World Health Organization Denounced for Calling Intersex Traits ‘Disorders’

Outside the World Health Assembly (WHA). Photo credit: WHO/Laurent Cipriani, via Facebook.

More than 60 intersex rights organizations around the world released a letter expressing their “regret” that the World Health Organization called intersex traits “disorders of sex development.”

The International Classification of Diseases by the WHO also advocates for unnecessary genital surgeries on intersex individuals, according to the letter. 

“When performed on individuals without their personal informed consent, human rights defenders and institutions have found these interventions to be harmful practices and violations of rights to bodily integrity, non-discrimination, equality before the law, privacy, and freedom from torture, ill-treatment, and experimentation,” the groups wrote in the letter.

The intersex rights organizations have called on the WHO to reform the code to ensure it doesn’t facilitate the human rights violations and to end medically unnecessary surgeries intended to change a patient’s sex without their informed consent.