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Hospital Should Halt Medically Unnecessary Surgeries

Protesters picketed Weill-Cornell, a private institution that is part of the New York Presbyterian Hospital system, earlier this month, demanding the hospital cease medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits, and investigate…
Demonstrators gather for an #EndIntersexSurgery protest outside Weill-Cornell hospital in New York City in August 2021. 
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Elective Surgeries Should Be Patient’s Choice

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) passed a resolution supporting the principle that intersex children should not be operated on until they are old enough to make the decision themselves. This deferral of all medically unnecessary…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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Policy is Part of Growing Momentum to Respect Bodily Diversity

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), one of the United States’ oldest and largest medical organizations, has issued a policy opposing medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children. “Intersex” refers to the up to 1.7 percent…
Main image for Intersex Report
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Medically Unnecessary High-Risk Surgeries Should Stop

  This afternoon in Chicago, the Intersex Justice Project (IJP), a US-based advocacy group, is staging a protest outside the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, asking the institution to stop allowing medically unnecessary surgeries…
Intersex activist Sean Saifa Wall protests outside Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for Intersex Awareness Day on October 26, 2017.
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Intersex Advocates Demand Inclusion and Informed Consent

This weekend when urologists from around the world gather in San Francisco for the American Urological Association’s (AUA) annual conference, dozens of patient advocates will participate – yet a key group of people will be missing. The intersex…
Intersex Interact campaign
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Surgeons’ Opposition to Senate Resolution Exposes Persistent Stigmatization

I testified before California’s senate judiciary committee today to support Senate Concurrent Resolution 110, which supports the autonomy of intersex Californians to decide if and when their bodies get surgically altered. The resolution, authored…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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Time For American Academy of Pediatrics to Oppose Unnecessary Surgeries on Intersex Kids

“As pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists, we care about the health and dignity of all children,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote in response to a report on intersex youth that Human…
A group of Doctors meet in the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013.
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Such Surgeries Should be Banned for Children

A legal settlement in South Carolina last week will award US$440,000 to a 12-year-old intersex child, born with sex characteristics not quite typically male or female, who was operated on as an infant to make his body appear like a girl. The surgery was…
A father plays with his daughter, who was born with atypical sex characteristics. Despite pressure from doctors, the parents chose not to elect medically unnecessary surgeries on their child.
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What are some of the misconceptions around being born intersex? Unfortunately, in our society we’re still at a point where most people don’t know the basic facts about being intersex. People think it is very rare, but really, up to two percent of the…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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Children Suffer When Moms Can’t Bail Out

The bail system punishes mothers when their children get held in jail. Mothers have to arrange visits and pay for phone calls. Mothers borrow money to pay bail bond fees. Mothers cut food budgets and scrape together rent, while making…
Women walk along a corridor at the Los Angeles County women's jail.
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Join the Raise the Age Campaign

Ensuring that children in conflict with the law are treated justly and effectively has been a global concern of Human Rights Watch for 20 years. We have advocated against the death penalty for children in Iran, Sudan, and Yemen, and against life…
Raise the Age
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In a report released last night, the United States Justice Department (DOJ) has called for a number of substantial reforms to the use of solitary confinement in the US, including banning solitary confinement for children. The report directs changes to the…
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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In a series of decisions last week, the Florida Supreme Court gave real hope to people sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed before the age of 18. These decisions follow a Florida law passed last year that largely ended juvenile life…
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Ten years ago this month, the United States Supreme Court found the death penalty unconstitutional when imposed on people who committed crimes when they were younger than age 18. The decision, Roper v. Simmons, spared the lives of 72 inmates on…
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Do your thoughts belong to you? Not if you’re one of the five 9/11 defendants facing charges at Guantanamo. But that may have changed with a new ruling at a secret hearing on Monday. Lawyers are still trying to puzzle it out. Of the many…
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On our way to a barbecue dinner where the ceiling fell in, we blew a tire. The two events here at Guantanamo Bay were not related, nor were they exactly big news in a week when a fresh set of hearings is getting underway for the five men…