The 17th International Transgender Day of Remembrance is being held on November 20th 2015: Since 1999 the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day to remember those trans people who have been victims of homicide, takes place every November. The TDOR raises public awareness of hate crimes against trans people, provides a space for public mourning and honours the lives of those trans people who might otherwise be forgotten. It began in the USA but the TDoR is now held in many parts of the world. In the past, events to commemorate the day were held in more than 180 cities in more than 20 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
Sadly, this year there are 271 trans persons to be added to the list to be remembered, mourned and honoured.
The Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project started in 2008 and systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans people worldwide. Updates of the 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 form of tables, name lists, and maps: http://transrespect.org/en/trans-murder-monitoring/tmm-resources/
Every year in November, Transgender Europe provides a special update of the TMM results for the International Transgender Day of Remembrance so as to assist activists worldwide in raising public awareness of hate crimes against trans people. The TDOR 2015 update has revealed a total of 271 cases of reported killings of trans people from October 1st 2014 to September 30th 2015: EN_TvT-TMM-Namelist-TDOR-2015 Oct 2014 – Sep 2015
The update shows reports of murdered trans people in 29 countries in the last 12 months, with the majority from Brazil (118), Mexico (34), the USA (27), and Colombia (15). In Asia most reported cases have been found in Pakistan (7) and India (6), and in Europe in Turkey (3) and Italy (2).
The TDOR 2015 update (download updated TvT-TMM-Tables_2008-2015_EN here) reveals a total of 1,933 reported killings of trans people in 64 countries worldwide from January 1st 2008 to September 30th 2015. It is important to note that these cases are those that could be found through Internet research and through cooperation with trans organizations and activists. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases.
Throughout all six world regions, the highest absolute numbers have been found in countries with strong trans movements and trans or LGBT organizations that do a professional monitoring: Brazil (770), Mexico (217), Colombia (98), Venezuela (90) and Honduras (79) in Central and South America, the USA (129) in North America, Turkey (39) and Italy (32) in Europe, and India (53), the Philippines (37) and Pakistan (34) in Asia.
While Brazil, Mexico, and the USA have the highest absolute numbers, the relative numbers show even more worrisome results for some countries with smaller population sizes. Honduras, for instance, has a rate of 9.56 reported trans killings per million inhabitants, for Guyana the rate is 5.00, while for Brazil the rate is 3.84, for Mexico the rate is 1.77, and for the USA the rate is 0.40. (See the relative numbers map here)
The close connection between the existence of strong trans movements and professional monitoring on the one hand, and highest absolute numbers of reports, on the other hand, point to a worrisome question: the question of unreported cases. Beside the need for mechanisms to protect trans people, this connection also shows the need for strong trans communities and organizations, which are capable of professional monitoring and reporting of violence against trans people. Furthermore this connection results in the fact, that the figures show only the tip of the iceberg of homicides of trans people on a worldwide scale.
More than 1,500 reported murders of trans people in Central and South America since 2008
The new result update moreover reveals that in the last 7 ½ years:
1,507 killings of trans people have been reported in Central and South America, which account for 78 % of the globally reported murders of trans people since January 2008. In this region, there has been the strongest increase in reports and with 23 countries Central and South America is the best documented region.
174 killings of trans people have been reported in Asia in 16 countries;
134 killings of trans people have been reported in North America;
104 killings of trans people have been reported in Europe in 15 countries;
9 killings of trans people have been reported in Africa in 4 countries;
5 killings of trans people have been reported in Oceania in 4 countries.
While the documentation of killings of 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’ research project (TvT). 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. In November 2012 Transgender Europe published the TvT research report “TRANSRESPECT VERSUS TRANSPHOBIA WORLDWIDE – A Comparative Review of the Human-rights Situation of Gender-variant/Trans People”, which discusses and contextualizes the key findings of the TvT project. You can download the research report here: http://www.transrespect-transphobia.org/uploads/downloads/Publications/TvT_research-report.pdf