Trans people in the Netherlands are celebrating a major victory today as the Senate voted to ban forced sterilization last night (17 December).
The new law lowers the age of consent to transition to 16, and simplifies the procedure to be register their gender in official documents.
Currently, a person’s legal gender can only be changed after forced sterilization and gender modification operations, followed by judicial permission.
Several thousand people are believed to be living with official documents that identify them as the gender they were assigned at birth.
This means they face problems on a daily basis while applying for a new job, showing identification and using health care.
But now, with the introduction of the new bill that was adopted by parliament last April, this should change.
Some senators were deeply opposed to the bill, arguing the sterilization requirement should be upheld in order to avoid problems with parental law.
The Transgender Network Netherlands described it as a ‘victory for transgender people’.
The law will come into force on 1 July 2014.