European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Comprehensive European study of transgender people's rights and experiences of healthcare is published

ILGA-Europe and TransGender Europe published the first comprehensive report on the experiences of health care by transgender people in European Union. This report is a result of the largest and most comprehensive data collection on transgender people's lived experienced to date.

The legal survey confirmed that very few countries had fully embraced the range of transgender protections available in Europe. Some have made very little progress, leaving their transgender citizens in fear for their safety, unable to work due to discrimination, and facing great difficulties in obtaining access all health care, not just to gender reassignment services.

The failure of states to implement directives and significant case law, from both the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, has left a Europe divided with a few of its transgender population having fairly good access to medicine and their rights, but even then no country is by any means perfect and few countries are good in this area.

Other common problems identified through the survey are:

  • refusal by the states to fund hormone treatment
  • refusal by the states to fund the acceptable baseline surgeries
  • refusal of anytreatments because ahealthcare professionals did not approve of gender reassignment
  • lack of information knowledgeabout transgender issues by health professionals
  •     avoidance of routine healthcare due to anticipated prejudice from healthcare professionals.

Justus Eisfeld, Chairperson of TransGender Europe, said:

“This lack of respect for the basic human rights of trans people has to stop. We call ion the European institutions to enforce the fundamental rights of their citizens to be treated with respect and dignity.”

Deborah Lambillotte, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe's Executive Board, said:

"ILGA-Europe is proud to deliver this important report. For the first time discrimination and prejudice transgender people across European Union experience are being confirmed and evidenced by such comprehensive pan-European study. We hope that this study will become useful tool for campaigners and advocates of transgender people's rights. We also hope that the recommendations contained in the study will be listened by and taken on board by relevant European institutions to ensure that the needs and rights of transgender people are fully embraced and addressed when dealing with the issues of equality and anti-discrimination."

This study will be presented at the second TransGender Europe’s Council on 2-4 May in Berlin.

For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Prof Stephen Whittle at: +44 161 442 4772 / +44 7809 621395, swhittle@pfc.org.uk

Dr Lewis Turner at +44 1524 425955 / + 44 7833 738035, lturner@pfc.org.uk

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe: www.ilga-europe.org

(2) TransGender Europe is a European network of trans groups and individuals and promotes respect, health and equality for all transgender persons: www.tgeu.org

(3) PDF version of the study is available at ILGA-Europe website: www.ilga-europe.org/europe/publications/non_periodical