Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Denmark (CESCR 12-11-2019)

The Committee considered the sixth periodic report of Denmark (E/C.12/DNK/6) at its 44th and 45th meetings (see E/C.12/2019/SR.44 and 45), held on 8 and 9 October 2019, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 60th meeting, held on 18 October 2019.

Concluding observations

C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations

Intersex children

  1. The Committee is concerned that the definition of “disorders (differences) of sex development” in the State party’s legislation does not contain all elements of the definition of “intersex”. It is also concerned at reports that medically unnecessary procedures continue to be performed on intersex children (arts. 10 and 12).
  2. The Committee recommends that, in the implementation of the 2018–2021 National Action Plan on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, the State party:

(a) Replace in its legislation the concept of “disorders (differences) of sex development” with a definition of intersex person in which differences in sex characteristics include genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns;

(b) Ensure that, in practice, medically unnecessary procedures on the sex characteristics of intersex children are not performed until the children are capable of forming their own views and can give their informed consent;

(c) Train health-care personnel on the health needs and human rights of intersex persons, including their right to autonomy and physical integrity;

(d) Ensure that, in addition to the information material for parents of intersex children to be published by the Danish Health Authority, intersex persons and their families receive adequate counselling and support, including from peers;                                       

(e) Identify and investigate human rights violations against intersex persons in the context of the examination of the living conditions of intersex persons to be conducted in 2020;

(f) Ensure that intersex persons and organizations continue to be consulted and participate in the development of research, legislation and policies that impact on their rights.

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