34 states in Europe still require a mental health diagnosis in gender recognition procedures, reveals TGEU’s Trans Rights Europe Map & Index 2018, launched today.

Many European states impose conditions before enabling a change of documents for trans people, including the requirement to obtain a mental health diagnosis. Requesting a mandatory mental health diagnosis in gender recognition violates the right of every person to self-determine their gender identity. Such a diagnosis further drives stigma, exclusion and discrimination as it relies on the false notion that being trans is an illness.

In fact, no gender identity is disordered. Trans people should be trusted to know who they are. Gender recognition should be based on the self-determination of the person alone, and any medical aspect should be eliminated from the procedure

Richard Köhler, TGEU Senior Policy Officer at the launch of the Map & Index in Lisboa today.

Traditionally, the Trans Rights Map has monitored the requirement for a trans person to be sterilised for legal gender recognition. 14 states still require this practice, despite the European Court of Human Rights declaring in 2017 that requesting infertility is not compatible with human rights.

“We remain concerned that newly adopted laws are not meeting human rights standards. While it is remarkable that many states have finally removed forced sterilisation from gender recognition procedures, now is not the time to stop. It is disquieting that even progressive reforms often leave migrants, minors and gender non-binary people behind, which means that many who could benefit from gender recognition remain excluded.”

The Trans Rights Europe Index 2018 features five new categories, including:

  • Self-determination in legal gender recognition
  • Recognition of gender non-binary identities;
  • Protection against discrimination in Healthcare;
  • Depathologisation of trans identities while ensuring stigma-free access to specific care;
  • Recognition of trans parenthood.

For more information, please contact: 
Richard Köhler, TGEU Senior Policy Officer: richard@tgeu.org; +49 177 65 31 518

Note to Editors

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

Legal Gender Recognition is the official procedure to change a trans person’s name and gender identifier in official registries and documents such as their birth certificate, ID card, passport or driving license.

Learn more about legal gender recognition and what you can do improve it.

In April 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the sterilisation requirement for legal gender recognition is in violation of human rights, and therefore all Council of Europe Member States must bring their legislation and practice into line with this legal principle.

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