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

The Finnish Government should respect human rights of trans people

Last week the Finnish Government submitted a proposal to the Finnish Parliament to abolish a standing requirement that requires trans persons to be single in order to be granted legal gender recognition.

TGEU and ILGA-Europe regret that this proposal falls short to remove other violations of trans persons’ human rights.

Despite the Government’s promise on several occasions to address violations of trans persons human rights, Finland still maintains forced sterilization as a precondition for legal gender recognition, trans identities are still pathologized and minors have no access to legal gender recognition.

TGEU and ILGA-Europe call upon the Finnish Government to swiftly resume a comprehensive reform of gender recognition legislation. It should take the working group proposal from spring 2015 as point of departure and particularly address requirements of sterilization and that for a person to be single. Recent legal changes in Denmark, Malta and Ireland should serve as point of departure for a comprehensive reform.

TGEUs’ Senior Policy Office Richard Köhler says: “Finland should aim to have quick, transparent and accessible gender recognition procedures based on self-determination. The current proposal falls short of delivering the necessary changes.”

TGEUs’ Co-chair Alecs Recher, MLaw continues: “Finnish trans people have a right to have their human rights protected. The government without any further delay must address the severe violations and give trans people recognition.”

ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis said: “Forced sterilisation is a dehumanizing, invasive and brutal procedure. The authorities in Finland have the responsibility to end this inhumane process for trans people – we urge them to take inspiration from countries like Denmark, Malta and Ireland and remove it from the bill.”