LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Swedish law proposals on legal gender recognition and gender reassignment treatment

The Swedish government tabled in January two law proposals on legal gender recognition and gender reassignment treatment.

The aim of the proposal on legal gender recognition is to make the process more simple and more transparent. If adopted, all Swedish residents older than 15 years old could apply to have their legal gender changed. Applicants between 12 and 15 years old, would need permission from their parents or legal guardian. The proposal also scraps any form of psychiatric or psychological evaluation as well as the need of a diagnosis or any kind of medical intervention.

The second law proposal on genital surgery (ie gender reconstruction surgery) rules that applicant must be more than 15 years old and need a positive advise from a psychiatrist. The law will apply to all Swedish residents, provided that surgery is done in Sweden.

In addition the National Board of Health and Welfare have developed two new treatment protocols, one for trans youth under 18 years old where hormone blockers as well as cross gender hormones will be made available after diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

The second protocol covers trans people over 18 year old who are diagnosed with transsexualism, Gender Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified or Gender Dysphoria. The protocols covers a wide range of medical treatment from cross gender hormonses to genital reconstruction surgery.

All forms of medical treatment in Sweden is funded over the tax bill and this also includes trans health care and surgeries.The two proposals will be discussed and voted on in the course of 2015. If adopted, the laws are expected to be enforced by 1 January 2016.