The Trans Rights Europe Map & Index reflect the legal situation in areas of equality and non- discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression in Europe, and highlights the legal provisions in gender identity recognition. It provides an overall reflection of the legal situation in all European countries in a simple format. It does not attempt to reflect the complex social situations trans people might face.

The Trans Rights Europe Map 2016

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The Trans Rights Europe Map reflects the requirement for sterilisation in laws and administrative practices in gender recognition legislation in Europe.

“Red” states require sterilisation either explicit or implicit. “Brown” states do not have reliable procedures in place. “Blue” states have established procedures and do not request sterility.

Forced Sterilisation

Identity documents reflecting a person’s gender identity are important for the recognition and protection of trans people’s dignity and safety. Many European states impose conditions before enabling a change of documents, including the requirement to be sterile.

Legal text can explicitly or implicitly request forced sterilisation. Implicit law might require proof of medical gender reassignment, or mandatory medical expertise that is traditionally only provided after genital surgery. Often, gender recognition procedures are not transparent in this regard, and medical and legal aspects are intertwined.


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


The Trans Rights Europe Index 2016

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The Trans Rights Europe Index provides detailed country information in 22 categories, highlighting legal provisions in gender identity recognition and reflects the legal situation in areas of equality, non-discrimination, asylum, hate crime and family law for trans people in Europe. The Trans Rights Europe Map & Index uses a simplified overview and does not attempt to reflect the complex and intersecting situations trans people face.


Protection from Violence

There is no safe country for trans people. Since 2008 more than 100 murders of trans people have been documented in Europe. Nearly every trans person who is visibly transgender experiences harassment, abuse, or violence. Trans people who are young, sex workers, migrants and/ or persons of colour, bear a higher risk of being assaulted. Only 13 states prohibit transphobic violence explicitly.


Equality and Non-Discrimination

Trans people are disproportionally a­ffected by unemployment and suff­er from negative attitudes and discrimination in public and in private. Transgender people are protected against discrimination according to the European Court of Human Rights and EU-law. However, only 22 states have explicit legal protections.


Legal Gender Recognition

Legal Gender Recognition is the official recognition of a person’s gender identity including the registered gender and name(s) in public registries and key documents. In 41 states it is possible to adapt identity documents, but only 30 states have robust legal procedures in place.

Trans people’s existence is de facto not recognised in 8 states as these states provide for no legal measures.

23 states in Europe (13 in the EU) require by law that trans people undergo sterilisation before their gender identity is recognised. Other requirements may include diagnosis of mental disorder (36 states), medical treatment (30) and invasive surgery (23), single civil status – forcing those who are married to divorce (22), and/ or exclude minors (34). Such requirements violate a person’s privacy, dignity, physical integrity, right to found a family, and to be free from degrading and cruel treatment.



War, persecution, or lethal threats because of being trans may force trans people to seek asylum in Europe. European Asylum law foresees that EU member states provide for trans-specific asylum protection. Many trans asylum seekers continue to face a complex array of challenges and threats, including discrimination, prejudice, violence, difficulty in accessing humanitarian services, and barriers to articulating their needs during asylum procedures and when engaging with authorities. Still, only 14 states (EU: 11) have explicit laws.




Data as of 01 July 2016.

No warranty for accuracy and correctness.

The Trans Rights Europe Map & Index has been developed in cooperation with ILGA-Europe.



This publication has been produced with financial support from the Open Society Foundations, the Dutch Government and the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the author, and can in no way be taken to re­flect the views of the European Commission, the Open Society Foundations or the Dutch Government.