“The Forgotten Victims? Survivors of Involuntary Castration in the Nordic Countries”
Speaker: Daniela Alaattinoğlu (EUI Researcher, Department of Law)
Chair: Raphaële Xenidis (EUI Researcher and Coordinator of the Fundamental Rights Working Group)
Abstract: Norway, Finland and Sweden first established legislation on sterilization and castration in the 1930s and 1940s. While the legislation did not advocate for state-led forced interventions, involuntary interventions were rendered possible, through legislation and in practice, at least until the 1970s. While, for example, the victims of involuntary sterilization have received some attention in historical research, and even state reparations in some cases, the victims of involuntary castration are a group that have generally been excluded from public remedies and investigations. Popularly depicted as deviant and dangerous individuals, often sexual criminals – paedophiles, but in some cases also homosexuals – this group is surrounded by compound silence in all the three Nordic countries investigated in the presentation. The presentation poses the question of which factors and processes – legal and extra-legal – have rendered the recognition of the involuntarily castrated as victims impossible. Exploring this research question, the presentation utilizes a contextual, comparative, and socio-legal approach.