Statement on today’s vote to ban legal gender recognition in Russia

ILGA-Europe issue this public statement to express our support to and solidarity with trans and gender diverse people in Russia in the light of the recent legislative developments that severely infringe upon their human rights.

A proposed bill, passed in the third reading at the Russian Duma on July 14[1], introduces a comprehensive ban on trans-specific healthcare and legal gender recognition, effectively limiting individuals’ autonomy over their own bodies and identities.

We firmly assert that such legislation flagrantly violates fundamental human rights standards and principles.

ILGA-Europe firmly believe in the inherent dignity and equal rights of all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or expression. International human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasise that everyone has the right to self-determination, privacy, and the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Denying trans and gender diverse individuals access to trans-specific healthcare and legal gender recognition blatantly disregards the international human rights framework.

We stand in solidarity with the trans and gender diverse community in Russia, whose rights and wellbeing are under attack. The denial of trans-specific healthcare, including hormone therapy and surgeries, not only disregards the human rights of trans and gender diverse people but also perpetuates discrimination, stigmatisation, and marginalisation. It is essential to recognise that trans-specific healthcare is a critical component of comprehensive healthcare, promoting the well-being, mental health, and social integration of trans and gender diverse people.

Furthermore, the bill invalidates all certificates of legal gender recognition for individuals who have undergone transition-related surgery but not yet changed the gender marker in their passport. This is a violation of their right to privacy, places trans people in legal limbo, and creates unnecessary burdens on trans people, forcing them to disclose their private and medical history and exposing them to discrimination, harassment and violence.

Additionally, the prohibition on adoption and guardianship for trans and gender diverse people is a denial of their right to form a family and care for children in need. This discriminatory provision perpetuates harmful stereotypes and prejudices against trans and gender diverse parents.

This bill not only violates the rights of trans and gender-diverse people but also raises concerns about the wellbeing and bodily autonomy of intersex children and people, particularly in relation to intersex genital mutilation. International human rights bodies have repeatedly classified non-vital or cosmetic medical interventions against intersex infants and children without the child’s full personal, informed consent, otherwise known as “intersex genital mutilation” or “IGM”, as constituting cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or harmful practices. These practices violate the principles of bodily autonomy, non-discrimination, and the best interests of the child. They have been recognised as human rights violations that require urgent action and protection for intersex people. 

The bill will now be voted in the Federation Council on July 19 and then needs to be signed by the President to come into force.

We stand united and in solidarity with our allies and partner organisations in demanding justice, equality, and dignity for trans, gender-diverse and intersex people in Russia. We will continue to advocate tirelessly for the full recognition of their human rights, including bodily autonomy, access to comprehensive healthcare, legal gender recognition based on self-determination, and the right to form families of trans and gender diverse people in Russia.


[1] http://duma.gov.ru/news/57524/


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