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World Health Organization Condemns Forced Sterilization in Landmark Move

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a joint statement today condemning forced and coerced sterilization, which explicitly recognises the rights of trans and intersex communities in this key area.

The statement was also co-signed by six major United Nations agencies: OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF.

The statement condemns sterilization requirements for legal gender recognition. It also states that forced, coerced or otherwise non-consensual sterilization should not be a prerequisite for gender-affirming treatment also.

This move will be roundly welcomed by trans, intersex, LGBTI and human rights advocates, who have long campaigned for sounder attention to human rights standards in drafting legislation.

The statement can be read in full here.

Of the 33 countries in Europe which do allow legal gender recognition for trans communities, 16 require forced sterilization as a prerequisite for such changes.

Further research is needed to give a global figure as to the number of countries in the world today, as a whole, which stipulate similar restrictions.