Transgender Europe: Press Release: November the 19th of 2010

Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project reveals almost 180 killings of trans people in the last 12 months.

In total, since January 2008 the murders of 487transpeople have been reported.

The 12th International Transgender Day of Remembrance is being held this November in more than 180 cities worldwide: Since 1999,the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), on which those trans people who have been victims of homicide are remembered, 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.

Started in the USA, the TDOR is now held in many parts of the world. This year, the TDOR takes place on November 20th in more than 180 cities in 19countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. In Ankara, Turkey, there will be an international Transgender Remembrance Conference lasting one week.

Sadly, this year there are almost 180 trans persons to be added to the list to be remembered, mourned and honoured as an update of the preliminary results of Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project reveals.

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 form of tables, name lists, and maps:

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 2010 update has revealed a total of 179cases of reported killings of trans people from November 20th 2009 to November 19th 2010. The update shows reports of murdered or killed trans people in 19 countries in the last year, with the majority from Brazil (91), Guatemala (15), Mexico (14), and the USA (14).

Cases have been reported from all six major World regions: Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania. As in the previous years, most reported cases were from Central and South America, which account for 80 % of the globally reported homicides of trans people since January 2008. In 2008, 97 killings were reported in 13 Central and South American countries, in 2009, 136 killings in15 Central and South American Countries, and in 2010 so far 122killings in 12 Central and South American Countries. The starkest increase in reports is also to be found in Central and South America, e.g. in Brazil (2008: 59, 2009: 68, January-November 2010: 74), Guatemala (2008: 1, 2009: 13, January-November 2010: 14) and Mexico (2008: 4, 2009: 11, January-November 2010: 12). The data also show an alarming increase in reported murders in Turkey in the previous years (2008: 2, 2009: 5, January to November 2010: 6).

In total, the preliminary results show 487reports of murdered trans people in 39 countries since January 2008.

The new result update reveals that in the last 35 months, 45 homicides of trans people were reported in the USA (2008: 17, 2009: 15, January-November 2010: 13), 36 in Europe (2008: 11, 2009: 17, January-November 2010: 8), 25in Asia (2008: 9, 2009: 9, January-November 2010: 7) and 3 in Oceania (2008: 2, 2009: 1) as well as 2 in Africa (2008: 1, 2009: 1).

The TDOR update of the preliminary results also reveals that since January 2008 36 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: 2). In Asia, since January 2008 25killings of trans people have been reported in 8 countries (India: 5, Indonesia: 2, 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).

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

These are only 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 persons 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 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.