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Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring Project Reveals 238 Killings of Trans People in the Last 12 Months

In total, since January 2008 the murders of 1,374 trans people have been reported.

The 15th International Transgender Day of Remembrance is being held on November 20th 2013. Since 1999 the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), on which those trans people who have been victims of homicide are remembered, takes place every November. The TDOR raises public awareness of hate crimes against trans people, provides a space for public mourning and honours the lives of those trans people who might otherwise be forgotten. Started in the USA, the TDOR is now held in many parts of the world. In the past, the TDOR took place in more than 180 cities in more than 20 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

Sadly, this year there are 238 trans persons to be added to the list to be remembered, mourned, and honoured.

The Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project started in April 2009 and systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans people worldwide. Updates of the results, which have been presented in July 2009 for the first time, are published on the website of the Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide project two to three times a year in form of tables, name lists, and maps.

Every year in November, Transgender Europe provides a special update of the TMM results for the International Transgender Day of Remembrance so as to assist activists worldwide in raising public awareness of hate crimes against trans people. The TDOR 2013 update has revealed a total of 238 cases of reported killings of trans people from November 20th 2012 to November 1st 2013.

The update shows reports of murdered trans people in 26 countries in the last 12 months, with the majority from Brazil (95), Mexico (40), the USA (16), and Venezuela (15), followed by Honduras (12), Colombia (12), and El Salvador (5). While Brazil, Mexico, and the USA have the highest absolute numbers, the relative numbers show even more worrisome results for some countries with smaller population sizes. Honduras, for instance, has a rate of 1.5 reported trans killings per million inhabitants, for El Salvador the rate is 0.71, while for Brazil the rate is 0.49, for Mexico the rate is 0.36, and for the USA the rate is 0.05. In Asia most reported cases have been found in India (8), and in Europe in Turkey (5) and Italy (5).

Attached to this press release you can find a map, which demonstrates the absolute figures of reports found worldwide from November 20th 2012 to November 1st 2013.

Another worrisome result of the TMM TDOR 2013 update is that from January 1st to October 31st 2013, the TMM registered the highest numbers of reported murders of minors since TGEU started the TMM. In the first 10 months of 2013 already 22 trans persons under 20 years have been reported murdered. Half of them have been under 18 years. Among these 11 murdered minors was a 13-year old trans girl, who has been found strangled in the city of Macaiba in Brazil on June 9th 2013, a 14-year old trans girl, who has been found strangled in the city of Ibipora in Brazil on October 15th 2013, and also 16-year-old „Dwayne“ Jones, who was kicked out of her home with 14, and on July 22nd 2013 attended for the first time a party in female clothing in St. James, Jamaica, where she was chased and brutally murdered by party-goers, who formed a mob, when they realized that she was a trans person. In total 108 murders of trans people under 20 years have been reported since 2008: 14 in 2008, 19 in 2009, 13 in 2010, 21 in 2011, 19 in 2012, and 22 in the first ten months of 2013.

The TDOR 2013 update reveals a total of 1,374 reported killings of trans people in 60 countries worldwide from January 1st 2008 to October 31st 2013. It is important to note that these cases are those that could be found through Internet research and through cooperation with trans organisations and activists. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases.

The alarming figures demonstrate once more that there is an urgent need to react to the violence against trans people and to seek mechanisms to protect trans people. Some international trans activists even started to introduce the term ‘transcide’ to reflect the continuously elevated level of deadly violence against trans people on a global scale and a coalition of NGOs from South America and Europe started the “Stop Trans Genocide” campaign.

Cases have been reported from all major World Regions (Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania), evoking an evermore gruesome picture, especially given the very partial knowledge we are able to gain in many places. More detailed information and a map showing the 1,374 reported murders of trans people.

Throughout all six world regions, the highest absolute numbers have been found in countries with strong trans movements and trans or LGBT organisations that do a professional monitoring: Brazil (539), Mexico (144), Colombia (76), Venezuela (70) and Honduras (60) in Central and South America, the USA (85) in North America, Turkey (34) and Italy (26) in Europe, and India (30) and the Philippines (29) in Asia.

The close connection between the existence of strong trans movements and professional monitoring on the one hand, and highest absolute numbers of reports, on the other hand, point to a worrisome question: the question of unreported cases. Beside the need for mechanisms to protect trans people, this connection also shows the need for strong trans communities and organizations, which are capable of professional monitoring and reporting of violence against trans people. Furthermore this connection results in the fact, that the figures show only the tip of the iceberg of homicides of trans people on a worldwide scale.

More than 1,000 reported murders of trans people in Central and South America since 2008.

The new result update moreover reveals that in the last 70 months:

  • 1,074 killings of trans people have been reported in Central and South America, which account for 78 % of the globally reported murders of trans people since January 2008. In this region, there has been the strongest increase in reports and with 22 countries Central and South America is the best documented region.
  • 117 killings of trans people have been reported in Asia in 16 countries;
  • 87 killings of trans people have been reported in North America;
  • 84 killings of trans people have been reported in Europe in 12 countries;
  • 8 killings of trans people have been reported in Africa in 4 countries;
  • 4 killings of trans people have been reported in Oceania in 4 countries.

Attached to this press release you can find tables showing the details and a map, which demonstrates the absolute figures of reports found worldwide since January 2008.

While the documentation of killings of trans people is indispensable for demonstrating the shocking extent of human rights violations committed against trans people on a global scale, there is also a need for in-depth research of various other aspects related to the human rights situation of trans people. Therefore, Transgender Europe developed the Trans Murder Monitoring project into the Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide research project (TvT). TvT is a comparative, ongoing qualitative-quantitative research project, which provides an overview of the human rights situation of trans people in different parts of the world and develops useful data and advocacy tools for international institutions, human rights organisations, the trans movement and the general public. In November 2012 Transgender Europe published the TvT research report ‘TRANSRESPECT VERSUS TRANSPHOBIA WORLDWIDE – A Comparative Review of the Human-rights Situation of Gender-variant/Trans People‘, which discusses and contextualises the key findings of the TvT project.

If you have further questions or if you want to support the research project, please contact the TvT research team