NNID statement for Intersex Awareness Day

Today, 26 October, is Intersex Awareness Day. The whole world reflects on what intersex is and what remains to be done to protect the rights of people with a intersex trait. Still, medical treatments are carried out without the freely given, full consent of the person concerned. The United Nations and various European authorities repeatedly say that Member States should put an end to this practice. But so far only Malta has the protection of the human rights of intersex persons included in legislation.

In the Netherlands only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives specific attention to intersex. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (with responsibility for emancipation) last year undertook research on intersex, but refuses to take ownership and is trying to transfer responsibility for the human rights aspects of intersex to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

NNID thinks intersex should be part of a variety of policy areas: LGBT (I), the elderly, youth, emancipation, people with a non-Western background, sport, privacy, education, environment, workplace, bullying, discrimination, and so on. But before that first intersex must be recognized as a human rights issue. A society needs to be created in which people dare to reveal their intersex traits. We believe that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science must take the lead, because this is essentially a emancipation issue.

We call on the Dutch government to follow the example of the twelve UN agencies who this year made a joint statement committing themselves more for intersex rights. And at the same time, we call on the Dutch government to take the example of Malta, the EU member state with the most advanced protections for sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and sex characteristics.

What is intersex? (Dutch)

Joint Declaration by UN agencies

Fundamental Rights Agency: Intersex Focus Paper

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights: Intersex Issues paper

Original statement (Dutch)