EGP Resolution adopted at the 32nd EGP Council, 2-6 December 2020
Trans Rights Here! Trans Rights Now!
Every person should have the right to live freely according to their gender identity and gender expression, and the right to self-determination and bodily autonomy. Trans people, people who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, are often denied these rights across Europe and reduced to only being seen as "trans", depriving them of the ability to also have other parts of their identity, including their sexual orientation, independently recognised. In most countries this discrimination occurs at a systemic level, where rigid and static norms about gender, bodies, and sexuality uphold legal and health systems which do not recognise, respect or value trans people. In some countries anti-trans laws and practice are enforced through the rise of anti-gender rhetoric, the silencing of trans people, and viciously polarising debates which have an impact on the mental health, safety and everyday lives of trans people. Often the ‘T’ in ‘LGBT’ is overlooked, and the current attack on trans people makes it necessary, now more than ever, to support trans people and fight against anti-trans hostility and violence. It is important to affirm and amplify the voices of trans people - trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary is valid, and trans rights are human rights!
According to the latest data from Transgender Europe (TGEU) eight Council of Europe (COE) member states do not have legal gender recognition procedures in place. In Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Turkey forced sterilisation of trans people remains a requirement for legal gender recognition, while 28 COE member states require a mental health diagnosis. Forced sterilisation and mandatory mental health diagnosis violates trans people’s dignity and right to self-determination. Only three COE member states base legal gender recognition on self-determination without age limitations.
From Poland to the UK, from Hungary to Spain, trans rights are under attack. Trans people are facing increased negative discourse, prejudice, intolerance and violence from conservative right-wing actors and anti-trans groups. Furthermore, the rhetoric of campaigns by anti-trans women’s groups vilifies trans women, strips trans men of agency and invisibilises non-binary people completely. We need joint forces to counter the hostility against trans people. As long as trans rights are played off against women's rights, right wing forces will benefit and use it in their fight against gender equality. Women's rights movements and trans rights movements must unite to overcome patriarchal structures together. Trans children and youth are especially at risk, as their rights to self-determination are consistently denied and overlooked. Often trans people are not consulted on their own experiences, and their stories are drowned out by anti-trans rhetoric, lies and misinformation.
Since 2019, 100 municipalities in Poland have been declared “LGBT-free” and in August 2020 LGBTQI activists were arrested for peacefully protesting in Warsaw. In May 2020, the Hungarian government made legal gender recognition impossible in practice when they replaced ‘sex’ with ‘sex assigned at birth’ on civil registry documents. In September 2020, the UK government discarded plans to ensure self-determination as central to legal gender recognition, sticking to a process that is largely inaccessible and leaves many trans people, especially children, behind. Despite legal gender recognition based on self-determination being available in various autonomous communities of Spain, discussion on a national law this year has been side-lined by anti-trans discourse and false claims that a focus on trans issues erases (cis)women.
Therefore, the European Green Party demands European states to:
ensure the inclusion of trans people in consultation processes and discussions of laws and policies which directly impact them, including striving towards a proper representation of trans voices in the media;
- implement legal gender recognition procedures that are quick, transparent, accessible, affordable and based solely on the self-determination of the person, without age restrictions;
- depathologise trans identity and ban the practices and promotion of so-called "conversion therapy”;
- ban forced sterilisation of trans people and all other involuntary medical engagement;
- guarantee access to trans-specific healthcare which is based on human rights, bodily autonomy and informed consent;
- provide training programs for all medical staff and caregivers on trans and intersex issues, to ensure a non-discriminating and sensitised access to the health care system; protect trans people against discrimination in employment, education, parenthood, healthcare, sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to goods and services, and access to housing;
- take measures to ensure safe school environments for trans students, teachers and parents, including the implementation of national trans-inclusive curricula, anti-discrimination measures, teacher trainings and anti-bullying strategies;
- ensure that universities and other educational institutions provide non-discriminatory education and information which are based on human rights, self-determination, bodily autonomy and informed consent, particularly in the fields of medicine, healthcare, social work, pedagogy, psychology and therapy;
- ensure non-discriminatory access to social services which are based on human rights and self-determination, including emergency shelters, women's refuges and violence protection services; offer support to trans refugees, including access to healthcare and legal gender recognition;
- provide safe housing to trans asylum seekers, train asylum officers on trans issues and improve asylum procedures and base them on self-identification;
- offer support to trans sex workers, including non-discriminatory access to healthcare, counselling, and legal gender recognition;
- train their law enforcement authorities and their justice personnel to respect gender identities and guarantee that trans people who receive prison sentences can serve their sentence in the division for the gender with which they identify and receive the medical treatment they need;
- ratify, together with the European Union itself, the Istanbul Convention and ensure its implementation is inclusive of trans people;
- ensure that equal treatment bodies include anti-discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics in their work and guarantee financial resources for the new tasks;
- guarantee funding of national and transnational research on trans issues;
- guarantee funding of peer counselling and strengthening its status in healthcare;
- allow trans people, including trans children and youth, to be accompanied safely as they explore their gender identity and expression, and for them to access services as and when they decide.
The European Green Party demands the European Union to:
- ensure that all EU member states protect against discrimination on the ground of gender identity in employment and in access to goods and services;
- ensure that all EU member states provide protection and asylum to trans refugees;
- introduce protections against discrimination on the ground of gender identity in education, healthcare and in access to housing;
- guarantee funding for organisations working on trans rights at all levels of society, including core funding which guarantees safe working conditions, and funding which allows for intersectional approaches and joint work by various organisations;
- treat all attacks on the rights of trans people as breaches of fundamental rights and values of the Union, and use all legal ways at its disposal to protect them.
The European Green Party commits to:
- strengthen our connections with actors working for trans rights and intersectional, trans-inclusive feminism in Europe, and support them;
- support the participation of trans people in politics and amplify the voices of trans people in debates;
- campaign for legal gender recognition based on self-determination, trans healthcare based on informed consent, and the protections of trans people against discrimination;
- question gender norms, stereotypes, and the ways these influence systems and structures at all levels of society.