On this World Health Day, Transgender Europe strengthens its call[1] for an end to the pathologisation of trans and gender non-conforming people. Today, trans and gender non-conforming people are still pathologised in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) leading to more discrimination and increased stigma against them.

In March 2016, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) released a statement on gender identity and sexual orientation [2].  While Transgender Europe welcomes its affirmative approach, the statement unfortunately also included an inaccuracy which claimed that gender identity was no longer pathologised in the ICD-10. While changes are proposed for the next version, the ICD-11, it is incorrect to suggest that this pathologisation has been removed from the current ICD-10.

TGEU’s Health Officer Adam Smiley said, “While the WHO marks its founding day with World Health Day, the WHO’s ICD-10 continues to pathologise trans and gender non-conforming people. The current codes concerning gender identity are still listed within the Mental and Behavioural Disorders chapter.”

Smiley added, “Trans people need equal access to healthcare. Many barriers limit access to healthcare for trans people, and the stigma that arises from being pathologised only increases these barriers.”

TGEU calls on the WHO to end the pathologisation of trans and gender non-conforming people, and strongly encourages the WPA to correct the inaccuracy in its statement.




For more information:

[1] TGEU’s Position on the revision of the ICD 10, June 2013 http://www.tgeu.org/sites/default/files/TGEU%20Position%20ICD%20Revision_0.pdf

TGEU Statement on International Day of Action for Trans Depathologisation 2015 http://tgeu.org/support-gender-variant-children

[2] WPA Statement, March http://www.wpanet.org/detail.php?section_id=7&content_id=1807

Depathologisation and the ICD-Reform: