Global News | Intersex

UN declares intersex genital surgeries a human rights violation
  • Intersex advocates and NGO leaders convened in Geneva for a UN Human Rights Council meeting to discuss intersex surgeries, infanticide, and discrimination against intersex people.
  • The recognition follows a 2013 report calling on nations to end the medical practice affecting the estimated 1 in 2,000 born with ambiguous sex traits.
  • Some in the medical community bristled at the comparison of the surgery to torture, arguing that the declaration inhibits doctors’ research into and understanding of intersex patients.

“Physicians constantly say to me that lawsuits and laws are not the way to change medical practice. …And I say, I agree with you, but if you will not change your practices — then that’s what it’ll take.”

Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.

(Image Credit: M. Spencer Green/AP, via BuzzFeed)

Bolivia News | Indigenous

Bolivian volunteers translate Facebook into endangered language to help preserve indigenous culture
  • A group of 15-20 volunteers organized the work through Jaqi Aru, an El Alto-based virtual community dedicated to promoting the use of Aymara, Bolivia’s second most widely spoken indigenous language.
  • Facebook requires that at least 24,000 words be translated in order for a language to be added to the options for public use, which the group says it has achieved.
  • Aymara is included in UNESCO’s list of the world’s most endangered languages, leading Jaqi Aru to promote its presence and use through Internet destinations like Wikipedia and social media.

“Si no trabajamos hoy por nuestra lengua y cultura, será tarde recordar mañana lo que somos y siempre viviremos inseguros de nuestra identidad”

Translation: “If we don’t work for our language and culture today, tomorrow it will be too late to remember what we are and we will always live unsure of our identity.”

Read the full story at El País (in Spanish).

U.S. News | Native American

U.S. government reaches major settlement with Native American tribes
  • Government and tribal officials have submitted a plan for $940 million to settle claims brought by more than 600 tribes and agencies.
  • The tribes have suffered from a quarter-century of underfunding by the federal government for basic programs like education, housing, law enforcement, and environmental management.
  • A round of finger-pointing between the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Congress, and the President resulted in a 2012 Supreme Court ruling holding the government liable for payment.

“Tribal self-determination and self-governance will continue to be our North Star as we navigate a new chapter in this important relationship and we are committed to fully funding contract support costs so that tribal contracting can be more successful.”

Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.

(Image Credit: Mary Hudetz/AP, via BuzzFeed)