In Taiwan, trans people were forced to have their reproductive organs surgically removed in order to have their sex recognized legally.
Plaintiff Xiao E in Taipei Supreme Administrative Court argued that the existing policy was unconstitutional. On Thursday, September 23, the court ruled in his favor and found that the requirement for surgical sex reassignment surgery violated the principles of equality and proportionality.
The decision was hailed as a victory for LGBT + rights by E-Ling Chiu, director of Amnesty International Taiwan.
“This is a crucial moment for the rights of transgender people in Taiwan. A court decision to waive mandatory surgical requirements for people seeking gender recognition is a step forward. Self-exploration and self-recognition is a cornerstone of a person and a court ruling underscores the advancement of gender equality and human rights in Taiwan” – said Chiu.
In Taiwan, trans people experience discrimination and inequality on a daily basis, both in the legal system and in other areas – the workplace or schools.
The court decision is in line with the 2015 report of the High Commission for Human Rights, according to which legal gender recognition should be based on self-exploration and it should be a simple administrative process. The report states: “Legal recognition of gender should be available, free of charge, and should not require trans people to meet any insulting medical and legal requirements.”
Taiwan is not the only country where trans human rights have been violated. In 2019, Japan’s Supreme Court upheld a policy that calls for surgery to officially recognize a person’s gender. There was a similar policy in Sweden until 2012. And in 2017, the government announced that the government would offer compensation to those who underwent forced sterilization.