At the start of the year, ARC International and the International Service for Human Rights invited submissions on how the Yogyakarta Principles should be supplemented to reflect developments in, and the current state of, international human rights law with respect to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression and Sex Characteristics.
I am a member of the drafting team for the supplementary statement, but I have also made a submission, aiming to highlight:
- the ways that inclusion of intersex and sex characteristics within LGBTI and SOGI favours identity issues, and obscures issues about embodiments
- a tendency even for experienced human rights and legal professionals to extrapolate intersex issues from issues affecting LGB and transgender populations
- legal and medical systems that are complicit in the forced, so-called “normalisation” of intersex bodies at the same time that the legal system “others” intersex persons
- resulting in significant policy disjunctions that require attention.
I call for attention in the drafting process to issues of bodily autonomy and the complicity of legal and medical systems, and care about the manner in which intersex issues are linked to SOGI and identity issues through recognition of intersectionalities within “LGBTI”.