From words to actions – the Trans Act violates human rights and must be reformed without delay

The National Union of University Students in Finland demand that the Trans Act, which violates human rights, is reformed immediately, and that measures are taken to intervene in the persecution of LGBTQ people.

The current Trans Act violates the human rights of gender minorities. According to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights of 6 April 2017, forced sterilisation of trans people is a violation of human rights. Finland is the only Nordic country where the legislation includes the absolutely inhumane demand to sterilise people going through the gender confirmation process. SYL demands that the Finnish Government quickly intervenes in the current situation and finally reforms the Trans Act. Beautiful speeches about promoting human rights cannot be allowed to become empty promises – words must become actions. Finland cannot trample on its international promises and commitments regarding the implementation of human rights.

In order for the Trans Act to respects human rights, the demand for sterilisation must be revoked. Everyone also has the right to define their own gender. All potential medical treatment, procedures and diagnoses that may be required for gender reassignment should be separated from legal gender reassignment.

“Determining a person’s gender should only be done by the person concerned. It is not the job of experts or official authorities,” emphasises Riina Lumme, President of SYL.

SYL also want to express their concern for the persecution that LGBTQ people are being subjected to on a global level. Finland and the international community must take responsibility for intervening in the oppression that sexual and gender minorities are subjected to. It is not enough to simply condemn human rights violations – those fleeing persecution must be offered protection.

“The theme for this year’s Pride week is ‘Freedom and responsibility’. We demand that the Finnish Trans Act is reformed so that people will truly be given the chance to be themselves. It is also about time that Finland, the world and every one of us take responsibility for implementing LGBTQ rights,” says Riina Lumme, President of SYL.

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