Trans women in Latin America have a life expectancy of only 35 years, the Organization of American States (OAS) has revealed.
Research into the Violence Registry reveals 80% of trans women murdered in Latin America are 35 years or younger.
The researchers say trans women’s short life expectancy is not just due to violence directed at them.
Discrimination and social exclusion, often starting at a young age by bring driven from their homes, isolates trans people. As a result they are poor, can’t always access housing and often have to work in the sex industry.
The OAS also says trans women are at greater risk of police abuse, criminalization and being put in prison. The social exclusion and poverty they face make it harder for the women to get proper healthcare.
Trans men also suffer, the report says.
They are often subject to violence, although more from their families and people they know rather than mob attack.
Trans men also find it harder to access education and healthcare.
The OAS and its Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) call for member states to act now to help trans people.
They want countries to fight poverty and actively include trans people in the education system.
They say murder investigations should be carried out with ‘due diligence’ and take into consideration victims’ gender identification. Trans murders are often mishandled by police, studies show.
Making sex work legal will reduce stigma and make it safer for trans people, the OAS says.
As most of the member states’ systems don’t collect victim’s gender identity, or even confuse it with sexual orientations, the OAS classifies its research as non-representative.
The OAS and IACHR originally published its report for Trans Day of Remembrance.