New Report Documents Discrimination Faced by Transgender People in Europe

Amnesty International has launched a ground-breaking report calling for the immediate introduction of legal gender recognition legislation for transgender individuals throughout Europe.

Ireland is highlighted as one the countries that violate the human rights of transgender individuals in the procedures they demand transgender individuals fulfil in order to change their legal gender.  The other countries are Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Belgium and Germany.

The report is titled:  Europe: The state decides who I am: Lack of legal gender recognition for transgender people in Europe

Some of the requirements laid down that transgender people must fulfil are;

  • Undergoing psychiatric diagnosis
  • Undergoing medical procedures
  • Obtaining a divorce

The report stresses how these procedures laid down to obtain legal gender recognition violate basic human rights because they necessitate transgender people having to choose which rights they give up in order to have the right to change their legal gender.

Blatant State Discrimination

With Ireland one of the countries challenged on their lack of human rights for transgender individuals, Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland stated, ” “Many transgender people in Europe have to overcome enormous difficulties in coming to terms with their identity, and problems are often compounded by blatant state discrimination.”

“People have to make an odious decision.  Either they allow themselves to be subjected to a raft of degrading steps and measures for the state or they are forced to continue to live with a gender based on the sex they were assigned at birth – even if that contradicts their appearance and identity.”

The report examines and documents how the lack of legal recognition in Ireland, and the other countries highlighted, impacts negatively on the daily lives of transgender people.  Examples include;

  • It circumvents the individual’s right to privacy and respect for themselves and/or their family lives.
  • It can result in individuals being exposed as transgender when discrepancies between documents are questioned, and which can leave the individual vulnerable to harassment, discrimination, and/or transphobic violence.

To directly access the report as a PDF file, click here.

To access this report on the Amnesty International website click here.