31st July 2023
The international organization TGEU has updated its annual Transgender Rights Index and Map. Lithuania scored 4 points out of 30 this year. Only three European Union countries were rated lower than Lithuania: Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria. This year Lithuania was rated one point higher than in 2022.
The index measures the legal status of transgender persons in recognition of a person’s gender identity and existing protection measures against discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, measures for asylum-seeking transgender people, the situation in the health and family areas. Lithuania ensures only 4 out of 30 indicators: there is an administrative path for changing personal names and a judicial path for changing the gender mark in documents, there is no mandatory surgical intervention before changing documents; mandatory sterilization is not required of persons wishing to change their gender in documents.
The index measures the legal situation of transgender people in terms of recognition of a person’s gender identity and the existing safeguards against discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, measures for transgender asylum seekers, and the situation in the areas of health and family. Lithuania fulfils only 4 out of the 30 indicators: there is an administrative path for changing personal names and a judicial path for changing the gender marker in documents, no compulsory surgical intervention is required prior to changing documents, and no compulsory sterilisation is required for persons wishing to change the gender marker in documents.
The real everyday situation is even more complicated. Transgender people in Lithuania face many complex challenges in various areas of life, including discrimination, negative attitudes, lack of social acceptance and recognition in society. In response, the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson in Lithuania is starting a project ‘Centering the Voices of Transgender People’. This is a bilateral initiative implemented in cooperation with the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud in Norway.
The project’s activities will aim to understand the social and legal context of the situation by conducting research on the situation of transgender persons, legal and media analyses, as well as carrying out awareness-raising activities aimed at the general public. By carrying out communication and awareness-raising activities, this initiative will also aim to tackle the roots of low social acceptance and to increase knowledge and understanding of transgender issues among the general public. The collected material will work as a strategic document pointing out to gaps and obstacles in law and services and will provide circumstantial recommendations for institutions, policymakers and service providers based on lived experiences of transgender people.
The project is co-funded by EEA and Norway Grants.