Transgender Europe: Press Release: March 19th 2011

Again alarming figures: Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project reveals more than 500 reported murders of trans people in the last 3 years.

The Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project started in April 2009 and systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans people worldwide. Updates of the preliminary results, which have been presented in July 2009 for the first time, are published on the website of the “Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide” project two to three times a year in the form of tables, name lists, and maps:

The March 2011 update has revealed a total of 539 cases of reported killings of trans people from January 1st 2008 to December 31st 2010. A high number of killings since the last TMM update and additional cases discovered for the period of the last three years confirms earlier reports on the continuously elevated level of deadly violence against trans people on a global scale.

Cases have been reported from all six major World Regions (Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania), evoking an evermore gruesome picture, especially given the very partial knowledge we are able to gain in many places. Most reported cases were from Central and South America, which amount to 424 cases and account for 80 % of the globally reported homicides of trans people since January 2008. In 2008, 95 killings were reported in 13 Central and South American countries, in 2009, 161 killings in 16 Central and South American countries, and in 2010 168 killings in 13 Central and South American countries. Killings of trans people have been reported from Argentina (8), Brazil (227), Chile (2), Colombia (26), Costa Rica (3), Cuba (1), the Dominican Republic (7), Ecuador (10), El Salvador (6), Guatemala (28), Honduras (27), Jamaica (1), Mexico (27), Nicaragua (2), Paraguay (3), Peru (7), Puerto Rico (7) Uruguay (1), and Venezuela (31). The starkest increase in reports is also to be found in Central and South America, e.g. in Brazil (2008: 57, 2009: 69, 2010: 101), Guatemala (2008: 1, 2009: 13, 2010: 14) and Mexico (2008: 4, 2009: 11, 2010: 12). The data also show an alarming increase in reported murders in Turkey in the previous years (2008: 2, 2009: 5, 2010: 6).

In total, the preliminary results show 539 reports of murdered trans people in 42 countries since January 2008.

The new result update furthermore reveals that in the last 3 years, 38 homicides of trans people were reported in the USA (2008: 17, 2009: 13, 2010: 8), 37 in Europe (2008: 11, 2009: 17, 2010: 9), 35 in Asia (2008: 10, 2009: 13, 2010: 12) and 3 in Oceania (2008: 2, 2009: 1) as well as 2 in Africa (2008: 1, 2009: 1).

The update also reveals that since January 2008 37 killings of trans people have been reported in 8 European countries (Albania: 1, Germany: 2, Italy: 13, Portugal: 1, Spain: 3, Serbia: 1, Turkey: 13, and UK: 3). In Asia, since January 2008 35 killings of trans people have been reported in 10 countries (Azerbaijan: 2, China: 6, India: 6, Indonesia: 3, Iraq: 3, Malaysia: 5, Pakistan: 6, Philippines: 1, Singapore: 1, and Thailand: 2). In Oceania, 3 killings have been reported since 2008 (Australia: 1, New Caledonia: 1, and New Zealand: 1) and in Africa 2 (South Africa: 1, and Algeria: 1).

Attached to this press release you can find a map, which demonstrates the absolute figures of reports found worldwide since January 2008.

Yet, we know, even these high numbers are only a fraction of the real figures; the truth is much worse.

These are mainly the reported cases, which could be found through Internet research. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases.Another finding of these updates is that while Brazil has received special attention due to the elevated number of killings, the number of killings in other South and Central American countries like Venezuela, Honduras and in particular Guatemala is equally or even more worrying in view of the much smaller population sizes of these countries.

While the documentation of homicides against trans people is indispensable for demonstrating the shocking extent of human rights violations committed against trans people on a global scale, there is also a need for in-depth research of various other aspects related to the human rights situation of trans people. Therefore, Transgender Europe developed the Trans Murder Monitoring project into the ‘Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’ (TvT) research project. TvT is a comparative, ongoing qualitative-quantitative research project, which provides an overview of the human rights situation of trans people in different parts of the world and develops useful data and advocacy tools for international institutions, human rights organizations, the trans movement and the general public. A research team from Transgender Europe is coordinating the project, which is funded by the Open Society Foundations, the ARCUS Foundation, and partly by the Heinrich Boell Foundation.The TvT research team is assisted by an Advisory Board, composed of international LGBT, trans and human rights activists and academics from Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania. It furthermore cooperates with more than a dozen partner organizations in these six world regions. In September 2010, the TvT project research team has started a survey in cooperation with its partner organizations. The first results of this survey will be presented soon on international conferences and on the TvT website (