A transgender childrens charity is being investigated by the Charity Commission over reports that it gave breast binders to children against their parents wishes.
Mermaids, which supports transgender, non-binary and gender diverse children and their families, reportedly supplied the chest-flattening devices to young girls without parentel consent.
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The Charity Commission opened a regulatory compliance case into the organisation, which was established in 1995, after a number of complaints.
Mermaids said it will reply to the Charity Commission in “due course” but that it will not be commenting further at this stage, the BBC reported.
The Guardian reports: A spokesperson for the commission said: “Concerns have been raised with us about Mermaids’ approach to safeguarding young people.
“We have opened a regulatory compliance case and have written to the trustees. We now await their reply.”
According to an investigation by the Daily Telegraph, the charity has been offering binders to children as young as 13 despite their parents saying they opposed the practice.
Chest binding is opposed by some groups over fears it causes breathing difficulties, back pain and broken ribs.
The newspaper also reported that the Mermaids online help centre has been offering advice to teenagers that hormone-blocking drugs are safe and “totally reversible”.
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