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News & Events

23 APR 2015

Press Release: Historic Trans Resolution Adopted at Council of Europe

Yesterday (Wednesday 22nd April), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a comprehensive resolution on trans human rights. This resolution addresses issues including access to healthcare, depathologisation and anti-discrimination legislation. In relation to legal gender recognition, the Assembly calls upon Member States to "develop quick, transparent and accessible procedures, based on self-determination."

"This is a historic moment for trans rights in Europe," said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone. "By highlighting the experiences of trans people and calling on Member States to progress trans rights, the Council of Europe is sending a strong message to European trans communities that we are equal and that our lives matter."

The resolution was introduced by Rapporteur Deborah Schembri and Maltese Minister for Civil Liberties Helena Dalli and was followed by an informed and engaging debate at the Assembly. The resolution was passed with a strong majority: 68 in favour, 23 against and 12 abstentions.

Irish Trans Experiences at the Council of Europe


(TENI Board Member Sam Blanckensee and Maltese Minister Helena Dalli)

In advance of the debate on the resolution, TENI Board member Sam Blanckensee spoke at the Council of Europe alongside trans activists from Ukraine, Turkey, France and Lithuania.  These activists shared experiences of the lived realities of trans people in Europe. In discussing what this resolution means for trans people, Blanckensee stated:

"The resolution is incredible. It really sets a benchmark for trans rights across Europe. It was fantastic to be able to speak on behalf of Irish young people in Strasbourg and have some of their situations spoken about at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Every barrier that a trans identity can create is addressed in this resolution."

Legal Gender Recognition

The recommendations in relation to legal gender recognition are particularly relevant to the Irish situation as it calls on Member States to:
  • develop quick, transparent and accessible procedures, based on self-determination, for changing the name and registered sex of transgender people on birth certificates, identity cards, passports, educational certificates and other similar documents;
  • abolish sterilisation and other compulsory medical treatment, including a mental health diagnosis, as a necessary legal requirement to recognise a person’s gender identity in laws regulating the procedure for changing a name and registered gender;
  • remove any restrictions on the right of transgender people to remain in an existing marriage upon recognition of their gender; ensure that spouses or children do not suffer a loss of rights;
  • consider including a third gender option in identity documents for those who seek it;
  • ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all decisions concerning children.

"This resolution provides a road map for progressive legal gender recognition. It promotes self-determination and calls on States to remove restrictive criteria," said Giambrone. "It's critical that Ireland ensures that the Gender Recognition Bill is in line with these recommendations and international best-practice."


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

PACE – Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is made up of delegates from 47 European national parliaments.

The resolution is available here.

Video of the debate is here.

 


Shortcut http://www.teni.ie/press_release_historic_trans_resolution_adopted_at_council_of_europe

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