Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
DENMARK – Update
This is follow on from recent posting about the possibility of Denmark setting a European precedent and becoming the first country within the European Union to issue ‘X’ non gender-specific passports.
Denmark was due to undergo Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is a rotational review of the human rights record of all UN Member States and each Member State is reviewed every four years under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council.
Stakeholder representations can be made from the country undergoing review and it was in this context The Danish National Organisation for Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender Persons and The Danish National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals entered joint submission. The LGBT Denmark and Trans-Danmark recommendations included that Danish trans citizens have the freedom to obtain an ‘X’ passport.
The UPR Working Group (comprised of Human Rights Council Member States) conducts the review and any UN Member State can become involved in discussion for the country under review.
Ultimately it is other Member States that decide which recommendations to forward to the review process and the stakeholder recommendation for non gender-specific passports in Denmark did not become part of the process. The decision was most probably done on the basis that Member States could not comfortably make a recommendation to another state to implement something that is not domestic policy within their own country. It is unfortunate although hardly surprising.
The formal adoption of the Working Group report will take place during the Human Rights Council September 2011 session and at that point the stakeholders will get an opportunity to express disappointment that recommendations were not adequately addressed in the review process. I understand there will also be increased pressure on the Council from human rights campaigners that these issues must be addressed.
The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered.