Coerced sterilisations and castrations: 'never again'

Strasbourg, 25.04.2013 - “Never again”, Liliane Maury Pasquier (Switzerland, SOC) declared today when presenting her report on coerced sterilisations and castrations to the PACE Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development. Adopting her report unanimously, the Committee denounced coerced, non-reversible sterilisations and castrations as grave violations of human rights and human dignity.

Even if in Council of Europe member states the number of coerced sterilisations and castrations is small, they cannot be legitimated in any way in the 21st century, the committee underlined. It called for clear safeguards against future abuses of the main victims, Roma women, convicted sex offenders, transgender persons and persons with disabilities, and the marginalised, stigmatised, or those considered to be unable to cope.

The committee therefore invites member states to revise their laws as necessary,foresee adequate redress for victims – financial compensation as well as official apologies – and recommends preventive work to change mentalities, including paternalistic attitudes in the medical profession.