C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations

Intersex persons

44. The Committee appreciates the assurances provided by the delegation that surgical interventions on intersex children are carried out only when necessary, following medical and psychological opinions. It remains concerned, however, about reports of cases of unnecessary surgery and other medical treatment with lifelong consequences to which intersex children have been subjected without their informed consent. The Committee is further concerned at the lack of legal provisions providing redress and rehabilitation in such cases (arts. 14 and 16).

45. The State party should:

(a) Take the legislative, administrative and other measures necessary to guarantee the respect for the physical integrity and autonomy of intersex persons and to ensure that no one is subjected during infancy or childhood to non-urgent medical or surgical procedures intended to decide the sex of the child;

(b) Guarantee impartial counselling services for all intersex children and their parents, so as to inform them of the consequences of unnecessary and non-urgent surgery and other medical treatment to decide on the sex of the child and the possibility of postponing any decision on such treatment or surgery until the persons concerned can decide by themselves;

(c) Guarantee that full, free and informed consent is ensured in connection with medical and surgical treatments for intersex persons and that non-urgent, irreversible medical interventions are postponed until a child is sufficiently mature to participate in decision-making and give effective consent;

(d) Undertake investigation of instances of surgical interventions or other medical procedures performed on intersex persons without effective consent and ensure that the persons concerned are adequately compensated.

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CAT-Austria-2015-eng

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