“Intersex” refers to a person born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit the typical definitions of female or male, or are born with varying degrees of physical differences in their genitalia.

Usually seen as a medical “syndrome” or “condition” - rather than as a form of anatomical difference - so-called “corrective” genital surgery or gender reassignment surgery is often performed on intersex children without their consent.

The aim is to assign the individual a male or female sexual identity, despite the possibility that this may not correspond with a child’s gender identity as they get older.

These practices violate a child's physical and bodily integrity, their right to protection from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse (CRC art. 19) and to the highest attainable standard of health (CRC art. 24), and ultimately their survival and development (CRC art. 6).

Other issues that adversely impact intersex children include high levels of discrimination and stigmatisation, an increased prevalence of problematic drug use and self-harm and difficulties around civil registration.

In February 2015, the Committee on the Rights of the Child asserted for the first time that non-consensual intersex surgeries violate physical integrity and constitute a harmful practice during its review of Switzerland (CRC/C/CHE/CO/2-4, paras. 42 & 43).

Below is an evolving list of resources dedicated to debating this issue.