Saturday, January 11, 2014

Discussion Paper on Transgender Health & Human Rights


UNDP’s HIV, Health & Development Group is pleased to launch a Discussion Paper on Transgender Health & Human Rights (available at prepared by Jack Byrne, an expert on trans health and human rights issues. UNDP is grateful to the large number of trans people and other advocates for trans people’s health and human rights who contributed to this paper at various stages.

The aim of this paper is primarily to inform UNDP’s work and that of other UN agencies and foster greater understanding on the health and human rights issues that impact trans people and consequently influence their social marginalization. The broad themes traversed by this paper include violence, discrimination, health, legal gender recognition and social inclusion from multiple geographic and social contexts. The paper draws on the experiences of trans people around the world. Through Action Points contained in each section, the paper suggests practical ways that UN staff can employ to be more inclusive of trans people, both in daily interactions and in their broader work, particularly in the areas of HIV, health, the rule of law and development. It is hoped that this paper will also be useful for others in their work and advocacy, including trans advocates, human rights defenders and policymakers.

UNDP’s work covers a range of issues that influence trans people’s lives. Its main engagement on trans issues has been through the lens of HIV and human rights. However, other aspects of development that UNDP engages with, such as poverty reduction, governance, citizenship and access to justice, are also highly pertinent to the profound and systemic marginalization that trans people experience. This is in line with the UNDP Strategic Plan: 2014–17 emphasis on poverty eradication and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion as the primary vision of sustainable development, informed by outcomes of inclusive growth, stronger democratic governance, and universal access to basic services. Indeed, these are themes that have found voice in discussions of the post-2015 development agenda. This paper seeks to engage readers by reflecting the various aspects of health, human rights and development that come into play when examining trans issues.

Currently the Discussion Paper is available in English; we hope to have translations in other languages shortly.

Please disseminate this publication widely through your networks. For sharing on social media, please feel free to make use of the suggested sample Tweets below, or adapt as you see fit:


1) Read @UNDP discussion paper on #transgender #health and #humanrights: #Transhealth&rights

Trans people and human rights:

2) All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights including #trans people: #Transhealth&rights

3) #Trans people are entitled to enjoy the full range of #humanrights as others: #Transhealth&rights

4) .@UNDP paper urges to learn and use positive and avoid derogatory terms for #trans people: #Transhealth&rights

Trans people and violence:

5) Almost 1 in 5 #trans people experienced domestic violence because of their gender identity: #Transhealth&rights

6) Between 2008 and Oct 2013 there were 1,374 reported killings of trans people in 60 countries: #Transhealth&rights

Trans people and HIV:

7) Trans people are disproportionately affected by HIV and are in urgent need of HIV services: #Transhealth&rights

8) Trans women frequently experience HIV prevalence rates in excess of 60 percent: #Transhealth&rights

9) Social and economic marginalization is likely to contributes to high HIV rates in trans women: #Transhealth&rights

Trans people and the broader development agenda:

10) .@UNDP paper urges inclusion of non-discrimination of trans people in the development agenda: #Transhealth&rights


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