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Denmark takes key step towards destigmatizing transgender people

    May 31, 2016

    The Danish Parliament has ushered in a historic victory in the struggle for transgender rights by today adopting a decision to no longer stigmatize transgender identities as mental disorders, said Amnesty International.

    “This very encouraging move from Denmark sets a strong example internationally towards destigmatizing transgender people and paving the way for quick and transparent processes for legal gender recognition,” said Leda Avgousti, Amnesty International’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Advisor.

    “It is disgraceful that globally the norm is for transgender people to be placed under the category of mental disorders because of their gender identity. This label means that transgender people are forced to undergo traumatizing and humiliating psychiatric evaluations in order to legally change their gender or even to be able to access gender reassignment treatment.”

    Today’s move positions Denmark as a frontrunner in improving transgender rights globally, as pressure is mounting on the World Health Organization (WHO) to stop classifying transgender identity as a mental disorder in its International Classification of Disorders (ICD).

    The WHO is set to revise the ICD by 2018. Removing transgender identities from this classification of mental disorders would encourage countries worldwide to do the same.

    The decision in Denmark follows campaigning from Amnesty International and other human rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organizations and activists.


    For more information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332