Under forced sterilization refers to the induction of infertility (infertility) in people without their consent. It was done on a large scale
- as part of the eugenics programs of the first half of the 20th century,
- in connection with gender reassignment surgeries on intersexually born children as well
- until 2011 within the scope of the German Transsexual Act before adapting the civil status to the perceived gender affiliation.
The history of legally protected forced sterilization begins in 1907 with the world's first sterilization law in Indiana. Forced sterilization was carried out in the USA until 1981.
In 1921 the Swedish Reichstag decided to establish the world's first institute for racial biology at Uppsala University . "Between 1935 and 1976, around 62,000 people were forcibly sterilized in Sweden." Officially, the Swedish sterilization laws (as well as in other Scandinavian countries) did not speak of coercive measures, but those without consent and doctors were instructed to have concerns in "relevant" cases to disperse.
In Great Britain, forced sterilization was used as a legal measure of criminal law against homosexuals until at least the 1950s. One of the most prominent victims was Alan Turing .
According to the " Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Offspring " of July 14, 1933, which came into force on January 1, 1934 , between 1934 and 1945 around 400,000 people who were under the control of the German Reich were ordered by the hereditary health courts established for this purpose, even without their consent made sterile . Not only mentally or physically disabled people were affected, but also patients in psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes as well as alcoholics . About 5000 people died as a result of the surgery.
The German children of some black soldiers and German women, who were born during the Allied occupation of the Rhineland during the Weimar Republic , were described as black shame and a “danger to German racial purity”. They were later recorded as so-called "Rhineland bastards" by the Nazi authorities and until 1937 forcibly sterilized without a legal basis. In Nazi forced laborers partially forced sterilizations and were forced abortions on racial and labor economic reasons made. In the Auschwitz concentration camp , methods of mass sterilization were investigated on inmates. The doctor Carl Clauberg experimented with caustic liquids that he injected into the cervix of the victims, and Horst Schumann exposed his victims to X-rays on the abdomen or, in male subjects, on the testicles.
In 1998 the compulsory sterilization orders of the hereditary health courts were repealed by law and in May 2007 the law for the prevention of genetically ill offspring was declared an NS law by the Bundestag. In January 2011, the Bundestag granted the victims a claim for compensation under the General Consequences of War Act (AKG Hardship Guidelines) after they had not been considered persecuted by the Nazi regime for decades.
The Federal Ministry of Justice estimates that around 1,000 mentally handicapped girls were sterilized annually in West Germany - until the Care Act was changed in 1992.
In 2004, 187 license applications were submitted in the Federal Republic of Germany in accordance with(2) BGB, 154 of which were approved.
Until a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court in 2011, the Transsexuals Act of 1980 provided in Section 8 (1) No. 3 and 4 TSG that transsexuals with a same-sex orientation either enter into marriage or have to undergo surgical interventions that change their sex and cause incapacity to be able to establish a registered civil partnership that corresponds to their partner relationship perceived as same-sex. As a violation of the general right of personality in its manifestation as the right to sexual self-determination from Art. 2 Para. 1 in conjunction with Art. 1 Para. 1 of the Basic Law , these regulations were declared inapplicable. Since then, sterilization was no longer necessary in order to be able to establish a registered civil partnership between same-sex persons.
Eugenic founded forced sterilizations took place in Switzerland. The procedure was regulated there in sterilization laws. In the canton of Vaud , Switzerland, the first law on compulsory eugenic sterilization in Europe was passed in 1929.
In Alberta , Canada, a law for the sterilization of the mentally handicapped came into effect in 1928.
In Denmark in 1929 “eugenic”, ie legal measures aimed at passing on good hereditary traits, came into force. Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Latvia followed by 1938.
In India, pressure or force sterilization took place.
There have been reports of forced sterilization of native people from Mexico .
The last forced sterilization of a Roma woman was documented in the Czech Republic in 2007 .
Federal Republic of Germany
Victims of the forced sterilizations carried out during the Nazi era on the basis of the Hereditary Health Act were not regarded as "typical" victims of Nazi persecution in the newly founded Federal Republic after 1949 and received no compensation payments . Because even under the rule of law , forced sterilization was possible (until 1992). In 1990 a "hardship fund" was set up for "forgotten victims".
The Care Act of January 1, 1992 prohibits sterilization in the general interest or in the interest of family members. Sterilization against the will of the person concerned is prohibited in the Federal Republic of Germany , neither the parents nor the child themselves can consent to it (§ 1631c BGB ).
According toBGB, this person can only consent to the sterilization if
- if it does not happen against the will of the person being cared for,
- if the person being cared for will remain incapable of consent in the long term ,
- if pregnancy would be likely without the procedure,
- if the pregnancy would pose a risk to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman and
- if pregnancy cannot be prevented using other methods of contraception .
Furthermore, requires the consent of the supervisor in the sterilization approval of the care the court , at least the heard the person concerned and a formal evidence by expert opinions, which cover the medical, psychological, social, special education and sex education aspects and where appropriate, the appointment of a method carer for must precede those affected ( FamFG ).
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union , which became binding with the Treaty of Lisbon , in Article 3 of Chapter I guarantees every person the right to physical and mental integrity. In medicine, in particular, the free consent of the person concerned must be observed after prior information.
Officially, the United Nations guarantees every human being “the right to life, personal security and freedom”, for example within the framework of human rights. However, the United Nations Population Fund ( UNFPA ) is / was involved in supporting forced sterilization, particularly in developing countries.
Discussion of legal policy
In countries in which trans people can apply for their civil status to be adjusted to the perceived gender, the person concerned usually has to undergo an operation that changes their gender characteristics, through which a clear approximation of the appearance of the opposite sex is to be achieved. Until 2011, this required amputation of the penis shaft and testicles as well as the surgical formation of the external primary female genital organs in a man-to-woman transsexual according to the German Transsexual Act ; in woman-to-man transsexuals, surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, and often a breast reduction.
In the 21st century a worldwide discussion began as to whether the resulting involuntary sterility is compatible with the general right of personality. For example, the European Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg denied this .
Many European countries then gave up the demand for involuntary sterilization, including Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, but also Iceland, Canada, several states of the USA and Argentina.
In other European countries, however, it is still not possible to adapt the civil status to the perceived gender affiliation, for example in Ireland, Lithuania and the Balkans.
On June 28, 2013, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe called on all member states in which involuntary sterilization is still required to abolish it, to provide an official apology and to compensate victims of such procedures financially.
The German Civil Status Act was changed on November 1, 2013 in favor of intersex children . Since then, parents no longer need to decide whether to classify their child as “female” or “male” when entering the civil status register if such an assignment is not yet clearly possible for the child. Until then, the children in question were often determined to be female or male as early as infancy through cosmetic surgery, which often led to infertility. In later life this often resulted in considerable physical and psychological problems for those affected. If this operation was carried out without the effective consent of the parents, it is an intentional damage to health that obliges the performing surgeon to pay compensation .
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