Amnesty International report reveals extent of transgender discrimination in Europe
A new report from Amnesty International has revealed many European countries are violating trans people’s human rights by trying to enforce surgery, sterilisation and hormone and psychiatric therapy before they can legally change their gender status.
“It is abhorrent that people who want to change the gender they were assigned at birth are put through such invasive, degrading and inhumane hurdles,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination.
Perolini went on to suggest the processes transgender people had to go through to achieve recognition compounded issues.
“Many transgender people have to overcome enormous difficulties in coming to terms with their identity, and problems are often compounded by blatant state discrimination,” he said.
The Amnesty International’s report, The state decides who I am: lack of legal recognition for transgender people in Europe, focuses on seven European countries. It highlights how procedures to obtain legal gender recognition violate fundamental human rights in Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Belgium and Germany. And how in Ireland no procedure exists at all, though legislation in this area is planned.
In many European countries, to obtain legal recognition transgender people must be diagnosed with a mental disorder, undergo sterilisation and agree to medical procedures such as hormone treatments.
“States must ensure that transgender people can obtain legal recognition of their gender through a quick, accessible and transparent procedure in accordance with the individual’s own sense of their gender identity, while preserving their right to privacy and without imposing on them mandatory requirements that violate their human rights,” said Perolini.
Amnesty believes legal gender recognition is key to obtaining equal rights for
transgender people who face discrimination every time they have to produce a docuement whose gender information differs to their status.
It is estimated that there could be as many as 1.5 million transgender people in the European Union.