Japan must end the forced sterilisation of trans people, human rights expert says

Louis Staples
Sunday 19 January 2020 13:15
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Image:(GETTY)

A world-renowned human-rights lawyer has publicly urged Japan to end its forced sterilisation of transgender people.

Michael Kirby is the co-chair of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute and a former justice of the Australian High Court. He said that, in the year 2020, there is “no excuse” for Japan’s anti-trans gender recognition laws. The remarks were originally published in Japanese newspaper IRONNA and reported by Pink News.

He wrote:

The purpose of law is to protect people and organise society according to principles of justice. There is nothing protective or just about Japan’s Gender Identity Disorder Special Cases Act.

It needs to be revised urgently as there is no excuse for continuing a regime of forcing sterilisation on people.

He described seeing shocking images of this “correctional surgery” at a recent UN consultation in Hong Kong.

Kirby wrote that imposing this surgery is “totally disproportionate”, particularly when “all they generally want is a new passport or identity document”.

Japan’s gender recognition law in was initiated in 2004. At this time, countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Australia also required trans people to be sterilised before they were legally recognised.

But times have changed.

Japan is regularly ranked in the top 10 Asian countries to be gay, but being trans is seemingly a different story. Kirby concluded that Japan needs to “join its peers” and “put force sterilization of transgender people in the past”.

H/T: Pink News

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