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Sweden will compensate trans people who were forced to be sterilized

Written by gaytourism

LGBTI advocates celebrate the parliament’s decision to compensate trans people who were forced to be sterilized. | Photo: Facebook/RFSL

Sweden’s government will pay compensation to trans people forced to undergo sterilization in order to officially ‘change’ their genders.

Sweden is the first country in the world to compensate trans people for such a measure.

Roughly 700 Swedes sterilized between 1972 and 2013 will receive about US$27,000 in compensation.

In the 1970s, Sweden became one of the first countries to allow trans people to ‘change’ their genders. But people were only allowed to transition on the condition of sterilization.

It changed the law removing that requirement in 2012, which came into effect the following year.

Sweden’s most prominent LGBTI advocacy group, RFSL, welcomed the decision.

‘It has been a long struggle and I am happy that RFSL has played a great role in this historic victory. We have strived for this since 2013 when the requirement of sterilization to change one’s legal gender was abolished,’ said RFSL’s trans and intersex spokesperson, Emelie Mire Åsell.

‘Money can’t undo the harm of unwillingly losing your reproductive abilities, but the monetary compensation is an important step for the state to make amends to all those subjected to this treatment.’

The European Court of Human Rights found that sterilization requirement in legal gender recognition violates human rights.

Now, an apology

Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag, made the compensation announcement last week.

‘People who applied to change their gender identity during the period when it was required that they should not have the ability to reproduce are to receive compensation from the state under certain conditions,’ the Riksdag said in a media release.

Magnus Kolsjö, RFSL’s acting president said the government should also apologize to the people forced to undergo sterilization.

‘Through this whole process RFSL has demanded that the state should, in addition to the monetary compensation, apologize to the whole trans community,’ he said.

‘Now we hope that the Swedish government will decide to organize a ceremony where a proper apology can be given. Then we can put this truly dark part of Swedish history behind us.’

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