TGEU welcomes Amnesty International’s call for Quick, Transparent and Accessible Gender Recognition Procedures
4 February 2014
Transgender Europe welcomes the report The state decides who I am: lack of legal recognition for transgender people in Europe, launched today by Amnesty International.
The human rights organization criticizes that European countries violate the human rights of those people trying to alter their legal gender. It details how transgender people are forced to undergo invasive surgery, sterilization, hormone therapy, psychiatric testing before they can change their legal status, and how in Ireland no procedure exists at all.
Amnesty International researcher Marco Perolini researched the situation of trans people in Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Belgium, Germany and Ireland. He found that many transgender people have to overcome enormous difficulties in having their identity recognized, with the additional burden of glaring state discrimination.
The report gives detailed recommendations to governments in Europe but also calls onto the European Union for action. All governments ought to “allow individuals to change their legal name and gender, including the gender markers on official documents issued by the state, through a quick, accessible, and transparent procedure and in accordance with the individual’s sense of gender identity”.
Directed towards the EU, Amnesty demands from the Union to “Ensure that protection against discrimination on grounds of gender identity and expression is provided to all transgender people.”
“We welcome this report because human rights of transgender persons are violated throughout Europe in a systematic manner. It is a shame that states, which are quick to demand human rights from others, keep on dragging their feet when it comes to trans people.” says TGEU board member Arja Voipio.
“It is unacceptable that legal procedures are standard which violate the right to physical integrity.” says Wiktor Dynarski, TGEU co-chair: “Recognition for who you are is a human right and should not depend on mental health diagnosis, sterilization or other atrocities. Medical decisions should be based on the person’s informed consent, independent of legal gender recognition procedures.”
Download the amnesty international report The state decides who I am: lack of legal recognition for transgender people in Europe.
See the Trans Rights Europe Map for countries requiring sterilization of trans people in Europe.
Transgender Europe is a European human rights NGO working for the human rights and equality of all trans people. More Information: www.tgeu.org
Transgender or Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.
Legal Gender Recognition is the process of changing the name and gendered information on official key documents and in registries, in order to recognize a person’s gender identity.
TGEU Policy Officer Richard Köhler is available for interviews and questions and can be reached at:
phone: + 49 (0)77 65 3 58