Briefing papers (page 1 of 2)

IHRA policy briefing papers. Please note that these briefings are periodically updated.

Spin cycle

On clinical guidelines

Are clinical guidelines enough to eliminate human rights violations against intersex people in medical settings? Reviewing the evidence, we believe they are inadequate, and their prerequisites do not exist.

Covid-19 - a representation of the physical appearance of the virus particle

Intersex people and COVID-19

COVID-19 can infect any individual, irrespective of age or health but its impact exacerbates existing inequalities. All populations that suffer health inequalities are disproportionately affected, and people with intersex variations are no exception.


Researching intersex populations

Advice and recommendations on including people born with variations of sex characteristics in research studies and surveys.

education: an outline in purple of a graduation cap


People born with intersex variations face stigmatisation and discrimination in education settings. Policies designed to support students with particular identities may not recognise issues faced by people with particular bodies.

Law: an icon showing an outline of scales in balance


Intersex people, like other people, may be convicted of offences, or detained awaiting trial. People with observable variations in sex characteristics may face harassment and stigma in places of detention, and may be vulnerable to harm.

Intersex people in sport


Intersex people suffer exclusion and stigmatisation in sport. On a day-to-date level, the most significant issue is body shaming. However, intersex women face uncertainty, exclusion without evidence, and public humilation.

equal: the equals symbol within a circle


People born with variations of sex characteristics experience stigmatisation, discrimination, bullying, body shaming and other forms of harm because of our sex characteristics, and also because of assumptions about our identities.

Double helix icon, representing DNA


Many intersex traits are genetic, with an identified origin. The elimination of such traits from the gene pool is an established and growing phenomenon.

Identification document

Identification documents

Intersex people have diverse sex classifications and gender identities. This page presents background information and guidance on how to respect the diversity of intersex lived experience.

Bodily integrity: a figure of a body enclosed in a circle

Bodily integrity

We all have a right to bodily integrity, to not be subjected to invasive or irreversible medical procedures that modify sex characteristics, unless necessary to avoid serious, urgent and irreparable harm.


Clinical opposition to early intersex medical interventions grows

Clinicians are increasingly raising their voices in opposition to forced and coercive interventions, including Physicians for Human Rights and the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, but more action is needed – particularly in Australia.