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Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on the situation of transgender people in Hungary

13.05.2020 - Press release

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (13 May) following a draft bill by the Hungarian Government with implications for transgender people:

I am most concerned that the Hungarian Government is planning to replace the category “sex” with “sex assigned at birth” in the Hungarian register of births. This will make it impossible for transgender people to change their gender legally. The data contained in the register of births is used for official documents such as identity cards, driver’s licences and passports, thus exposing transgender people to potential discrimination. This is not in line with European human rights standards.

I therefore call on the Hungarian Parliament to ensure that the legal recognition of the sex of transgender people continues to be possible on the basis of self-determination and human dignity.

Background information:

Draft Omnibus Bill T/9934, “the act on the amendment of specific administrative laws and free donations of property”, stipulates in Article 33 that, following a person’s birth, their gender is entered into the national register of births, marriages and deaths without the possibility of changing this information at a later date. Identity documents would therefore contain the same, unalterable information. This draft bill was introduced to Parliament by Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén on 1 April 2020. Human rights organisations consider this provision to be a violation of the right of transgender and intersex people to privacy as well as to legal recognition of their gender on the basis of self-determination and human dignity.

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