Human Rights

Hong Kong: Court ruling a setback in fight for equality for transgender people

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No one should be forced to undergo gender affirming surgery in order to have their gender legally recognized.



Man-kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.

Responding to a Hong Kong judicial review that upheld the government’s policy of forcing transgender people to undergo surgery before having their gender legally recognized, Man-kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, commented:

 “Today’s judgment is a blow for the recognition of transgender people. It is a missed opportunity to address the discrimination transgender people in Hong Kong face.

“No one should be forced to undergo gender affirming surgery in order to have their gender legally recognized. We urge the government to do the right thing and end this discriminatory and highly intrusive policy irrespective of today’s ruling.

“The government should also swiftly introduce comprehensive legislation against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

Background

Henry Edward Tse, Q and R are three transgender men born female. They sought a judicial review after the government refused to legally recognize their gender unless they underwent gender affirming surgery. They feared such medical treatment would damage their health.  

Forcing people to undertake medical treatment in order to obtain legal gender recognition violates their right to the highest attainable standard of health. Amnesty International believes a new legal gender recognition procedure must be quick, accessible and transparent, and should not include any requirements for medical treatments of any kind as a precondition.

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ians Global Network.