Human rights organisations Seta and OII Europe demand that the government takes immediate action to ensure right to physical integrity, bodily autonomy and self-determination for intersex people.
According to a report by Ministry of Justice and Ministry for Foreign Affairs the integrity and right to self-determination of intersex people is highly inadequate. The report was published in March 2019.
Sex characteristics of intersex infants are “normalized” with cosmetic surgery and hormonal treatment without the child´s consent. The Finnish report recommends that all medically unnecessary invasive and irreversible treatments that are not based on informed consent, are to be prohibited.
“While individual doctors in Finland are acknowledging that Intersex people have a fundamental right to make their own choices about what happens to their bodies, most are carrying on with practices the United Nations committee on the rights of the child has deemed to be in violation of the convention. These children’s rights must be upheld and respected” says Kitty Andersson, Co-Chair of OII Europe.
The treatment of intersex infants is a violation against human rights including the rights of the child. This has been stated by the Council of Europe ´s Human Rights Commissioner and Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament and The National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics ETENE.
“Finland must implement the PACE resolution on intersex from 2017 and the European parliament’s 2019 resolution on intersex into law. Like in most European countries the medical profession has entrenched a treatment paradigm that that based on 1950’s societal values. None of us wants to go back to that time, so why are we leaving an entire group behind having those values medically enforced upon them?” asks Andersson.
ETENE´s report from 2016 and the report by Finnish ministries issue several recommendations to ensure and promote health and fundamental rights of intersex people. The reports contain enough information for authorities to act without delay, Seta demands.
“Finnish Equality Act prohibits discrimination based on sex characteristics. We demand the Finnish government to ensure right to identity, health and equality” says Seta´s Secretary General Kerttu Tarjamo.
Seta also demands that the government investigates the possibility of adopting a third gender marker.
“If our society keeps on registering gender we should make sure that gender is based on self-determination and provide more than two options for gender markers. However, a third gender marker should not be forced on any intersex newborns because it might expose them to discrimination”, Tarjamo stresses.
Co-Chair of OII Europe
contact Communicatios Officer Eliisa Alatalo, email@example.com, p. 050 572 3259
Seta´s Secretary General (intersukupuolisten oikeudet ja vaikuttaminen)
firstname.lastname@example.org, p. +358 50 309 8108