Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand
|Purpose||Intersex human rights|
Founded by Mani Mitchell in 1996, Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand, also known as Intersex Awareness New Zealand is a national advocacy and peer support organisation for intersex people in New Zealand.
ITANZ is a charitable trust that provides education, information and training on intersex issues for organisations and individual professionals. Executive Director Mani Mitchell is known as New Zealand's first "out" intersex person.
Physical integrity and bodily autonomy
Trust members have participated in, and jointly held, roundtable events with the Human Rights Commission, including on the human rights implications of intersex medical interventions, shame and secrecy. Following a joint round table event with the Human Rights Commission, the Commission proposed to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that the New Zealand government enact legal and regulatory safeguards to protect the rights of intersex children, and ensure that children's rights to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination are respected. In October 2016, the Committee on the Rights of the Child issued observations on practices in New Zealand, including recommendations to ensure "that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guaranteeing the rights of children to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination". The recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child have been illustrated by ITANZ and Intersex Youth Aotearoa.
In March 2017, representatives of Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand participated in an Australian and Aotearoa/New Zealand consensus "Darlington Statement" by intersex community organizations and others. The statement calls for legal reform, including the criminalization of deferrable intersex medical interventions on children, an end to legal classification of sex, and improved access to peer support.
Executive Director Mani Mitchell provides counselling for individuals and families.
Education and awareness
Mitchell, and other board members, have given presentations to a range of audiences, including the National College of Midwives biennial conference and the University of the Third Age. The Trust have supported the filming of award-winning documentary Intersexion (2012).
ITANZ a member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
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