Most European societies recognise people as either male or female. However, this does not account for all variations in sex characteristics. As a result, intersex people experience fundamental rights violations ranging from discrimination to medical interventions without their consent.
- Many Member States legally require births to be certified and registered as either male or female.
- In at least 21 Member States, sex ‘normalising’ surgery is carried out on intersex children.
- In 8 Member States, a legal representative can consent to sex ‘normalising' medical interventions independently of the child’s ability to decide.
- 18 Member States require patient consent provided the child has the ability to decide.
- Intersex discrimination is better covered by sex discrimination rather than discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity as it concerns physical (sex) characteristics.
- Legal and medical professionals should be better informed of the fundamental rights of intersex people, particularly children.
- Gender markers in identity documents and birth registries should be reviewed to better protect intersex people.
- Member States should avoid nonconsensual ‘sex-normalising’ medical treatments on intersex people.