UN Economic and Social Council

Commission on Human Rights

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  1. Mr. CABRAL (Madre) said that when a child was born whose sexual and reproductive anatomy differed from both male and female bodily standards, his or her genitals were surgically and medically modified, without the child’s consent, to conform with those standards. Cases of intersexuality accounted for 1 in every 2,500 births. The vast majority of intersex children suffered invasive and mutilating procedures, practices motivated by fear of difference, sexism and homophobia. He himself carried in his flesh and experience the marks of such mutilation.
  2. A radical change of approach to bodily diversity was required. Decision-making autonomy and bodily integrity must be recognized as rights of the child. Stopping intersex infant genital mutilation was an ethical and political imperative. The Commission should join efforts to eradicate it.
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This is the second document of a UN human rights body that refers to intersex and the violation of the rights of intersex persons.

Summary record of the 43rd meeting, held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Monday, 11 April 2005 : Commission on Human Rights, 61st session

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was a commission within the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2006. It was a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and was also assisted in its work by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR). It was the UN’s principal mechanism and international forum concerned with the promotion and protection of human rights.