The Committee regrets that no information was provided on specific legislative and administrative measures establishing the status of intersex persons (arts. 2, 12, 14 and 16).
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to guarantee respect for the physical integrity of intersex individuals, so that no one is subjected during childhood to non-urgent medical or surgical procedures intended to establish one’s sex;
(b) Ensure that the persons concerned and their parents or close relatives receive impartial counselling services and psychological and social support free of charge;
(c) Ensure that no surgical procedure or medical treatment is carried out without the person’s full, free and informed consent and without the person, their parents or close relatives being informed of the available options, including the possibility of deferring any decision on unnecessary treatment until they can decide for themselves;
(d) Arrange for the investigation of cases of surgical or other medical treatment reportedly carried out on intersex individuals without their informed consent and take steps to provide redress, including adequate compensation, to all victims;
(e) Conduct studies into this issue in order to better understand and deal with it.