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ISIO kuultavana YK:ssa

ISIO oli kuultavana YK:n ihmisoikeuskomiteassa liittyen intersukupuolisten ihmisten oikeuksien toteutumiseen Suomessa. Kuuleminen oli osa YK:n kansalais- ja poliittisia oikeuksia koskevan sopimuksen toimeenpanoa käsittelevää Suomen 7. määräaikaisraportin tarkastelua.

ISIO ry nosti puheenvuorossaan esiin erityisesti sen, että intersukupuolisten lasten oikeus keholliseen koskemattomuuteen ei toteudu aina Suomessa. ISIO ry toivoi ihmisoikeuskomitean suosittavan Suomelle, että intersukupuolisten lasten oikeus keholliseen koskemattomuuteen turvataan lailla. 

Kuulemisten ja määräaikasraportin tarkastelun perusteella YK:n ihmisoikeuskomitea antaa Suomelle suositukset kansalais- ja poliittisten oikeuksien toteuttamisen kehittämisestä lähikuukausina. 

Voit lukea ISIOn koko puheenvuoron alta. 

Setan, Trans ry:n, Trasekin, Transfeminiinien and ISIOn yhteisen lausunnon YK:lle sateenkaari-ihmisten kansalais- ja poliittisien oikeuksien toteutumisesta Suomessa löydät Setan sivuilta.

United Nations Human Rights Committee

CCPR – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Consideration of the 7th Periodic Report of FINLAND 


ISIO – Intersex People`s Human Rights Finland

Oral Statement

Intersex persons’ bodily integrity and self-determination

ISIO – Intersex People`s Human Rights Finland advocates for human rights of intersex people in Finland.  

The right to bodily integrity and self-determination of intersex children is not fully respected in Finland. 

The study “No information or options: the rights and experiences of intersex people in Finland” conducted as part of the National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights (2017-2019) was published in 2019. The study data consists of interviews and online survey answers of intersex people and their parents. 

The study found that intersex children are still subjected to non-vital medical operations aimed at “normalising” the sex characteristics of the child. 

Some parents, whose intersex children had been born in 2010s and 2000s, said they had not been allowed to participate in the decision-making regarding the surgery made to their child. They had simply been “informed” of the interventions, or there had been attempts to pressure them to give consent to these. Moreover, healthcare professionals had failed to give any reasons that would have been relevant to the child’s health. Parents had for example been told that the child needed surgery to avoid bullying at school.

The programme of the current government states that “intersex children’s right to self-determination will be strengthened, and cosmetic, non-medical surgeries on genitalia of young children will no longer be performed”. However, so far no progress has been made. 

It is expected that the working group set by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Health to reform the Trans Act (March 2021) will address the issue. However, there is a concern that the working group will only give another recommendation to stop such non-vital medical operations, and not prohibit such practices by law. This would be an unwelcome result as such a recommendation has already been given by the National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics in 2016 and it has had no effect on the medical practices.

For this reason we would welcome a recommendation from this Committee for Finland to 

  • Enact a law that prohibits any non-vital surgeries or other medical interventions performed to ‘normalise’ sex characteristics of children without the informed consent of the child. Except in situations where the health of the child is at immediate risk, no interventions aiming to modify sex characteristics should be performed before the child is capable of making an independent decision on the matter.
  • The law also needs to be monitored in order to ensure its implementation. Therefore, the law needs to include an obligation for authorities to justify and report all surgeries and other medical interventions performed on the sex characteristics of the child. This would also, in the future, facilitate the effective access to justice and redress for individuals who are subjected to such surgeries and other medical interventions. At the moment, due to lack of documentation and monitoring, no effective measures to justice and redress are in place. 
  • Provide clinical practice guidelines for the healthcare of intersex children that take full account of the child’s best interests and rights to participate in making decisions concerning their treatment appropriate to their age and maturity, in accordance with the obligations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Guarantee access to psychosocial support and peer support as well as non-medicalised and non-stigmatised information regarding variations of sex characteristics and the diversity of human sexes for intersex people and their parents.

On behalf of ISIO I thank you for the chance to present our perspective and knowledge.