Deputies have forwarded a citizens’ initiative to the Parliamentary Social Affairs and Health Committee, which calls for a reform of Finnish transgender legislation after Thursday afternoon’s plenary debate.
Initiative, title "The right to be" received the required 50,000 signatures to enter parliament earlier this year.
Under current Finnish law, transgender people must prove that they have been sterilized before they can obtain legal gender recognition.
The Finnish government has come under increasing pressure to reform the law, especially from human rights organizations and the EU, which have stated that it violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
Competing reform proposals
The Bureau, set up as part of the current administration’s equality program, has already begun work on amending existing transgender legislation.
According to sources in Yle’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the government will submit its own proposal to Parliament sometime next spring.
Although the overlapping timelines of the citizens’ initiative and the government’s legal reform process have raised questions, there are key differences between the two.
The content of the government’s recent bill has not yet been made public, but preliminary reports say the changes would only affect adults, who are over 18 years old.
"We know that the bill excludes people under the age of 18 and a key reason for starting one "The right to be" the initiative was to address this issue," Kasper Kivistö, Trasek, chairman of the board of the Association for the Promotion of Transgender and Intersex Rights, said.
The aim of the initiative is to enable the legal recognition of gender on the basis of self-determination, allowing both adults and minors to determine their own gender.
According to Kivistö, a member of the Board’s Law Reform Committee, the ongoing regulatory process lacks transparency and clarity.
For the time being, however, it is unclear which proposal will be adopted. In 2017, the Finnish Trade Amendment Act did not receive sufficient support from the MPS for consideration by the Parliamentary Committee.
Source: The Nordic Page