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Parliamentary questions
2 September 2009
Answer given by Mr Barrot on behalf of the Commission

The term ‘genital mutilation’ refers to procedures involving partial or total removal of the external genitalia or other injury to the genital organs for non-medical reasons. The honourable Member alludes to the medical option of corrective surgery in the context of an inborn or acquired intersexual physical state of a child, which is like any medical treatment subject to scientific review and takes account of children's rights and well being as required by the United Nations (UN) Convention from 1989.

The Commission does not have information on the extent and nature of ‘intersex genital mutilation’.

The Commission regrets to inform the Honourable Member, that under the Treaty establishing the European Community and the Treaty on European Union, the matter of genital mutilation of intersex children does not fall within the competence of the Community. This matter falls under the sole responsibility of the Member States.

The Commission reiterates that the rights enshrined in the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child have to be granted to all children without discrimination of any kind. According to the UN Convention, the best interests of the child have to be a primary consideration taken into account by Member States authorities in all actions concerning children.

Last updated: 11 December 2009Legal notice