Trans people forced to be sterilized across Europe
Council of Europe tells 29 member countries coerced sterilization of transgender people is a major human rights abuse, urges action
Twenty-nine countries in Europe are insisting transgender people are sterilized before their true gender is recognized in law.
That represents a major abuse of human rights and must stop, says a new report from the Council of Europe.
In many European countries, sterilization or sex reassignment surgery or both are a requirement for the country to legally recognize a transgender person in his or her new gender.
While gender reassignment surgery may incidentally cause someone to become sterile, some countries also insist on sterilization.
Richard Köhler, policy and capacity officer for Transgender Europe (TGEU) told Gay Star News: ‘Forced sterilization is a reality for a lot of trans people in a lot of countries. Trans people are the only group in Europe who are prescribed by law to go through sterilization.
‘The debates have shown conservatives are really afraid of the “pregnant man” so they want to insist on sterilization.’
While some people want full gender reassignment surgery, others recognize the operations are complicated and can be traumatic and either don’t want to complete that process or are not capable of doing so.
But by insisting on full sterilization before you can be legally registered with your true, new gender identity the rules at present deny people the right to decide what they do with their own bodies.