Control Yuan members yesterday reprimanded the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of the Interior for failing to protect the rights of intersex people.
Between 0.05 and 1.7 percent of the population is born with intersex traits, Control Yuan Vice President Sun Ta-chuan (孫大川) and Control Yuan member Gau Fehng-shian (高鳳仙) said in a report, citing UN statistics.
Based on the upper estimate, there might be 400,000 intersex people in Taiwan, they said.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
The ministries have gathered no significant data on the intersex population and have never taken measures to conduct studies on the community, Sun said, adding that they have “ignored the existence of intersex people.”
They have turned a blind eye to the challenges that intersex people face — such as having a gender registered to them at birth and undergoing unnecessary surgery — let alone push for policies, he said.
The ministries’ behavior has already constituted a violation of human rights and is not in line with the principle of equality stated in Article 7 of the Constitution and the spirit of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, he said.
Due to pressure on parents to register births and insufficient medical guidelines, intersex children often undergo “normalizing” surgery too early, Sun and Gau said in their report.
The health ministry has not aided the families of intersex children by setting medical guidelines or providing them with parental handbooks, the report said, adding that this inaction might result in unnecessary surgeries and violate the rights to health and autonomy of intersex children.
For intersex people with needs that were present at birth, the National Health Insurance system’s lack of coverage for gender reassignment surgery violates the principle of equality, Gau said.
In some cases, intersex people pay for hormonal therapy out-of-pocket, she said, adding that it is also difficult for intersex people to find medical specialists.
These issues are disadvantageous to the health and care of intersex people and their right to national insurance, she said, adding that there should be research and discussion with the goal of amending the law.
As the interior ministry is redesigning its national identification card, the two urged the government to either add a third gender classification or explore other ways to specify intersex gender on the card.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.