Transgender Europe: Now online – first mapping of legal and health care situation of trans people in 58 countries

Published: December 23, 2011

The legal and health mapping was conducted by Transgender Europe’s Transrespect versus
Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) research project in close cooperation with activists and experts from
all world regions. A comprehensive questionnaire developed by the TvT project’s research team and
reviewed by more than 15 researchers and activists from all six worlds regions was distributed to
over 70 international activists and experts, who provided detailed information including comments
and explanations on the specific situation in the respective country.

The mapping consists of different tables on:

1. Legal Gender Recognition: Change of Name & Change of Gender

The TvT tables provide detailed information on legal measures meant to guarantee a legal change of
name and a legal change of gender for trans people. They list requirements such as ‘psychiatric
diagnosis’, ‘gender reassignment surgery’ or ‘sterilization’. Unfortunately, the mapping shows that in
all listed countries in which a legal change of gender is possible, a ‘psychiatric diagnosis’, i.e. a
pathologization of the applying trans person, is required for a legal change of gender. Furthermore,
most legal measures list ‘gender reassignment surgery’ or ‘sterilization’ as requirements for legal
gender recognition, which clearly violates human rights.
The TvT tables also show the actual legal situation, meaning how legal change of name and gender
are enacted in practice in the mapped countries. In some countries with existing legal measures,
trans people’s applications are delayed for months and years, whereas in some countries without
existing legal measures, trans people find other ways, for instance of legally changing their name. The TvT mapping moreover lists existing proposals regarding the legal change of name and gender in detail. This may serve both as an evaluation of the existing legal measures and situation and as an
indicator of existing trans activism.

2. Anti-Discrimination, Hate Crime, and Asylum Legislation
The TvT tables provide detailed information regarding the inclusion of trans identity/gender identity
in Anti-Discrimination and Hate Crime laws and in the Constitution. They also list the inclusion of
trans people in Asylum guidelines. The mapping indicates that ‘gender identity’ is very rarely
acknowledged as a ground of discrimination.
It also shows the legal situation, meaning the actual practices regarding these legal measures and
guidelines, as well as proposals that challenge existing measures. These proposals very often demand the explicit inclusion of ‘gender identity’ into existing legal measures.

3. Criminalization, Prosecution, and State-sponsored Discrimination
The TvT tables show detailed information on the legal measures that criminalize trans people and
trans related issues, such as ‘so-called cross-dressing’ and ‘gender reassignment surgery’. In some
countries in the Global South and East these laws were introduced by colonial powers and
missionaries and are not acted upon today. For instance, in some countries where ‘so-called crossdressing’ is illegal, trans people are extremely visible and acknowledged within their culture and
society rather than being prosecuted.

Full text of article available at link below –

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