The United Nations Development Program has called for international action to secure rights and equality for transgender people. In a new paper titled “Transgender Health and Human Rights,” the UNDP writes: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Trans people have these same human rights.”
Published: February 4, 2014
The paper emphasizes the importance of “trans social inclusion”—transgender people’s inclusion in society on an equal basis with others: “It is impossible to be included within a community and society if one’s very existence is denied. Yet such exclusion is routinely experienced by trans people when there are only two, binary sex options (male or female), and no legal ability to move between the two. . . The evidence in this discussion paper demonstrates the compounding impact that denial of rights in one area has on other aspects of a trans person’s life. Freedom from violence and discrimination, the right to health, and legal gender recognition are inextricably linked.”
“It is impossible to be included within a community and society if one’s very existence is denied. Yet such exclusion is routinely experienced by trans people when there are only two, binary sex options (male or female), and no legal ability to move between the two. . .
The paper includes sections on key terms related to transgender people and their use; a historical perspective on transgender issues; the risks transgender people may face regarding family violence, murder, rape, torture, and other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; the impact of discrimination on transgender people’s rights to education, work, and legal protection; access to general health services; and the status of transgender people’s legal rights to recognition before the law around the world.
The report includes a series of recommended action steps that United Nations staff and others can take to be more inclusive of transgender people, both in daily interactions and in their broader work, particularly in the areas of health, HIV, the rule of law, and development. It states that the UNDP and other organizations have the responsibility to support transgender people’s active and meaningful participation in decisions that affect their lives and their communities.
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