Intersex Roundtable Report and Project

Intersex Roundtable Report and Project

December 9, 2016

Issues regarding those born intersex require the use of a broad and versatile team approach that supports the physical and psychological needs of both the intersex child and their family. 

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission co-hosted a Roundtable in April 2016, that brought together multiple stakeholders to address New Zealand’s current practice of genital normalisation on intersex children.

The report of the Roundtable can be found here.

The Human Rights Commission is now working on a project that implements the outcomes of the Roundtable, alongside Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (ITANZ)and Tiwhanawhana Trust (Takatāpui / tangata whenua). 

One of the outcomes of the project to date has been the four recommendations related to intersex children as an outcome of New Zealand's review under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1. Develop and implement a child rights-based health care protocol for intersex children, setting the procedures and steps to be followed by health teams, ensuring that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guaranteeing the rights of children to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;

2. Promptly investigate incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex children without informed consent and adopt legal provisions to provide redress to victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation;

3. Educate and train medical and psychological professionals on the range of biological and physical sexual diversity and on the consequences of unnecessary surgical and other medical interventions on intersex children;

4. Extend free access to surgical interventions and medical treatment related to their intersex condition to intersex children between the age of 16 and 18.

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.