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Legal Reforms to Protect the Human Rights of Trans, Intersex and Gender Variant People 61CSW

Intervention by the Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Amb. Martín García Moritán

March 13

Excellences, distinguished guests, good afternoon and thank you very much for being here.

Let me begin by thanking the Permanent Mission of Malta to the United Nations for putting together this interest panel in a topic so new and so important for the main theme of this year CSW agree conclusions.

For Argentina, as co-chair of the LGBT Core Group in New York, it is an honor to be able to cosponsors this event and to present our perspective and experience in relation with the legal protection of trans people.

When in 2012, Argentina was the first country to adopt a specific legislation on gender identity, breaking away form a medical perspective and focusing in the self-identification, the whole world spoke about it.

Today, many other countries are moving in the same direction and going even further in the recognition and promotion of rights of Trans people. There is even a pending advisory opinion requested by Costa Rica to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights which will clarify the level of protection that States have to give to trans people according to our regional human right law.

The enactment of the Gender Identity Act has been a fundamental step for the visibility, identity and integration of trans people in our communities, due to its acknowledgment of the right of all trans people to recognize their self-perceived gender identity and to receive a dignified treatment.

The law was ground-breaking as it recognized the right of trans people to be identify in all public documents, including birth certificates and the national I.D. accordingly to their gender identity, without any pre-condition of surgical intervention, hormonal therapies or other psychological or medical treatment.

As a main consequence the law managed to bring a new perspective on the recognition of the rights of trans people out of the medical pathological view, avoiding long judicial procedures and fighting indirectly stigmatization.

I would also like to mention briefly other important laws that were enacted recently in Argentina helping to improve the legal protection of trans people.

The Assisted Reproduction Act of 2013 includes provisions granting comprehensive access to medically assisted reproductive procedures and techniques to all persons of legal age, without any limitation or discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or civil status.

The Mental Health Act also specifically states that in under no circumstance a diagnosis in the field of mental health can be made solely on the basis of the sexual choice or identity.

The new Civil and Commercial Code, adopted in 2015, acknowledges the right to gender identity, considering it a "just reason" to change in any public document the name and registered sex without the need to resort to judicial authorization.

Besides, on the chapter related to filiation, it includes the concept of "pro-creational will", granting equal rights of all children regardless of the sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status of the parents.

To conclude, I wanted to mention new legislation being enacted by some local government in Argentina seeking to grant that a percentage of all new jobs in the public sector for trans people. 

Those percentages go from one to five percent, depending on the jurisdiction and tend to solve an urgent problem of access to work of trans people and equal opportunities in a society where until recently they were mostly rejected from the formal economy.

The challenges ahead of us for the full legal recognition of the rights of trans, intersex and gender variant people are several and require a lot of creative legal work and strong leadership.

We hope to keep on exchanging views and best practices in this and other international fora in order to be able to keep on moving in the right direction.

Thank you.

Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular