In October this year, the Maltese government launched a consultation exercise regarding a new Gender Identity Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Bill (“GIGESC”). The Bill is ground-breaking and, if passed as we hope, it will:
- create a “right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy for all persons”.
- make unlawful “non-medically necessary treatment on the sex characteristics of a person without informed consent”.
- create a new ground of “sex characteristics” in anti-discrimination law, including people with atypical sex characteristics.
- provide “for psychosocial counselling, support and medical interventions related to sex and/or gender”, which may include peer support for people with intersex variations.
- create a “right to gender identity for all persons”, and improved procedures for changing legal gender.
The Bill addresses issues raised in the Council of Europe Resolution 1952 (2013) on Children’s right to physical integrity, and also the issues raised in the Australian Senate committee report on the Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia and a report of the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics.
OII Australia congratulates the Maltese government on publication of the draft bill, and warmly welcomes proposals that go beyond Australian legislation in several key areas. The Maltese government is taking leadership in creating a new “right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy” and in proposals to make unlawful “non-medically necessary treatment on the sex characteristics of a person without informed consent”.
We commend this Bill to Australian governments.
— Silvan Agius (@SilvanAgius) October 29, 2014
- OII Australia (29 November 2014) Letter of support to the Maltese Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties (PDF)
- Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties (30 October 2014) Public consultation notes (PDF)
- Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties (29 October 2014) Draft Gender Identity Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Bill (PDF)
- OII Europe statement (4 December) applauding the Maltese government
- Malta Today (29 October 2014) Civil liberties minister launches Gender Identity Act