The World Health Organization has just announced the completion of the ICD-11 and released the official online version.
The announcement does not mark the end of the ICD-11 process, but the beginning of a new phase, focused on implementation and assessment at the country level. The new ICD version will be presented for final approval at World Health Assembly in May 2019.
As anticipated, all trans-related categories have been deleted from the ICD Chapter on Mental and Behavioral Disorders. At the same time, new trans-related categories have been introduced: Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood and Gender Incongruence of Childhood. These categories have been included in a new ICD location, Chapter 17 on Conditions Related to Sexual Health. Therefore, WHO rules that being a trans or gender diverse person does not mean to suffer a mental disorder. Today, a shameful history of pathologization, institutionalization, “conversion” and sterilization begins to come to a close.
The work to depathologize trans and gender diverse lives is far from complete:
- Committed and organized advocacy will be more needed than ever to ensure effective implementation at the country level, to remove pathologizing regulations while ensuring full access to legal gender recognition and to gender affirming healthcare.
- Gender Incongruence must be reviewed and replaced as soon as possible with a category that is both able to retain its utility while removing normative or othering content.
- Gender Incongruence of Childhood must be removed from ICD-11, through national, regional and international mobilization in favor of depathologizing gender diversity in childhood entirely and for good.
- Trans and gender diverse depathologization in ICD-11 must be accompanied by a bold reaffirmation of our ultimate goal: full depathologization grounded in human rights and, particularly, on universal access to healthcare.
- Many people around the world have severely suffered the impact of pathologization. As any other victim of human rights violations, they have the right to truth, to rehabilitation and to reparation.
To review the ICD-11 process and analyze its outcomes, to plan for next steps and articulate global strategies, partner organizations in the international ICD-11 initiative will be hosting a series of webinars: stay tuned!
GATE, AKAHATA, TGEU, APTN, ILGA, Post-Soviet Trans* Coalition, Iranti.org, STP International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization