Sweden will remove the sterilization requirement after strong pressure from the national and international community
Transgender Europe – Press Release
For immediate release
19 Feb 2012
The road is open to remove the sterilization requirement in the Swedish legal gender recognition act. TGEU has been informed that the right wing Christian Democratic party in the Swedish coalition government has agreed to a change its position regarding a reform of the law and abolish the sterilization requirement. During the last weeks a heated debate and an international storm of protest hit Sweden. Despite this the Christian Democrats, had continuously blocked any discussion about the removal of the sterilization requirement for trans people in order to change their official documents.
RFSL, the national Federation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights, in alliance with the Swedish trans movement has been lobbying for years to remove the sterilization requirement that violates the right to physical integrity of transgender people until this day. More than 70.000 signatures from around the world protested in the last weeks against the sterilization clause. For many globally it was a shock to learn that trans people appear to be the only group in society required by law to give up their bodily integrity.
“Sweden can once more claim the victory of democracy. It has taken long time, but the preferred strategy, the debate and forging alliances, finally won. Fast action is now needed to remove this medieval passage in the law. However, the reform must not stop here. The government has to take action, based on what trans people in Sweden need and want. Improving the living situation of this very marginalized group is long overdue.” says acting TGEU Co-Chair Maria Sundin.
Transgender Europe and ILGA-Europe had urged Swedish Premier Fredrik Reinfeldt to remove this human rights violation. in 2010, the National Board of Health and Welfare recommended in its review of the law to have the medical treatment requirements removed and the overall procedure simplified.
“Sweden was the first democratic country in Europe to have a legal gender recognition act in 1972. Let this now be the begining of a new era of glasnost for the continent. The remaining 28 countries in Europe where sterility still is a requirement have to follow ” comments Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of TGEU.
TGEU secretary Maria Sundin is available for questions and interview through firstname.lastname@example.org .