European society remains largely unaware of the reality of intersex people. However, through the pioneering work of a growing number of intersex groups and individual activists, the human rights community and international organisations are becoming increasingly conscious of this situation and are working to draw on human rights standards to address such concerns.
This issue paper aims to stimulate the development of a framework of action by suggesting a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, it calls on member states to end medically unnecessary “normalising” treatment of intersex persons when it is enforced or administered without the free and fully informed consent of the person concerned. On the other, it provides possible ways forward in terms of protection against discrimination of intersex people, adequate recognition of their sex on official documents and access to justice.