Reply and Recommendation of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association to the list of issues on ICESCR
Article 12, ICESCR
(No. 15, List of Issues ROC State Report on ICESCR)
Comment and Recommendation(Chinese):
Comment and Recommendation(English):
1. To respond question No. 15 in List of Issues ROC State Report of ICESCR that Art. 12 (ICESCR) is right to health for transgender and intersex people in this communication. According to Art. 12, State shall take all measures to fulfill right to health for everyone including transgender and intersex people.
2. Transgender is still considered as a mental illness in Taiwan. Transgender people are treated as patients but not full human beings against their own willing. Transgender people cannot choose and change their own gender shown on ID Card, nor accessing medical services they need without going medial diagnosed and through whole medical process. In other words, individual’s gender identity is not recognized as a basic aspect of self-determination right under pathologization. Sex reassignment surgery is still required in order to change legal sex on documents. The existing regulations shall be changed to ensure freedom of self-defined gender for transgender.
3. Original name, original ID number (in Taiwan system, male starts from 1 and female starts from 2.), original biological sex and sex reassignment surgery will be noted in household certificate transcript. Police and financial institutions can easily access related information which violating transgender’s privacy. For instance, transgender are facing difficulties under police spot checking for this reason.
4. To establish full self recognition and ensure right to health of transgender and intersex people, recommendations made by Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association as below:
(1) Fully Respect: State shall take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to fully respect and legally recognize each person’s self-defined gender identity. (Art. 3 (B), Yogykarta Principles)
(2) Lift transgender from mental illness disease list. The American Psychological Association (APA) has removed it from DNS in 2012.
(3) Freedom of choosing self-defined gender identity on identity documents: Cancel the sex column on identify documents or give fully freedom for transgender and intersex people to choose and change their preferential gender which will be shown on identity documents without sex reassignment surgery. (“State shall take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that procedures exist whereby all State-issued identity papers which indicate a person’s gender/sex —including birth certificates, passports, electoral records and other documents — reflect the person’s profound self-defined gender identity.” See Art. 3 (C), Yogyakarta Principles)
(4) Medical privacy and general privacy:
(a) Medical institutions and government shall protect related information of people who had sex reassignment surgery.
(b) Household registration authorities shall hide data related to sex changed, including original biological sex and original ID number.
(5) Social welfare and public health insurance system shall expand coverage for the needs of transgender and intersex people.