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TGEU Launches New Report on Violence Against Trans People in CEECA

The report ‘Under the radar: Documenting violence against trans people’ summarises the key results of the ProTrans project between 2015-2020. In this period, project partners from five countries (Hungary, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, and Turkey) collected incidents of violence from their contexts.

Since 2014, TGEU has been working with community-based LGBT and trans organisations from Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) on monitoring violence and human rights violations against trans people in this region. The project has also had an advocacy component, and data on anti-trans violence collected through the monitoring has been used to target stakeholders in order to better the human rights situation of trans people. Project partners have also offered community-based support services for survivors of violence and increased knowledge about possibilities for redress among the trans community.

With the present publication, we aim to reassess legal and policy developments – both pro-trans and anti-trans – in the region and beyond since our last published report in 2015. Additionally, we present the results of the monitoring component of the ProTrans project, drawing attention to trends of trans victimisation monitored by trans groups in the region. 

Key findings

The data paints a grim picture of state-sponsored and non-state violence against trans individuals, with the following key trends:

  • Private individuals make up the majority of assailants in the cases collected. These can be passer-bys, owners of venues, clients of sex workers or people posing as clients, amongst other categories. An overwhelming part of documented incidents occur at public places, which signals the lack of safety for trans people and their need to hide;
  • Violence committed by family members is common in all countries of the ProTrans partnership, especially with young trans people facing humiliation, harassment, and being kicked out of their family early on in their lives;
  • Police and other law enforcement commit a significant amount of violence against trans people, especially in countries with a visible sex working trans population, such as Serbia and Turkey. This phenomenon leads to the lack of trust in police and low reporting of incidents. Partners reveal that trans people turn to the police when suffering a crime only as a last resort;
  • In Kyrgyzstan (and other Central Asian countries), mainstream media also plays an important role in fuelling negative attitudes towards trans communities. They often accompany police actions and film trans people being approached by a frequently abusive police.