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Promising signs from ACT Government announcement to protect trans, gender diverse and intersex rights

Amnesty International Australia welcomes the ACT Government’s move to examine the Territory’s discrimination act to better protect trans, gender diverse and intersex people’s rights.

“This is promising news as we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, discrimination against Intersex people and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), but it’s essential any reform is done in consultation with the community and organisations such as Intersex Human Rights Australia,” Amnesty International Australia campaigner Joel MacKay said.

“Any reform must at least criminalise deferrable medical interventions – also known as forced surgeries – on intersex people without their consent, particularly babies and children. This is an opportunity for the ACT to lead the country in such reform. 

“The government must also catch up with other jurisdictions and ensure that transgender and gender diverse people in the ACT are not required to undergo medical interventions to update the gender marker on their birth certificate. 

“Our self-defined gender identity is one of the most basic aspects of self-determination, dignity and freedom. International human rights law says that our laws should respect self-identification. This means that trans, non-binary and gender diverse people should have access to basic ID that is true to their gender regardless of what medical intervention they have (or have not) received.

“Trans, gender diverse and intersex people are discriminated against on a daily basis, this reform process must reach as far as it can to uphold their human rights.”

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