The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Akahatá, GATE, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Iranti, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL), the International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization (STP), and Transgender Europe (TGEU) celebrate the new Report released by the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), Victor Madrigal-Borloz. We particularly congratulate the Mandate holder for focusing on two key issues repeatedly pointed out by trans and gender diverse movements: “the process of abandoning the classification of certain forms of gender as a pathology (denominated by the Independent Expert and others as “depathologization”) and the full scope of the duty of the State to respect and promote respect of gender recognition as a component of identity” (page 4).
We applaud the inclusion of specific terminology particularly relevant to our communities, including concepts such as “trans”, “gender diversity”, “gender diverse people”, “non-binary”, “gender-affirming treatment” and “depathologization”, and the explicit acknowledgment of the regional and cultural multiplicity of those communities.
Our organizations, as well as many other trans and gender diverse activists worldwide, have been intensively working to advance psycho-medical and legal depathologization in the context of the International Classification of Diseases. We congratulate the Mandate holder for his openness to take into consideration our perspectives on these issues through the Open Consultation on Depathologization and Legal Gender Recognition in Geneva during the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council, which also coincided with the 2nd Trans Advocacy Week 2018.
Gender diversity in childhood is a central issue for us, and we highly appreciate the support expressed by the Report to the full recognition of children as subjects of human rights, including the right to legal gender recognition and depathologization. We join the Mandate holder in demanding States to fulfil their obligations in regard to access to legal gender recognition and gender affirming healthcare without requirements incompatible with human right standards, including psycho-medical diagnosis, sterilization and divorce. In consonance with the Report and the Yogyakarta Principles+10, we urge States to remove all age barriers in the enjoyment of the human right to identity and to create the opportunity for multiple gender marker choices.
The Report addresses the different forms of stigma, discrimination and violence endured by trans and gender diverse people in all regions; we call States to “adopt all measures necessary to prevent, investigate and punish violence and discrimination based on gender identity perpetrated by both State and non‑State actors, as well as to provide reparations to victims, regardless of whether the violence occurred in the public or the private sphere.” (page 24)
Trans and gender diverse people have been historically marginalized from access to key resources, including human rights mechanisms at the international level. We express our sincere gratitude to the Independent Expert on SOGI for his contribution to changing that historical marginalization, and for giving trans and gender diverse people’s human rights the careful attention they deserve.