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Government Offers Compensation for Unwanted Surgeries

The Dutch government has apologized to transgender people for previously mandating surgeries, including sterilization, as a prerequisite for legal gender recognition. During a Cabinet meeting this week, government officials also announced plans to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

People whose identities do not fit into a rigid female/male gender binary have, in many countries, been on a years-long quest to obtain official documents that reflect their identities by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M…
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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

Dana Zzymm, an intersex and nonbinary US citizen, has been on a years-long quest to obtain a passport that reflects their identity by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M.” They sued to compel the US State…
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Move Raises Questions of When Gender Markers Are Necessary

The Dutch government will no longer include gender markers on national identification documents (IDs) in the next five years, a move that balances the potential harms – such as harassment, discrimination, and violence – that requiring people to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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Ruling Hailed as Major Victory by Intersex and Transgender Activists

A Dutch court has found that the exclusive option of ‘male’ or ‘female’ on official documents -  including birth certificates - is too restrictive and should be revised, a ruling being praised by intersex and transgender activists. …
Dutch court: A 'green light' is needed for a gender neutral option in official documents.
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Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

Two Men Injured in Latest Attack

A gay couple was walking home in a provincial town, holding hands. They encountered a group of youths who started shouting homophobic slurs, then beat up the two men. One man was hit with a bolt cutter in the face and lost four teeth. Both received blows…
A rainbow over a typical Dutch shopping street in Amsterdam.
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Michel Togué, a lawyer in the African country of Cameroon, has received death threats for defending lesbians and gays. This one, like the others, came anonymously  “We know that your wife is now shopping in the mall. We know your children are…
Boris Dittrich presents Alice Nkom and Michel Togue with prestigious Dutch Geuzenpenning Award, March 13, 2017.
News

As activists push for change in the notoriously homophobic region, Aruba takes a big step in the right direction.

A decade ago, I was confronted with a massive display of homophobia. At the time I was a member of the Dutch parliament visiting the island of Aruba, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. I was with members of parliament from the…
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The eyes of the world are on Australia as politicians consider whether to support marriage equality

Next week, a marriage equality bill is likely to be introduced in the Australian Parliament. It will no doubt produce the same kind of intense discussions and soul searching as in the 18 other countries that have passed these laws.   …
Peter Lemke, Frank Wittebrood, Ton Jansen, Louis Rogmans, Helene Faasen, Anne-Marie Thus, Dolf Pasker and Geert Kasteel cut the cake after their wedding ceremony in the town hall of Amsterdam on April 1, 2001.
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”The state should stay out of my underwear. Why should I let my healthy body be operated upon, only because the law requires me to do so?” This was one of the responses to Human Rights Watch when we researched human rights violations of transgender people…
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Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland Improving Gender Recognition Laws

(Berlin) – The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland have moved to improve the rights of transgender people. However, each country retains some requirements that undermine the right of transgender people to have their identity reflected in law. On July 1,…
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Surgery Requirement to Change Official Gender Repealed

(Amsterdam) – The law on transgender rights that the Dutch Senate approved on December 18, 2013, is an important step toward equality, Human Rights Watch said today. The new law will allow transgender people to change the gender marker in their official…
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In less than half a year, the city of Sochi will host the Olympic Winter Games 2014. The eyes of the world are increasingly focused on Russia and its deteriorating human rights situation. This gives those in position of influence with the Olympic movement…
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Repeal Requirement for Irreversible Surgery to Change Official Gender

(Amsterdam) – The Dutch Civil Code violates the human rights of transgender people, and the government should amend it without delay, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  The government should revise article 28 of the civil code, which…
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The massacre at Srebrenica was a tragedy, but the Dutch army's policy allowing gays in the military had nothing to do with it.

Gen. John Sheehan, the former NATO commander, told a Senate committee this month that part of the blame for one of the last half-century's most famous atrocities -- the massacre at Srebrenica during the Bosnian war -- rested on gays in the Dutch military…