The city of Boston has agreed to pay Brenda Wernikoff, a transgender woman, $20,000 in exchange for dropping a lawsuit against the officers who arrested Wernikoff on disorderly conduct at a homeless shelter.
A Guatemalan woman became the first transgender person to be granted asylum in Denmark because she face persecution in her native country, officials said. Officials in Denmark granted Fernanda Milan asylum in September after she initially was refused, The Copenhagen Post reported Monday. She was set to be deported after her initial denial, but LGBT Denmark appealed, providing documentation her life would be in danger if she returned to Guatemala.
In December, a Stockholm, Sweden administrative court of appeal ruled that the practice of sterilisations, which dated back to a 1972 law on sexual identity, was unconstitutional and in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. In its December 19 decision, the court said the law did not respect civil liberties as guaranteed by the Swedish Constitution, and was discriminatory since it targeted transgender people.
The ban on the practice entered into force in January after an appeal period ended, according to Judge Helen Lidoe.
The Swedish parliament adopted a law last fall banning the sterilisation of transgender people that was to take effect July 1, 2013, but the administrative court’s decision ends the practice now.
NOTE: This is a really awful decision for anyone who cares about people in detention due to immigration status. I am reporting it because of the gender identity aspect, but I disagree with the basis for the court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit. The court should have looked to standards of care for keeping male inmates free from sexual assaults. See, e.g., this Department of Justice Rule. The ACLU represented Guzman-Martinez. I haven’t looked at their briefs but I don’t think they briefed the issue of standards of care to prevent sexual assault in male prisons by men. This summary mostly copies the court’s decision.
The Corrections Corporation of America (“CCA”) owns and operates the Eloy Detention Center (“Center”) in Eloy, Arizona, under a contract with the City of Eloy (“City”), which has a contract with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to house ICE detainees. On February 17, 2006, ICE executed an agreement that the City had signed on February 13, 2006, for the detention and care of ICE detainees. The agreement required the City to house detainees in accordance with the most current editions of the ICE Detention Requirements, American Correctional Association Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities, and National Commission on Correctional Health Care standards. It provides that ICE inspectors will conduct periodic inspections of the facility to assure compliance with the identified standards. CCA executed another agreement that the City had signed on February 14, 2006 that provided that CCA would indemnify the City and its officers and employees from liability and any claims to the extent they arise as a result of CCA’s acts and omissions in the performance of the agreement.
Continue reading “Guzman-Martinez vs. Corrections Corporation of America et al. (Arizona, USA)”
Ten nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed a declaration of human rights that does not include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The nations of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, forming a collective population of 600 million people.
ASEAN Human Rights Declaration
Phnom Penh Statement
Sweden seeks to amend the United Nations’ Resolution on Extrajudicial Executions (EJEs) to include a reference to gender identity.
For the past 12 years, this resolution has urged States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation.” Apart from Human Rights Council resolution 17/19, it is the only UN resolution with an explicit reference to sexual orientation.
United Nations Background on Extrajudicial Executions.
The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that a Finnish law invalidating the marriage of a post-operative transsexual if she registered her new gender identity did not violate any rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. H., a male, married a woman. Subsequently, he decided to “become a woman,” underwent surgery and took legal steps to present himself as a woman. He also wished to change his identity number in the Finnish population register that officially records an individual’s sex. The applicant found that he was unable to do this because of provisions in the Act on Confirmation of the Gender of a Transsexual. That Act provides that a person’s sex can be changed in the population register only if he or she “is not married or in a civil partnership” or, under Section 2, if the person to who they are partnered or married provides their consent. Under Finnish law, only opposite-sex couples can wed; same-sex couples have civil partnerships. Because’s H.’s wife refused to consent, he unsuccessfully sued in Finnish courts. He then sued under the convention. Specifically, he claimed, among other claims, that Article 3 of the convention — which provides that “[n]o one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” — was violated by the Finnish law, because the complications of changing his sex constituted torture. The court rejected this claim.
Legal Analysis of H. v. Finland.
H. v. Finland.
The U.N. Refugee Agency (“UNHCR”) issued new Guidelines on International Protection for people seeking refugee status due to persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
The Guidelines define “gender identity” as “each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.” The Guidelines state that “gender identity and its expression … take many forms, with some individuals identifying neither as male nor female, or as both. Whether one’s sexual orientation is determined by, inter alia, genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and/or cultural influences (or a combination thereof), most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
Guidelines on International Protection No. 9: Claims to Refugee Status based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 23 October 2012, HCR/GIP/12/01: Claims to Refugee Status based on Sexual Orientation andor Gender Identity