FRA, Council of Europe host roundtable on transgender rights

The FRA and the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights jointly organised and hosted a roundtable discussion on the rights of transgender persons on 22-23 September in Vienna.

The interactive format of the event allowed a fruitful and dynamic exchange of views from different perspectives on discrimination, hate speech and hate crime suffered by transgender persons. Across the various countries represented, legal certainty with respect to ‘gender identity', visibility of transgender persons and experiences (and lack thereof), the role and interconnections of different players, and good practices raised by participants from public institutions were broadly discussed.

Among the conclusions formulated by the group, the need for more engagement by authorities, equality bodies and other actors in collecting reliable data was emphasised, in connection with the need to respect the privacy of respondents.

The discussions also underscored the importance of training and awareness-raising activities targeted at 'agents of change' and at those in direct contact with the transgender community (for instance front line officers, the police, health professionals), so as to reduce stereotyping and fear, especially in reporting violent hate crimes/hate incidents. The inclusion of the ‘gender identity' ground in hate crime and non-discrimination legislation was highlighted as a crucial element in acknowledging the problems faced by transgender persons on the ground.