Human Rights

Everyone should be able to make their own choices about what happens to their body  

Every intersex person in Australia should be able to grow up to live a full and dignified life in which they decide what happens to their own bodies.

But around the country, many infants and children born with variations of their sex characteristics are having unnecessary medical procedures without their consent.

Consequences of these early and unnecessary medical procedures can include (according to the AHRC report P38-41):  

  • Loss of sexual function and sensation  
  • Loss of fertility  
  • Urinary tract issues, including incontinence   
  • A need for ongoing medical treatment/repeat surgeries 
  • Incorrect gender assignment 
  • Loss of autonomy and loss of choice

In 2023, the ACT became the first place in Australia to pass laws that end unnecessary medical procedures on intersex people without their consent.

Now we need to make sure all states and territories follow the ACT’s lead and protect future generations of people with an intersex variation.

Everyone should have the right to decide what happens to their own bodies.


  • ‘Intersex’ is an umbrella term that refers to people born with hormonal, chromosomal or anatomical variations of sex characteristics that do not align with social or medical norms for male or female bodies.
  • This can include variations in sex chromosomes, hormones, reproductive organs and/or sexual anatomy.
  • ‘Intersex’ describes around 70 different variations related to a person’s bodily sex characteristics and not a gender identity or sexuality.
  • In October 2021, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) urged all Australian governments to implement measures that prevent harmful medical interventions on intersex people without personal consent.
  • The Victorian government has publicly committed to ending such procedures.
  • The ACT has passed Australian-first laws to protect intersex people from medical procedures modifying their sex characteristics without their consent.

Want to know more?

ABC 7.30 Report

The ABC reports on the new laws introduced in the ACT to restrict medical procedures on intersex children.

The Project

The Project looks at one family's story and the nationwide campaign to stop surgeries on intersex children.

Latest Updates on Intersex Rights