Transgender Macedonian wins case at European Court of Human Rights

In January this year, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) judged that flaws in Macedonia’s laws related to the recognition of gender change violate the rights of transgender persons.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Transgender Macedonian wins case at European Court of Human Rights - NewsMavens
European Court of Human Rights, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The ECHR judgment sends a clear message to the Macedonian authorities that they must introduce legal gender recognition, because laws protecting transgender people are still not in place.

“In Macedonia, there is still no law on the legal recognition of gender, and transgender people [are] still exposed to harassment and unpleasant situations on a daily basis, whenever they need to use a personal identification document in which the gender mark does not correspond with their gender expression,” the LGBTI Support Center stated.

The ruling should initiate the legal elimination of discrimination against transgender persons. This victory at the ECHR could be a turning point for the future of the transgender communities not only in FYR of Macedonia, but the whole region. 

Details from the story:

  • The applicant, who is a citizen of FYR of Macedonia, had gender reassignment surgeries outside of the country. Macedonian Ministry of Justice rejected his request to alter the gender in birth registries after the procedures. 
  • Legal gender recognition is not possible in FYR of Macedonia due to the absence of a legislative framework. 
  • The ECHR judgment, issued on January 17 2019, said deficiencies in Macedonia’s laws concerning modifying gender on official identification documents infringed on Macedonians right to privacy.
  • ILGA Europe (the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), ranked Macedonia the lowest in the Balkans in terms of laws protecting its LGBTI community in 2018, Prishtina Insight reported. 
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