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Human Rights & Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue


Human Rights and Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue is an updated civil society follow-up to the pioneering work of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, and his 2009 Issue Paper entitled Human Rights and Gender Identity. In it, the Commissioner explored the human rights situation of trans people in depth, clearly showing that they remain one of the most vulnerable and discriminated-against communities due to inadequate legislation and social marginalisation. Through a set of twelve recommendations, the Commissioner called on Council of Europe Member States to respect the human rights of trans people and put in place concrete measures for the social inclusion and emancipation of trans people.

In 2011, ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe produced the first Best Practice Catalogue as a response to frequent questions from policy makers and LGBTI organisations, that often asked them to provide advice on the implementation of the recommendations. This publication is a 2016 updated version of the 2011 catalogue. Our ambition is, as it was in 2011, to publish the most complete set of best practices that are known to us, to illustrate how each of the twelve recommendations can be met in legislation, policy and practice. In this updated version, we have moved away slightly from Hammarberg’s recommendations, to allow space for new areas that have developed in the field since 2011. We hope that this publication will, like the previous one, inspire legislators, decision makers, equality bodies and human rights organisations to work towards a world free from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression, that affords trans people the dignity and respect that they deserve.


  • Chapter 1: International Legal protection and Non-Discrimination
  • Chapter 2: Safety and Security
  • Chapter 3: Quick, transparent, and accessible Legal Gender Recognition based on self-determination
  • Chapter 4: Equal Access to Employment, Education, and Goods and Services
  • Chapter 5: Making Healthcare and Public Health Insurance Coverage Accessible
  • Chapter 6: Empowerment for Trans Self-Organising & Representation
  • Chapter 7: Awareness Raising & Campaigning
  • Chapter 8: Training for Professionals
  • Chapter 9: Collecting Data on the Situation of Trans People

Order copies

To order physical copies of the Human Rights and Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue send us an e-mail on Please indicate how many copies you would like to receive, and what address to send them to.

Launch of the catalogue

The catalogue was launched during a press conference in Malta.