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Moving “trans-rights” forward in national parliaments

“Discrimination on the grounds of gender identity is widespread in Council of Europe member states and transgender people face many forms of discrimination, similar to those experienced by LGB people. However, the level of discrimination and hostility experienced by transgender population in Europe is more severe as they face a higher degree of social rejection and because they are often more visible.

Transgender-specific forms of discrimination even include coercive sterilisation or forced dissolution of marriage as preconditions for legal gender recognition. This is unacceptable,” Deborah Schembri (Malta, SOC), who is currently preparing a report on the discrimination against transgender people in Europe, stressed at a hearing of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination in Paris on 2 June.

“Moving ‘trans-rights’ forward in your national parliaments is the only way forward in the fight against discrimination,” Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of TGEU – Transgender Europe stressed. There is an urgent need to promote the rights of transgender persons in national parliaments with a view to improve their situation, particularly in the fields of health care, transphobic hate crime and gender recognition, parliamentarians agreed, regretting that only twenty Council of Europe member states explicitly include gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination.