Netherlands bans forced sterilisation to change gender identity on official documents
The Dutch Parliament this week passed a law meaning that trans people who wish to change their gender identity on official documents will not be forced to be sterilised or undergo gender reassignment surgery.
The law, which is expected to take effect in July 2014, was passed on Wednesday by the parliament in the Netherlands.
It applies to citizens over 16 years of age, and means that, rather than sterilisation or gender reassignment surgery and a court order, they will only need a statement from an expert testifying on their need to change their gender identity on the documents.
In a joint statement from the chairs of the Transgender Network Netherlands (TNN) and the COC-Netherlands, they wrote: “This law is a victory for transgender [people] in the Netherlands,
“There is an end to all the humiliating situations that transgender people still daily deal with because the sex designation on their paper is different from the gender in which they live.”
The law as it stood before today has been heavily criticised by human rights and LGBT rights organisations for years.
The TNN and COC are still looking to push for a more inclusive law, however; pointing towards Argentina which in 2012 passed a law which does not require an expert to verify that they wish to change their gender identity.
Having become the first country in South America to allow gay couples to marry, Argentina last May passed a bill giving transgender citizens the right to have their gender recognised in law.
“The two organizations will keep up the pressure and advocate for the law to be amended in order to meet all the needs of transgender people in the Netherlands,” the Dutch groups said.