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Amnesty report on ‘odious’ choices faced by trans people in Europe

Naith Payton December 18, 2014

Amnesty International has released a report on gender recognition laws across Europe.

The report looks at countries where trans people are forced to get divorced or have surgery and hormones in order to receive legal recognition of their acquired gender. Legal recognition is often crucial to protect people from discrimination.

It focuses on seven countries which have particularly stringent requirements for gender recognition, including Ireland which currently does not allow trans people to have their gender recognised at all. According to Amnesty, many countries “violate fundamental human rights” such as the right to private life, and the right to family life.

Many countries require trans people to have had genital surgery, which some people may not want or cannot have for medical reasons. This surgery can often result in sterilization, causing people to have to choose between a family life and legal recognition. Norway requires that trans people be sterilized.

Amnesty’s Marco Perolini said: “Many transgender people 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 at the behest of 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.

“States must ensure that transgender people can obtain legal recognition of their gender through a quick, accessible and transparent procedure in accordance with the individual’s own sense of their gender identity.”

More: Europe, gender recognition, Trans, Transgender

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