European countries are violating the human rights of people trying to change their legal gender, forcing these individuals to undergo, among other things, invasive surgery and sterilization in order to change their legal status, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] alleged in a report [text, PDF] released Tuesday. Entitled "The State Decides Who I Am," AI details the case law and current practices across the European continent from France to Finland, illustrating state discrimination and medical requirements mandated by several countries. According to AI, there are an estimated 1.5 million people in the EU who do not fully identify with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Transgender rights remain a controversial issue throughout the world. Last week the Maine Supreme Court ruled that a school violated [JURIST report] Maine's Human Rights Act when it refused to allow a transgender fifth-grader to use the girls' bathroom. In August California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law [JURIST report] intended to protect transgender public school students throughout the state. In May a number of human rights groups urged Cameroon to drop charges [JURIST report] against two transgender youths who were arrested for engaging in homosexual conduct. Earlier that month, Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal ruled [JURIST report] that a law prohibiting a transgender woman from marrying her boyfriend was invalid under the Chinese constitution. In March Canadian lawmakers approved a bill [JURIST report] that would outlaw discrimination against transgender individuals.