THE European Court of Human Rights has ruled that requiring the sterilisation of people seeking to change their legal gender violates human rights.

Twenty-two countries across Europe currently require sterilisation for legal gender amendment. This decision mandates that those countries change their laws.

“Today the world moved in the right direction for trans rights everywhere,” said Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International.

“Forcing unnecessary medical interventions to access basic human rights like legal recognition of a person’s gender is barbaric. As more countries review laws for gender identity recognition, it is essential that they forgo outdated policies and follow legislation from places like Malta or Argentina which prioritise self-determination.

“The decision from the European Court raises the bar globally.”

The ruling results from three cases against France submitted in 2012 and 2013, which leveraged Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (“the right to respect for private and family rights”) and well as Article 3 (“prohibition of torture”) and Article 14 (“prohibition of discrimination”).

The news follows recent legislation being introduced in Sweden to financially compensate trans people who were forcibly sterilised under former laws.

Only four European countries—Norway, Ireland, Malta and Denmark—currently have gender identity recognition policies that are based on the principle of self-determination without medical requirements.

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