Uruguay’s government is planning to introduce changes to its laws around trans people. One of the changes includes paying a pension to those treated unfairly in the past.
The small South American country has about 873 people who identify as trans. The 2016 Census showed that of those 873 people 75% of them didn’t finish high school. A shocking 25% were ostracized by their families.
Now the general assembly is considering a range of draft Bills aimed at improving the outcomes for trans people in Uruguay.
Some of the proposed new laws include; the setup of scholarships for trans people and encourage affirmative action. The draft Bills also call for trans people to be able update their name and gender on official papers without a judge’s approval.
In a statement explaining the reasons for changing the laws, the government revealed it would set up a pension fund pay trans people born before 1975 as compensation for mistreatment they received at the hands of previous governments.
‘Trans people have historically been the victims of stigma, discrimination and violence – both social and state (violence), which has made it difficult to exercise their civil, political, economic and social rights,’ the statement read.
The statement urged lawmakers to seriously consider the ‘essential’ changes to make amends to trans people who had been treated badly for decades.
‘Trans people don’t reach old age,’ Tania Ramirez, Ministry of Social Development worker told Market Place.
‘They are a vulnerable community and the police and the state detained and tortured trans people during the dictatorship of the 1970s and 80s and these tactics continued into the democratic era.’
Uruguay is recognized as a friendly place for LGBTI people and ranks 5th in the world on ‘Gay Happiness Index’.
Uruguay decrminalized homosexuality in 1934 and had equal age of consent laws since then. It introduced anti-discrimination laws in 2003. In 2009 same-sex civil unions were legalized in 2008 with same-sex marriages to follow in 2013.