Rights commission decries state denial of IDs on inter-sex persons

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has bemoaned the deprivation of national documentation on inter-sex persons, saying current national statutes only categorised hermaphrodites as male and female only.

A ZHRC report on the National Inquiry on Access to Documentation says there is need for national identity documents to have provisions of inter-sex.

“Parents determine sex of inter-sex persons at an early age before puberty or when children are old enough to identify themselves as male or female.

“The law does not accommodate inter-sex persons who wish to change their sex on their identity documents as their bodies transform at puberty,” reads the report which was launched in Bulawayo Thursday.

The report also revealed that close to 2, 3 million of Zimbabwean children below the age of 18 have no birth certificates, a development which has led to children dropping out of school.

Addressing various stakeholders during the launch ceremony, ZHRC chairperson, Elasto Hilarious Mugwadi said lack of documentation had serious implications on citizens.

Mugwadi said birth certificates constituted 51 % of the main documentation challenge in the country, followed by passports, death certificates and citizenship respectively.

He stressed that the constitution granted every citizen the right to proper documentation.

The rights commission’s report also revealed that 2,2 % out of 38% of witnesses experiencing registration challenges indicated that hospitals were withholding birth confirmation records until they had settled outstanding bills for services rendered to them.

Added the report, “The report also shows that 38 % of witnesses testified that registration issues were a challenge and 1, 7% alleged that corruption from the Registrar General’s offices were also a hindrance to them accessing documentation.”

The report recommended that regular mobile registration should be the norm so that everyone could have access to proper documentation.