Know your rights

Non-consensual, medically unnecessary genital cutting and other body modifications breach several human rights set out in a number of legally binding treaties, including:

  • the right to freedom from all forms of violence; [1]
  • the right to security of person; [2]
  • the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; [3]
  • the right to the highest attainable standard of health; [4] and
  • when done to a non-consenting child for religious reasons, it breaches the child’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. [5]

The Helsinki Declaration declared the right to genital autonomy, including control over one’s own genitals and reproductive organs, and protection from medically unnecessary genital modification and other irreversible reproductive interventions.

Principle 32 of the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 recognises the right of people to not be “subjected to invasive or irreversible medical procedures that modify sex characteristics without their free, prior and informed consent, unless necessary to avoid serious, urgent and irreparable harm to the concerned person.”

AIGA is working to protect and promote you and your children’s human rights, but we can’t do it without your help.

Please consider making a donation today.

Notes

[1] Convention on the Rights of the Child, art 19(1).

[2] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art 9; European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Nov. 4 1950, 213 UNTS 221, art 5.

[3] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art 7; European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, art 3; Convention on the Rights of the Child, art 37(a).

[4] International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec. 12 1966, 993 UNTS 3, art 12; Convention on the Rights of the Child, art 24(1).

[5] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art 18(1); European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms art 9; Convention on the Rights of the Child, art 14(1).

Further information

RSA white paper on Genital Autonomy

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child