Sweden to offer $26,000 compensation to trans people who were legally forced into sterilisation
The Swedish government has pledged to pay compensation to transgender people who were legally forced into sterilisation in order to transition.
Health Minister Gabriel Wilkström said that the Swedish government was set to introduce a bill that would award 225,000 kroner ($26,000) to those who were affected.
Swedish law forced transgender people into sterilisation if they wanted their gender identity to be recognised by authorities between 1972 and 2013.
It specified that people who wanted to change legal gender had to be “lacking the ability to procreate”.
This meant that hundreds of transgender people were forced to undergo surgery to prevent them from ever having children.
The court then ruled that this practice was wrong and violated European Human Rights.
“The demand for sterilisation that existed previously laid out a vision from which today’s society wishes to distance itself and the government believes it was wrong to demand it,” Wikstrom said.
While the initial sum of compensation was celebrated, activists in the country have insisted that they will push for more compensation.
“The sum should be at a level that constitutes a real recognition of the excesses of the state,” said Swedish LGBT group RFSL President Frida Sandegard.
After the country deemed the practice illegitimate over 150 transgender people in the country banded together to call for an official apology and compensation totalling nearly 5 million.
It is believed that nearly 800 people may have been affected by the laws.
Kerstin Burman of Swedish LGBT group RFSL said: “Monetary reparations cannot completely compensate for the violations of forced sterilisation, but financial redress initiated by the government is an official acknowledgement that these actions were wrong and that the State should not have treated its citizens in this way.