Amnesty International holds governments to account for human rights breaches. Their report, 2020/21: The State of the World’s Human Rights, has just been published and details trans rights and trans oppression. Amnesty publishes both breaches and advances in human rights. Most of the news is bad, but there is some halting progress and some heroes to celebrate, who have stood up for their rights under extreme persecution.
In Kuwait, Maha al-Mutairi, a trans woman, was arrested and charged with “imitating the other sex in any way”. She accused police officers of raping and beating her during her detention in a male prison.
In Kazakhstan, Nurbibi Nurkadilova published a statement for IDAHOBIT. This provoked homophobic and transphobic comments, including by a mixed martial arts fighter who encouraged people to attack LGBT+ people.
Also in Kazakhstan, Viktoriya Berdkhodzhaeva, who had been imprisoned in a women’s camp, reported that she had been raped, and a security officer was sentenced to 66 months imprisonment for rape and torture.
In Saudi Arabia, Mohamed al-Bokari was imprisoned for charges including “imitating women”. He had appeared in a video defending LGBTI freedoms.
In Dominica the trans charity Transsa was able to get social assistance for some trans women who could not work under COVID restrictions. Amnesty reported this under the heading “Women’s Rights”, but otherwise reported trans issues under the heading LGBTI.
In Benin, assailants beat a trans woman unconscious. She was then arrested, beaten again, insulted and threatened. They stripped her naked and sent her home after five days in detention.
These stories of victimisation show the intense courage of trans people.
In Albania, the Order of Psychiatrists banned its members from practising conversion therapy.
In Finland, a working group proposed legislation to protect people seeking gender recognition. Yeah. No actual legislation, just a proposal, but we move forward slowly.
In Germany, the Federal Parliament banned “conversion therapy” to change SOGI: but only for people under 18, and it was lawful if parents “do not grossly violate their duty of care”.
In Japan, a law to prevent more powerful people harassing less powerful people at work included protection for gay and trans people from being outed.
In Poland, when various cities called themselves “LGBT free”, the head of the European Commission stated they were in fact “humanity-free zones”, that had no place within the EU.
In Romania, Parliament passed a law which prohibited teaching about gender identity, or teaching that sex and gender identity were not always identical. Universities condemned the ban as against academic freedom. The Constitutional Court declared it unconstitutional.
In North Macedonia the Constitutional Court struck down an anti-discrimination law protecting gay and trans people, but parliament reinstated it.
In South Korea, MPs proposed an anti-discrimination law including on the basis of gender identity. The Bill was still pending at the end of the year. In January, the army dismissed a trans woman after she had GRS. She sued.
In the Ukraine, there was a proposal for an anti-discrimination law protecting gay and trans people, but it was not put to a vote. Religious groups objected.
In Britain, Amnesty condemns “growing transphobic rhetoric and fearmongering in the media” and says the gender recognition reform proposals fall short of human rights standards.
In the US, Amnesty condemns the Trump administration for continuing to dismantle protections against discrimination for gay and trans people. Oddly, they don’t mention Aimee Stephens‘ sex discrimination win in the Supreme Court.
In Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia made advances to end conversion practices.
In Canada, the government proposed an Act to ban conversion therapy seeking to suppress a person’s gender identity or expression.
In Hungary, Parliament enacted a constitutional amendment specifying that Hungary “protects self-identity of the children’s sex by birth”. You would have thought they had better things to do.
Libya is a failed state, but the Al-Radaa militia detained men for their perceived gender identity, and tortured them.
The Observatory of Gender Equality in Puerto Rico records femicides, including those of trans women, unlike the group in the UK.
We should celebrate the bravery of trans people standing up for our rights under such vilification and persecution.