Sweden to compensate trans people sterilised under past law

Sweden have revealed plans to compensate trans individuals who were forced to undergo sterilisation in order to have their gender recognised under past law.

The decision comes after a court ruling that decreed the requirement for trans people to undergo surgery to be legally recognised was a violation of European Human Rights.

The now defunct law saw Swedes who wanted to transition between 1972 and 2013 sterilised as a result of gender reassignment surgery before they could have their true gender appear on official documentation.

The nation’s Health Minister Gabriel Wilkström announced that the government will award $26,000 USD to each of the estimated 800 people affected.

“The demand for sterilisation that existed previously laid out a vision from which today’s society wishes to distance itself,” Wilkström said.

“The government believes it was wrong to demand it.”

Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL) President Frida Sandegard has welcomed the decision, but says the amount should be higher.

“The sum should be at a level that consitutes a real recognition of the excesses of the state,” Sandegard said.

“Monetary reparations cannot completely compensate for the violations of forced sterilisation,” colleague Kerstin Burman added.

“But financial redress initiated by the government is an official acknowledgement that these actions were wrong and that the state should not have treated its citizens this way.”

Here in Australia the ACT and South Australia have removed the requirement for surgery to legally recognise one’s gender, while Western Australia removed the need for sterilisation after High Court case in 2012.

OIP Staff

H/T: Star Observer

Edit: Updated at 1:27pm for clarity.

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