Trans Murder Monitoring unveils interactive map
of more than 600 reported murders of trans people since 2008
On 17th May, The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) is being held in more than 70 countries around the world. The IDAHOT is meant to raise awareness regarding the ongoing discrimination and violence committed by states, societies and individuals against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people on various scales, from homo- and transphobic legislations and forms of state repression to hate crimes including insults, attacks and murders. The day was first held in 2005 with activities in many countries of the world, after a year-long international campaigning effort that was initiated by French academic Louis-Georges Tin. The 17th of May was chosen to remember the removal of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on 17th May, 1990.
In 2009, IDAHOT campaigns strongly focused on transphobia, responding to the fact that trans people in many countries of the world are incomparably more vulnerable to discrimination and violence, including murder, than other groups. The name of the day was changed from ‘International Day Against Homophobia’ (IDAHO) to ‘International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia’. Along with many other activists, we now use the acronym ‘IDAHOT’ in order to increase visibility of transphobic violence.
Trans Murder Monitoring launches an interactive map for IDAHOT 2011. The Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project was initiated in April 2009 in order to systematically monitor, collect and analyse reports of homicides of trans people worldwide. Updates of the preliminary results are published on the website of the ‘Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’ (TvT) research project two to three times a year in form of tables, name lists, and maps. The new interactive map for the first time visualises a great portion of the 604 reported murders of trans people that the TMM has documented since January 2008. The interactive TMM map can be accessed on the TvT website:
For each case, details regarding name, age, location, cause of death, circumstances of the killing and a follow-up are shown if available. The map will be updated on a continuous basis, so that new reported murders will appear as they are documented by the TMM. You can find this map here:
In the first four and a half months of 2011, 55 reported murders of trans people have been registered. Sadly, from 1 January to 17 May 2011, the TMM already registered 55 murders in 19 countries, with the majority in Brazil (20); Mexico (5); and Argentina, Colombia, the Philippines and the USA (3). Further murders have been reported in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela. These are only preliminary results, and the numbers are likely to grow even larger during the course of the year. While often the actual circumstances of the killings remain obscure due to lacking investigation and reports, many of the cases documented involve an extreme extent of aggression, including torture and mutilation. Many cases are not investigated properly by the authorities.
The murder of the 21 year-old Jessica, in the Colombian city of Bogota, is among the most recent shocking cases. On 27 March, 2011, the travesti and sex worker Jessica was stabbed on the street and the perpetrator fled. Colleagues brought Jessica to the hospital, where she was however not provided immediate treatment. Her colleagues say Jessica died in hospital due to this failure.
Apart from Jessica, the ever-growing TMM archive has registered numerous cases in 49 different countries since 2008, most of which hardly received any public attention at all.
In total, the preliminary TMM results show more than 600 reports of murdered trans people in almost 50 countries since January 2008
The new update reveals that since January 2008, 2 homicides of trans people were reported in Africa (2008: 1, 2009: 1), 50 in Asia (2008: 11, 2009: 14, 2010: 17, Jan.-May 2011: 8), 465 in Central and South America (2008: 92; 2009: 162; 2010: 171; Jan.-May 2011: 40), 41 in Europe (2008: 11, 2009: 17, 2010: 9, Jan.-May 2011: 4), 4 in Oceania (2008: 3, 2009: 1), and 42 in the USA (2008: 17, 2009: 14, 2010: 8, Jan.-May: 2011: 3).
These figures are composed of the following countries:
• Africa: Algeria (1) and South Africa (1)
• Asia: Azerbaijan (2), China (6), India (7), Indonesia (4), Iran (1), Iraq (3), Malaysia (6), Pakistan (8), Philippines (9), Republic of Korea (1), Singapore (1), and Thailand (2)
• Central and South America: Argentina (11), Bolivia (6) Brazil (247), Chile (2), Colombia (29), Costa Rica (3), Cuba (1), the Dominican Republic (9), Ecuador (9), El Salvador (6), Guatemala (29), Honduras (28), Jamaica (1), Mexico (32), Nicaragua (2), Paraguay (3), Peru (7), Puerto Rico (7), Uruguay (1), and Venezuela (32)
• Europe: Albania (1), Germany (2) Italy (13), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Russia (1), Spain (3), Serbia (1), Turkey (15), and UK (3)
• North America: USA (42)
• Oceania: Australia (1), Fiji (1), New Caledonia (1) and New Zealand (1)
Yet, we know, even these high numbers are only a fraction of the real figures; the truth is much worse. While in several Middle and South American countries forms of reporting and monitoring exist, in most African countries this is not the case, making it extremely difficult to gain knowledge of murdered trans people.
Transgender Europe developed the Trans Murder Monitoring into the ‘Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’ research project. While the documentation of homicides against 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, the project Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) was designed as a comparative research project that provides an overview of the human rights situation of trans people in different parts of the world. It develops advocacy tools for international institutions, human rights organizations and the trans movement and provides knowledge for the general public. The TvT research team cooperates with over 15 partner organizations in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania. The TvT project is funded by the Open Society Foundations, the ARCUS Foundation, and partly by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. In September 2010, the TvT team started a survey on the human rights situation of trans people worldwide in cooperation with its partner organizations. The first results of this survey will be presented soon at international conferences and on the TvT website.