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Health Minister Gabriel Wilkström has announced that Sweden’s government will introduce a bill that would award 225,000 kroner ($26,000 or 23,000 euros) to transgender people who have been sterilized in order to transition legally. Before 2013, trans people were forced into sterilization to change their legal gender. The previous laws specified that people who wanted the legal change had to be “lacking the ability to procreate.” That Swedish law was enforced between 1972 and 2013.
“The demand for sterilization that existed previously laid out a vision from which today’s society wishes to distance itself, and the government believes it was wrong to demand it,” Wikström said.
In 2013, nearly 150 Swedish transsexuals filed a claim for compensation totaling close to 5 million euros (about 34,000 euros per person), and demanded an official apology from the state.
According to public figures, 865 citizens asked for a legal gender change, and 500 went through the process.
The court has ruled this practice is wrong and violated European Human Rights.
RFSL, Sweden’s main LGBT organization, acknowledges that the bill is a great step. “It’s very welcomed that the government, as the first government in the world, pays compensation as an acknowledgement of the crimes against trans people committed by the state.”
But the sum being paid to trans individuals to compensate them for the practice of sterilization is not enough, according to RFSL. “The sum should be at a level that constitutes a real recognition of the excesses of the state,” said RFSL President Frida Sandegard.
(Featured image of Swedish trans actress Aleksa Lundberg via city.se)