The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)-Europe and TransGender Europe have published a comprehensive report on the experiences of health care by transgender people in European Union.
The revealing poll shows the disturbing divide in the treatment on transgender people in Europe.
The legal survey is the result of the largest and most comprehensive data collection on transgender people’s lived experiences to date.
In the UK, there is estimated to be around 15,000 transsexual people who self-identify as the opposite gender from the physical body they were born with.
Around a third of them have surgery to change their bodies to be the opposite sex
The report has show how life can still be very hard for transgender people in some parts of Europe.
Many transgender citizens still fear for their safety, the report concluded.
It also looked at how many trans people were unable to work due to discrimination, and facing great difficulties in obtaining access health care as well as gender reassignment services.
Transsexual people experience varying degrees of acceptance around the world.
Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the issue of transsexualism in Iran had never been officially addressed by the government.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, however, transgendered individuals have been officially recognized by the government and allowed to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
Thailand is thought to have the highest prevalence of transsexualism in the world. Due to the relative prevalence and acceptance of transsexualism in Thailand, there are many accomplished Thai surgeons who are specialized in sex reassignment surgery.
Transgender-related issues remain largely taboo in much of Africa and in developing countries around the world.
Deborah Lambillotte, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said:
“ILGA-Europe is proud to deliver this important report. For the first time discrimination and prejudice transgender people across European Union experience are being confirmed and evidenced by such comprehensive pan-European study.
“We hope that this study will become useful tool for campaigners and advocates of transgender people’s rights.
“We also hope that the recommendations contained in the study will be listened by and taken on board by relevant European institutions to ensure that the needs and rights of transgender people are fully embraced and addressed when dealing with the issues of equality and anti-discrimination.”
ILGA is an international organization bringing together more than 400 lesbian and gay groups from around the world.
It continues to be active in campaigning for gay rights on the international human rights and civil rights scene and regularly petitions the United Nations and governments.
ILGA is represented in around 90 countries across the world.
The study will be presented at the second TransGender Europe’s Council on 2nd – 4th May in Berlin.
A PDF version of the study is available here