LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

CoE report shines spotlight on trans discrimination

Today’s debate (Wednesday 22 April) at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on a wide-ranging trans rights resolution is important for trans people across Europe.

ILGA-Europe is hopeful that the draft resolution will be approved in its current form, making it the first report on trans issues by the Assembly to reflect fully the needs and perspectives of trans people in Europe. The document takes a strong human rights-based approach and clearly sets out the discriminatory obstacles currently faced by trans people in unequivocal terms. It calls for the abolition of sterilisation and other medical requirements for legal gender recognition and for the depathologisation of trans identities.

The draft resolution also makes far-reaching recommendations to solve these problems, in line with proposals first made by the Council of Europe’s then Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammerberg in 2009. It recommends increasing the accessibility of gender reassignment procedures and ensuring trans people are reimbursed by public health insurance schemes. Further recommendations include training programmes for health care professionals, law enforcement officials and those working in education.

This resolution is a potentially historic step forward and ILGA-Europe and our member organisations are awaiting the vote’s outcome with interest. We would also like to extend our congratulations to Rapporteur Deborah Schembri of Malta, the report’s author, for her leadership in taking a strong position on the human rights of trans people, and of course to our colleagues in TGEU for their tireless and strategic work towards the adoption of this significant report.