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Second international intersex forum demands doctors change their ways

A second meeting of activists for intersex rights has called on the medical community and the UN to respect their rights
Gina Wilson, Australia representative at the second International Intersex Forum

The second International Intersex Forum ended on Tuesday in Stockhom, Sweden.

The forum, part of an International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) conference, saw 37 activists from 33 organizations extend the demands agreed at last year's first meeting.

As well as ending discrimination against intersex people and ensuring 'the right of bodily integrity and self-determination', the group agreed to a list of demands mostly aimed at the medical community.

The demands included the ending of genital surgeries to 'normalize' and selective abortion on the grounds of intersex and ensuring 'the personal, free, prior and fully informed' consent of the intersex person before medical procedures.

Medical practices which pick the male or female gender for an intersex child, sometimes arbitarily, and attempt to 'normalize' the child into that gender have become controversial. 

The forum sent an open letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calling for the UN to adopt intersex rights as part of their human rights work. The letter described human rights violations suffered by Indian gold-medal winning athlete Pink Pramanik who was accused of being a man. 

The forum also called on intersex people to join the movement and to help them become more visible.  

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