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Historic Victory for Intergender Rights in India


by Redaktie in History & Politics , 03 October 2019

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar


In Tamil Nadu, the government has issued a Regulation on the basis of which non-essential operations on sex characteristics of babies and children are prohibited, except in the case of a life-threatening situation.


This Regulation is a historic victory for the rights of intergender people in Tamil Nadu - a state in the south of India with 72 million inhabitants.  These operations are legal and commonplace almost everywhere in the world - including the Netherlands, but are often carried out without permission and are therefore a violation of human rights.

The Regulation is as follows:

"The government has, after careful consideration of all the above points and on the basis of the opinions of selected experts, decided to ban sex-changing operations for babies and children, with the exception of life-threatening situations. The government will decide on whether a situation is life-threatening on the basis of the recommendation by the Director of the Medical School, who will set up a commission consisting of:

    A paediatric surgeon/urologist
    An endocrinologist
    A social worker/ psychologist/intergender activist
    A government representative with at least the rank of Undersecretary.

The director of the Medical School shall ensure that the above exception clause relating to life-threatening situations are not abused by persons that have an impact on the implementation of the ban on gender changing operations at inter-sex babies and children."



The basis for this decision was a legal case brought before the High Court of Justice in Madras, started by an intergender woman and her husband.

Gay interest organisation COC Netherlands has supported Srishti Madurai - an intergender organization led by Gopi Shankar Madurai - in organizing a policy meeting with various stakeholders, including government representatives, to prepare and implement this Regulation after the Supreme Court ruling. This was done in close collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for Sexual Diversity NNID, which also provided support on technical issues.

They now call on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement this Regulation throughout India.




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