European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Study visit to the EU for intersex activists

On 16 June, the European Parliament Committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) hold a hearing on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2015. Dan Christian Ghattas, Co-chair of OII-Europe, was invited to take the floor, as part of the NGOs panel.

ILGA-Europe used the opportunity of this hearing to organise a study-visit for seven intersex activists from the Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Iceland, the Netherlands and Belgium.

On 15 June, we hold a breakfast meeting with some officials from EU member states permanent representations, and discussed about best practices at national level to further protect the rights of intersex people. Then, we went to see officials from DG Education and Culture and intersex activists shared memories from their school life and recommendations to make schools more inclusive.

That was followed by a lunch meeting with Brussels-based NGOs, where we identified common issues with movements defending the rights of people with disabilities, deaf people, women, migrants, etc.

We then met with DG Research of the European Commission and discussed ways forward to ensure a human rights perspective within research projects on intersex. The day concluded with two meetings with Members of the European Parliament LGBTI Intergroup.

 On 16 June, we met the Children’s rights coordinator within DG Justice of the European Commission, which was critical for intersex activists as intersex children’s human rights are still violated in most countries across Europe nowadays. We then met with Members of the European Parliament, their assistants and political advisers, before attending the hearing where Dan Christian Ghattas, Co-chair of OII-Europe, was speaking. It was the first time that an intersex activist was officially invited to speak at the EP, which was welcomed by the GUE/NGL (The European United Left/Nordic Green Left Parlimentary Group).