Every four years each United Nations (UN) state or country is examined in terms of their performance on their human rights commitments and this year it is the turn of the United Kingdom. When it comes to young transgender people's rights there are many challenges, such as inadequate NHS care and lack of support from public bodies (to name a few), which The Young Transgender Centre of Excellence (YTCE) believe are an infringement on a transgender person's human rights. The young people of the YTCE have seized the opportunity to write a submission to the UN's Universal Periodic Review of the UK where they have explored the issues they face and also how they think they could be resolved.
Lisa Vine, YTCE Project Lead said:
'Submitting a report to the UN has enabled our young people to express their concerns as well as educating them about their human rights. Giving their voices a chance to be heard on an international platform not only empowers them, but also helps build their confidence and really makes them feel that they are making a difference not only for their own futures but for the future generations of transgender people here in the UK'.
The Submission from the YTCE has already been sent to the UN. The opening paragraph reads:
'Human rights for young transgender people in the UK (and to an extent, transgender adults) are in many ways lagging behind that of other minority groups. Transgender people represent an estimated 2% of the UK population, making them one of the smaller minority groups in the UK. Historically, the trans community has not had great access to the platforms needed to effectively express their views and describe their struggles (be that via mainstream media channels, government policy, etc.), and so they have often been ignored. However, there is an increasing visibility of trans people, and a growing understanding of the discrimination they experience as a result of their gender identity. Although there is a lack of trans-specific human rights law, and indeed a lack of trans-specific recommendations for the UK, we feel that many of the issues faced by young transgender people are covered by some of the more general articles'.
The YTCE is a project of the Leicester LGBT Centre supporting young transgender people aged 0-18 years old, their families and carers and stakeholders who may work with them in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and is the first of its kind in the region. If you think the project can support you or someone that you know you can find more and get in touch here.