Posted on 12. June 2011 in Work with Institutions

TGEU calls upon  EU  Institutions to devote 2013 to the year on gender-based violence

Malmo Transgender Council protests Oct 2010 foto Patrick Persson

Violence is an inevitable reality for many in the trans-community. An EU-wide research on transphobic hate crime found “that 79% of respondents had experienced some form of harassment in public ranging from transphobic comments to physical or sexual abuse.”[1]

Nearly every person who is visible as transgender is experiencing some form of harassment in public. These findings are confirmed by national research as well as countless anecdotic evidence. The great level of violence is having tremendous impact on trans people and their communities. International institutions like the OSCE or the UN have established that trans people are particularly vulnerable and that attacks against transgender people are particularly brutal and inhumane.

Since 2008 TGEU has been monitoring more than 600 murders of trans people in its research project[2]: In Europe 41 killed trans people have been reported in the last 3 ½ years.

Hate crimes that are motivated by transphobia are very often acted out through a high level of physical violence and moralistic contempt for the victim. These hate crimes have a deep impact not only on the victim but on the whole group or community to which the victim belongs. Thus, transphobic hate crimes affect social cohesion and stability, not only with regard to the trans community, but also the society in which the community is embedded.

Biased violence, motivated by the gender identity or expression of a person, always aims further than the person at hand. It is a thread to the trans community and attacks a diverse society where everybody can develop their personality to the full and live free from discrimination.

What gender based violence also includes illustrates the following clip, showing aggression targeting a trans woman: (Warning: Brutality!) (see article in Pinknews: The victim is targeted because of her gender identity as she does not conform to dominant gender normativity standards. She is a victim of gender-based violence.

In European societies, those crossing gender barriers are on a constant basis ridiculed and misrepresented in the media. As long as trans people remain invisible in their struggle for human rights and be the punch line of a joke, those attacking trans people will feel save and right in their actions.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence has taken up these concerns and shows the right way as it covers transgender people  on the ground of “gender identity”.

The European Transgender Movement, through the support of delegates of the Trans-Rights Conference in 2009, has called upon the OSCE to better protect trans people from violence and harassment in the Malta-Declaration.

We extend this call to the European Institutions:

We note with particular concern the high murder rate and violence against trans people across Europe. Often the police fails to investigate cases of hate crime and killings of trans people and no adequate prosecution of the perpetrators takes place. In addition trans related hate crimes are hardly documented and monitored.

Additionally, trans people with migration background and trans sex workers are especially vulnerable and face multiple forms of discrimination as well as social exclusion and economic hardship.

  • We call on the member states of European Union the to enact hate crime legislation fully inclusive of trans people.
  • We call on member states of European Union to ensure safe detainment and contact with their communities for trans prisoners.
  • We call upon the European Union to monitor and urge for investigation of murders of trans people as hate crimes.

Transgender Europe supports the call by the European Women’s Lobby for a European Year devoted to the fight against violence against women.


[1] Turner; Whittle, Combs May (2009) “A Research Transphobic Hate Crime in the European Union”;

[2] Trans Murder Monitoring project – TMM is a part of the worldwide research project “Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide” that maps legal and social situations of trans people worldwide (see: