Being at the intersection of racism, transphobia, and hatred for sex workers is lethal in Europe

In the last eight and a half years, 113 reports of murdered trans and gender diverse people in Europe have been recorded. Latest research from TGEU’s Trans Murder Monitoring Project shows that trans people with a migrant background and who are in sex work are those most affected.

The intersection between racism, transphobia, and resentments against sex workers are striking: every third victim in Europe has a migrant background. It is also alarming that 86% of those whose the profession is known are sex workers.

While it is key to denounce transphobia, it is not sufficient to stop there, and these findings clearly call for comprehensive policies and urgent action, which have intersectionality at their core.

This means overhauling the currently failing mechanisms to prepare European societies to welcome and integrate refugees and migrants. It is also paramount to combat an increasingly hostile climate for sex workers while ensuring their safe working and living conditions.

Executive Director of Transgender Europe, Julia Ehrt, says: “Trans people need a strong Europe now more than ever. A Europe that speaks out against racism, transphobia, and whorephobia instead of serving populist rhetoric. We call upon the leaders in Europe to let the migrant trans sex worker know: you are one of us, and we will stand with you.”

Senior Policy Officer of Transgender Europe, Richard Köhler, adds: “It is urgently necessary to update hate crime protections to include trans people, such as including gender identity and gender expression as a protected ground in the EU Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia. Policy makers should abstain from pushing sex workers further to the margins. Instead, sex work should be decriminalised.”

Main findings Trans Murder Monitoring 2016 for Europe:

  • 2008 – 2016: 113 murdered trans people reported in Europe
  • Migrants constitute to be a high number of murdered trans people in Europe (1/3 of 113 murders in last 8,5 years were migrants)
  • Murdered trans people whose profession is known: 86% are sex workers (Turkey: 90%/ Italy: 83%)
  • Strong intersection of racism, transphobia, and whorephobia (Italy: 93% of murdered migrants were sex workers)


9 November 2016: TMM Update, Trans Day of Remembrance 2016 Press Release. “Almost 300 trans and gender-diverse people reported murdered in the last year”

TMM annual report 2016: 2,190 murders are only the tip of the iceberg – An introduction to the Trans Murder Monitoring project


Transgender Europe is a European human rights NGO working for the human rights and equality of all trans people. More Information:

Transgender or Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.