License to Be Yourself: Forced Sterilization

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The vast majority of trans people around the world cannot obtain legal recognition of—or official documents that match—their gender identity. Where laws do recognize trans people, they often require that trans people have undergone gender affirming surgeries or hormone treatment, which result in sterilization. 

This forces trans people to choose between legal recognition of their gender identity or medical treatments they do not desire. In many cases these requirements amount to forced or coerced sterilization.

This brief explains legal requirements that affect the recognition of trans and intersex people. It examines case law and addresses key arguments made by those who defend required medical treatments. It is the second of four resources for activists that accompany Open Society’s 2014 report on legal gender recognition across the world, License to Be Yourself