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Where is it best to be trans in Europe?

Naith Payton May 11, 2015

Transgender Europe has released a study highlighting which countries in Europe have the most progressive laws on trans rights.

There are still many countries in Europe, including Ireland, Hungary and Serbia, that do not allow trans people to legally change their gender. These often leaves trans people open to discrimination when their legal gender does not match the gender they live as.

The Republic of Ireland only allows trans people to change their names. It has no other legal procedure for gender recognition, although proposed legislation is currently being reviewed in the country.

In a large number of countries, trans people are required to present proof of surgery, or sterilisation, in order to change their legal gender. It means trans people who do not want surgery, or do not want to lose their reproductive capacity are blocked from legal recognition.

Very few countries have a full spread of anti-discrimination laws which are fully enforced. Those that do are Croatia, France, Spain and Sweden. France, however, requires sterilisation before gender recognition.

Kosovo has absolutely no trans-positive laws at all, and only Denmark and Malta do not require trans people to be diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Most countries block anyone under 18 from gender recognition, meaning young people are not protected in the same way as adults.

Transgender Europe’s Alecs Recher said: “Trans youth have the same need and right as their peers to grow up in a supporting and loving environment. But they face a multitude of disadvantages like exclusion, discrimination and violence.

“Protecting trans and gender-diverse children and youth, e.g. by making legal gender recognition accessible for them and by not labelling them as mentally ill, should be a primary concern for all.”

The full reports can be viewed here.

Malta recently become the most progressive country with regard to trans rights.

Experts in Norway are pushing for more progressive trans policies.

More: EU, Europe, Europe, Transgender Europe

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