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Uruguay could pay compensation to trans people for historic persecution

Joseph McCormick August 14, 2017

JERUSALEM - AUGUST 25: In this handout photo provided by the IPO (Israeli President's Office), Uruguay's president Tabare Vazquez (L) attends a welcoming ceremony hosted by Israel's president Shimon Peres at the Israeli President's Office on August 25, 2008 in Jerusalem, Israel. Uruguay celebrates its Independence Day today. The president of Uruguay is also due to meet Prime Minister Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni during his five day state visit to Israel. (Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/IPO via Getty Images)

A new bill in Uruguay could serve to pay compensation to transgender citizens for past persecution.

The bill would also act as an action plan to curb anti-trans discrimination in the country.

Uruguay has historically treated its trans community poorly and the bill is intended to recognise that.

One trans woman Sandra Valin told Market Place News: “When I was a kid I was a target because I was flamboyant and feminine, it was horrible, and it didn’t end with the dictatorship — the persecution continued into the 1990s.”

Uruguay

Valin and others have pushed the government to change the gender recognition process and to put in place protections for transgender people.

The proposals announced by the government on Monday would allow trans people to legally change name and gender on official documents.

It would also mean a scholarship to transgender people to improve education rates.

Trans people born before 1975 would be issued with a monthly pension to make up for economic hardships historically experienced by the trans community.

The Ministry of Social Development worker Tania Ramirez said: “Trans people don’t reach old age.”

“They are a vulnerable community and the police and the state detained and tortured trans people during the dictatorship of the 1970s and 80s and these tactics continued into the democratic era.”

The scholarship offered intends to tackle the fact that 75 percent of trans people in Uruguay don’t finish high school according to the 2016 census.

Uruguay in 2009 passed a bill which for the first time allowed transgender people to legally change name and gender on documents.

Then in 2013, the country’s president signed same-sex marriage into law.

In doing so, Uruguay became the 12th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.

More: Americas, Uruguay

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