Posted on 4. May 2014 in European Transgender Council

5th European Transgender Council closes as a success


TGEU Press Release

Budapest, 4 May 2014

Today, the 5th European Transgender Council “Trans*: Safe & Equal!” came to a close. More than 200 delegates met in Budapest from May 1 – 4 to discuss, strategize and network over how to improve safety and equality for trans people.

The UN High Commissioner addressed the conference with a moving keynote speech; her first ever focusing specifically on the human rights violations that many trans people still face today. Addressing European governments, she pointed out that forced sterilisation is widely required throughout the continent and that Europe is lagging behind in advancing trans equality: “States should ban discrimination on grounds of gender identity and should make it easier to obtain legal gender recognition of their gender identity. They should ensure that violence against transgender people is properly recorded and investigated and they should sensitize public officials and educate people.“

“Our message is loud and clear: trans and gender-variant people are entitled to no more and no less rights than anybody else. The United Nations stands with you!”

The Maltese Minister of Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli, aspiring to make her country a world-leader in trans equality, told delegates: “We are doing what is right, what should have been done a long time ago. There should not be such a thing as second class citizenship – not for trans people, not for anyone.”

Urgent action is needed to better protect trans people against violence, as the latest data from the Trans Murder Monitoring Project shows. TGEU’s worldwide research-project documented a total of 1,509 cases of reported killings of trans and gender variant people from January 1st 2008 to March 31st 2014. While the actual circumstances of the killings often remain obscure due to the lack of investigation and reporting by authorities, many of the cases documented involve extreme forms of aggression, including torture and mutilation. 87 killings of trans and gender variant people have been reported in 12 European countries in 2013.

TGEU also launched its Trans Rights Europe Map 2014, which documents the legal situation for trans people. 21 European states require a trans person to be sterilized before recognizing their gender legally. In comparison to last year, three countries have removed the mandatory medical treatment leading to sterility. In 15 countries, a marriage cannot continue throughout legal gender recognition.

“It is of great concern that trans people in 19 countries have no reliable way to access documents reflecting their true identity.” says TGEU Executive Director Julia Ehrt: “36% of trans respondents were discriminated in situations prompting to show ID, according to the EU FRA LGBT Survey 2012. Trans people are often suspected of using falsified documents, prompting them to reveal their transgender identity against their wishes. This violates their right to privacy.”

The General Assembly of Transgender Europe elected a new steering committee that will run the organisation in the next 2 years. The local host organization TransVanilla and the new co-chairs Alecs Recher (Switzerland) and Arja Voipio (Finland) expressed their relief about the fact that it was the first European Transgender Council without a transphobic incident since 2010.

Topics discussed ranged from talking on how to better support transgender victims of crime, improving legal gender recognition legislation, activist well-being, online self-organising and much more. A first at the Council were the regional caucuses for Russian-speaking, Scandinavian, Balkan-based and Central-Eastern European activists to come together.

Participants praised the council as a “unique space” to “fill up the batteries by celebrating also how far we have come”. Many expressed that they found it “inspiring to be with activists from across Europe working hard to secure trans* rights”. A trans-activist from Romania said: “2 years ago I found it impossible to meet a transgender person in real life. And now, here I am!”


Press Contacts:

Transvanilla Vice-President Krisztina Orban is available for interviews and can be reached at:
and phone (cell)
+36 30 406 6633.

TGEU Senior Policy Officer Richard Köhler is available for interviews and can be reached at and phone (cell)



Transgender Europe is a Europe-wide not-for-profit network with 80 member organizations working for the equality of all trans people in Europe.

Transvanilla Transgender Association is not-for-profit organization which advocates for the interests of trans, gender non-conform and intersex people in Hungary.

The Trans Murder Monitoring IDAHOT Update 2014 can be found at:

The Trans Rights Europe Map can be found at:

UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s speech and Hon. Dr. Helena Dalli’s are available at:

Materialsof the 5th European Transgender Council will be made available at: