Compulsory sterilization, also known as forced or coerced sterilization, is a government-mandated program to sterilize a specific group of people. Compulsory sterilization removes a person's capacity to reproduce, usually through surgical procedures. Several countries implemented sterilization programs in the early 20th century. Although such programs have been made illegal in most countries of the world, instances of forced or coerced sterilizations persist.
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Rationalizations for compulsory sterilization have included population control, gender discrimination, limiting the spread of HIV, "gender-normalizing" surgeries for intersex people, and ethnic genocide. In some countries, transgender individuals are required to undergo sterilization before gaining legal recognition of their gender, a practice that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has described as a violation of the Yogyakarta Principles.