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'Stop discrimination of transgender people'

Adopting today a report on discrimination against transgender persons in Europe, PACE’s Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination condemned the violations of fundamental rights of which transgender persons are victims when seeking legal recognition of their gender, in particular the violation of their right to private life and to physical integrity.

"The relevant procedures often require sterilisation, divorce, a diagnosis of mental illness, surgical interventions and other medical treatments as preconditions," said the rapporteur, Deborah Schembri (Malta, SOC).

In a draft resolution which PACE will debate at its spring session (Strasbourg, 20-24 April 2015), the committee proposed that States introduce speedy procedures, based on self-determination, allowing transgender persons to change the name and gender marker on their birth certificates, identity cards, passports and similar documents.

The committee also asked States to abolish sterilisation and other compulsory medical treatment and to remove any restrictions on the right of transgender persons to remain in an existing marriage. As for gender reassignment procedures, they should be made accessible for transgender persons, and be reimbursed by public health insurance schemes. She also asked that states explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in national non-discrimination legislation.