Date of Meeting: 15 March 2017

Meeting Organizer: Legal Reforms to Protect the Human Rights of Trans, Intersex and Gender Variant People

CSW Delegates Present: Major Estelle Blake

Reporter: Major Estelle Blake

Which SDG does this topic cover? 3, 5

Type of meeting: CSW Parallel Event

Brief summary of presentation of information made

  • Tough times for transgender people now but signs of hope for change for better treatment
  • Malta (Helena Dalli) has laws for transgender people. Transgender Europe have helped
  • Through the law, names and gender can be changed legally and must be enacted within 30 days.
  • Sexual intervention programmes are banned.
  • Martin García Moritán - Argentina. Has legal protection for transgender persons. First country to adopt gender identity chosen by the person rather than that they were born as. Enactment of gender identity act in communities. Right to recognise self perceived identityand recognition in all public documents according to chosen gender identity without need for surgery. Other laws to support reproductive procedures.
  • Maria Ruotanen - Council of Europe. Trans and intersex rights are human rights recommended seven years ago. Based on case law from UNHCR. Provide support to member states of European Union on implementation of rights, for example using other laws against torture, investigation into prison conditions, monitoring racism and criminal regulation against specific hate crimes against transgender/intersexual etc.
  • Purna Sen policy director of UN women. Need to take agenda forward. Recent killing in is the 5th transgender murder in a month in Brazil. Social approval of this action. Who counts as human? Difficulty on who says an individual is human. None of the UN definitions say someone is and the need to clarify. ( In regard to Human Rights)
  • Principles need to be defined better around the world and then implemented. New anti discrimination laws are available. Global developments are overshadowing the transgender issue, making the fight for human rights harder. How do we hold firm to the gains we have made? UN women dealing with the push back on work for refugees women's rights but need to recognise the common rights. Awareness building and knowledge are needed to support people. Conversations on the issue are needed rapidly
  • Micah g international advocate. There is a need to explain the terms trans and gender identity. Why does violence happen? Because the system is built on two genders focussed on genitals and what that means, doesn’t include those who don’t fit the system. What are the differences in violence? 25% suffer violence. Non binary 32% police brutality 32% discrimination in medical settings 37%. 74% of hate related crimes are unreported to police for fear of more violence.
  • Issues faced by transgender include ID cards/passports and female/male gender id and   
  • access to bathrooms. Humiliation and dignity given up when even going to the bathroom. What does gender mean?
  • How can we serve better?
  • Zhan Chiam. LGBT legal rights. Legal gender recognition allows people to exist and participate as an individual in society. Transgender mapping reports on legal gender recognition. M/f/x/o requirements can impact on human rights including privacy and self determination with recognition in the eyes of the law.
  • Opportunities for third gender learning should be available not just govt level but local too.

National attitudes are varied: India - progressive decision. Poland - sue parents. China- consent of family.

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

As The Salvation Army we need to be aware of the gender issues that are found within our society and, whilst not promoting the issues, be aware of the needs and issues surrounding individual’s lives. We need to understand the problems faced by those within our communities and discover how we pastorally care for the people that we will meet daily in our programmes. We also need to be clear on what we believe and think as we face life in ministry in the 21st Century, without compromising our stand.  


Tags: United Nations, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being