Comprehensive guide to managing trans diversity

Transgender Europe (TGEU) has launched a new edition of their Best Practice Catalogue. It gives practical examples on how to implement trans human rights demands in practice.

The aim of the catalogue is to inspire stakeholders to seek similar or new ways to ensure a high standard of trans human rights. The inspirational examples, coming mainly from Europe, cover a number of areas. The comprehensive document includes information on

  • International Legal protection and Non-Discrimination
  • Safety and Security
  • Legal Gender Recognition based on self-determination
  • Equal Access to Employment, Education, and Goods and Services
  • Healthcare and Public Health Insurance Coverage
  • Empowerment for Trans Self-Organising & Representation
  • Awareness Raising & Campaigning
  • Training for Professionals
  • Collecting Data on the Situation of Trans People

A recently emerged topic

The Best Practice Catalogue is an updated civil society follow-up to the pioneering work of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg. His 2009 Paper ‘Human Rights and Gender Identity’ explored the human rights situation of trans people in depth and, in doing so, showing that they remain one of the most vulnerable and discriminated-against communities due to inadequate legislation and social marginalisation. With a set of twelve recommendations, the Commissioner had called upon the Council of Europe Member States to respect the human rights of trans people and put in place concrete measures for their social inclusion and emancipation.

A comprehensive overview

In 2011, ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe produced the first Best Practice Catalogue as a response to frequent questions from policy makers and LGBTI organisations that sought advice on the implementation of Hammarberg’s recommendations. The first publication was updated in 2016 in order to continue to provide a comprehensive set of existing best practices that illustrate how each of the twelve recommendations can be met in legislation, policy and practice.

The updated version, however, has moved away slightly from Hammarberg’s recommendations in order to allow for space for new areas that have emerged in the field since 2009 and 2011 respectively. The 2016 version was presented at the High Level Ministerial Conference on LGBTIQ Equality Mainstreaming Press Conference in Malta as part of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU. Malta features strongly in the best practice catalogue: the GIGESC (Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex Characteristic) Act is hailed as a best practice for legal gender recognition, and the Trans, Gender Variant & Intersex Inmates Policy is a chapter on safety and security. Malta’s LGBTIQ Action Plan, educational policy, and the LGBTI consultative council are also referenced.

Richard Köhler, Senior Policy Officer at TGEU comments, “Since the publication of the first best practice catalogue in 2011, trans rights across Europe have advanced in leaps and bounds. It is actually very fitting to launch this edition in Malta, whose progress in this area of human rights has become an inspiration for other countries to follow, and a beacon of hope for trans people across the continent.”

The download version of the catalogue is located here

To order hard copies of the Human Rights and Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue send an e-mail to indicating how many copies you would like to receive, and what address to send them to.