Dr Mitchell Travis cited by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Research carried out by Dr Mitchell Travis on different legal approaches to intersex equality is cited in the UN OHCHR’s new ‘Background Note on Human Rights Violations against Intersex People’.

The OHCHR background note seeks to document the specific human rights abuses faced by intersex people and the corresponding human rights obligations of States. It identifies gaps, challenges and positive developments, as well as charting new directions focussing on respecting, protecting and fulfilling the human rights of intersex people.

Combatting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a specific stream of the OHCHR’s overall work on discrimination. It works with States, national human rights institutions and civil society to achieve progress towards the worldwide repeal of laws criminalizing LGBT persons and further measures to protect people from violence and discrimination on grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The background note draws upon the article ‘Legislating Intersex Equality: Building the resilience of Intersex People through Law’, written with co-author Dr Fae Garland (University of Manchester). The article used interviews with intersex people in order to assess different legal approaches to intersex equality. The study was the first to compare intersex legislation in Germany (2013), Australia (2013) and Malta (2015). A summary version of the findings can be found here.

Dr Travis’s work was also featured in a recent Law Society podcast on intersex issues and was cited by Egale, a Canadian Human Rights Charity, in their report ‘65 Reasons: The Rights of Intersex People in Canada’.

Dr Travis commented “I’m glad that our research is influencing these important national and international debates. Ultimately, our work seeks to raise the profile and prioritise the voices of intersex people. I hope it can be an effective tool in producing social change”.

Dr Travis and Dr Garland will be continuing their work in this area through a project funded by the British Academy to assess the effect of Maltese legislation prohibiting non-therapeutic medical interventions on intersex people.

For further information contact Dr Mitchell Travis at M.Travis@leeds.ac.uk.