24 April 2015. Tallinn, Estonia
The Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM) welcomes the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopting of an historic resolution on the rights of transgender people. The resolution 2048 (2015) “Discrimination against transgender people in Europe” of April 22, 2015, confirms the widespread support of parliamentarians for the rights of transgender people and sends the message to all of Europe that transgender people are entitled to equal rights.
The comprehensive resolution calls upon Council of Europe member states to adopt anti-discrimination and hate crime legislation that explicitly protects transgender people. It also calls upon member states to abolish requirements that necessitate undergoing medical procedures, such as sterilization, in order to change one’s legal gender. In addition, member states must ensure that trans-specific health care is accessible and that the best interests of the child are always given primary consideration in cases concerning children. Council of Europe member states should also consider introducing a third gender option in identity documents for those who do not identify as male or female.
According to data from Amnesty International, as many as 1.5 million people across Europe are transgender. Thus, this resolution represents a great step forward to the transgender community in Europe, whose members often face discrimination, stigma, violence, and health problems. In Eastern Europe in particular, transgender people are at an increased risk of HIV infection and suffer from discriminatory laws and practices that often prevent their access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care.
ECOM believes that this resolution represents an important first step towards breaking down transphobia, discrimination, and stigma. By sending the unequivocal message that transgender people have the same rights as all other Europeans, Council of Europe is raising awareness on the issues that transgender people face and pushing governments to guarantee the rights of all citizens, including those of transgender people.
ECOM would like to thank the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for its commitment to protecting human rights. In addition, ECOM calls upon the Council of Europe member states to implement the relevant protections and to curtail acts of discrimination and violence against transgender people.
Vitaly Djuma, Executive Director, ECOM
Marcus Oda, Program and Advocacy Officer, ECOM
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