Sweden ends forced sterilisation of sex change patients

Sweden will no longer require sex change patients to be sterilised after a law banning the practice entered into force on Thursday.

The Stockholm administrative court of appeal recently ruled that the practice of forced sterilisations, which dated back to a 1972 law on , 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 as guaranteed by the constitution, and was discriminatory since it solely targetted transgender people.

The ban on the practice entered into force on Thursday after an appeal period ended, judge Helen Lidoe told AFP.

The head of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), Ulrika Westerlund, hailed the change, noting that many of those who were sterilised under the old law now hope to be compensated by the state.

"If take the initiative to adopt a law outlining damages, we will not file a lawsuit," she said.

She said 200,000 kronor (23,500 euros, $31,000) per person would be a "fair sum."

In 1999, the Swedish parliament adopted a law granting damages of 175,000 kronor to victims of forced sterilisations under a eugenics programme that existed from 1935 until 1996.

Between 80 and 90 patients who underwent forced sterilisations have turned to RFSL in a bid to possibly seek damages from the state.

The administrative court's ruling came after an unidentified plaintiff who wanted to undergo a sex change but refused to be sterilised took his case to the Swedish board of health which then took it to the court on his behalf.

The Swedish parliament had actually adopted a last autumn banning the forced sterilisation of transgender people which was to enter into force on July 1, but the administrative court's decision entered into force first.

Between 1972 and 2011, 865 people officially requested a sex change, according to statistics. Some 500 went through with the operation.

Related Stories

Taiwan city to appeal in Google app refund case

date Jan 04, 2013

The Taipei city government said Friday it will appeal a court ruling which revoked a fine it imposed on the US Internet giant Google in a dispute over its mobile phone apps.

Recommended for you

India's bidi workers suffer for 1,000-a-day habit

date 18 hours ago

Zainab Begum Alvi and her band of young helpers hunch over baskets filled with tobacco flakes and dried leaves, trying to roll a thousand dirt-cheap cigarettes a day at the behest of India's powerful bidi barons.

Key to better sex ed: Focus on gender & power

date Apr 17, 2015

A new analysis by Population Council researcher Nicole Haberland provides powerful evidence that sexuality and HIV education programs addressing gender and power in intimate relationships are far more likely ...

Journal tackles aging policy issues raised by White House

date Apr 17, 2015

In anticipation of the forthcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA), The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has produced a special issue of The Gerontologist that outlines a vision for older adults' econom ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.