- Applicants for legal gender recognition in Sweden were asked to ensure that they no longer had the ability to procreate, a state policy that was enforced between 1972 and 2013.
- With the passing of the bill in the country’s parliament, each affected will receive $25,000.
- Elsewhere in Europe, 16 countries still have sterilization requirement for legal gender recognition.
The government of Sweden voted to pay compensation to transgender citizens who historically underwent sterilization as a mandatory requirement for legal gender change.
According to the transgender news article published by the Gay Times website on March 24, the country’s parliament approved the plan as reparation for those affected by the requisite sterilization before being granted the permission for sex reassignment surgery.
Applicants for legal gender recognition in Sweden were asked to ensure that they no longer had the ability to procreate, a state policy that was enforced between 1972 and 2013.
In 2013, the said law was challenged by the judiciary. A court ruled that it was a violation to the European Human Rights and blocked its implementation.
Health Minister Gabriel Wilkstrom, in an interview last year, admitted that the government was wrong for enforcing the policy.
Activists had campaigned and demanded that the government pays compensation to about 700 transgender Swedes since the law was repealed.
“The demand for sterilisation that existed previously laid out a vision from which today’s society wishes to distance itself and the government believes it was wrong to demand it,” Wilkstrom said.
In addition, Wilkstrom said in 2017 that the state was in the process of drafting a bill that would pay the victims. With the passing of the bill, each affected will receive $25,000.
Advocates positively welcomed the announcement.
Emelie Mire Asell, spokesperson for the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and queer Rights, said, “We have strived for this since 2013 when the requirement of sterilisation to change one’s legal gender was abolished.”
Asell also said that decision would the right step towards making amends for past wrongs.
“Money can’t undo the harm of unwillingly losing your reproductive abilities, but the monetary compensation is an important step for the state to make amends to all those subjected to this treatment,” Asell explained.
Elsewhere in Europe, 16 countries still have sterilization requirement for legal gender recognition.
Surprisingly, Finland is one of the countries that implement the policy even when it’s considered to be more open and welcoming to members of the LGBT community. It considered repealing the law following Sweden’s example before eventually voting against it.
Additionally, the country also rejected the recommendation made by United Nations Human Rights Council to ban the practice.