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Legal Protection for Transgender and Intersex Persons against Discrimination

by Redaktie in History & Politics , 30 December 2019

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Since last month, intersex and transgender persons are explicitly protected by law against discrimination. A bill introduced by D66, PvdA and GroenLinks came into force.

Gay interest organisation COC Netherlands has long argued for the prohibition from discrimination and is happy with this result. It is the first commitment from COCs Rainbow Ballot Box Agreement that has been fully met. "This is a wonderful victory for transgender and intersex people," said COC in a response. “Finally, they will get the legal protection they deserve. Now they be certain that the law is on their side."

Now the Dutch Equal Treatment Act (AWGB) states that people should not be discriminated against on the basis of their gender characteristics, gender identity and gender expression. Except for transgender and intersex persons, the law is also important for non-binary, androgynous and gender queer people, for example.

This law protects people against discrimination at work, in education, housing, health care and (social) services, among other things. Transgender and intersex persons can submit complaints about discrimination to the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.

Until recently, there was no legislation in place in the Netherlands that explicitly protected intersex and transgender people against discrimination. The group, an estimated 200 thousand people, faces a lot of discrimination. Intersex persons experience participation problems in education, work and leisure. Of the transgender people in the Netherlands, 40 percent experienced discrimination at work, and 43 percent were confronted with violence in the last 12 months. People are rejected when looking for a job or even let go because of their identity.

Coc has been lobbying for seven years for a ban on discrimination against transgender and intersex people. In March 2017, eight parties in COCs Rainbow Ballot Box agreement promised to ensure this. Late 2017, D66, PvdA and GroenLinks submitted a private member's bill. It was adopted by the Lower House on 3 July 2018 and by the Senate on 12 March 2019. In both the Senate and Lower House only PVV and SGP voted against the ban.

COC now tries to get discrimination against transgender and intersex persons included in the Penal Code.



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