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Trans Day of Remembrance 2023 joint statement: We mourn and call to end the violence

 

This joint statement was developed by TGEU in collaboration with GATE, ILGA WorldAPTNIGLYO, and ESWA on the Trans Day of Remembrance
Your organisation can support this statement: fill out the form

 

Each year, on 20 November, trans and gender-diverse people gather as a community to mourn our lost siblings. Despite increased awareness of the issues facing our communities, the violence that forms so much a part of many of our daily lives has not significantly reduced.

 

The rise of the anti-gender and anti-rights movements has seen a stark increase in discrimination towards trans and gender-diverse people in particular. The deaths that we mourn come about as a result of multiple intersecting issues: lack of hate crime legislation, or the failure to uphold such laws; lack of access to adequate basic healthcare, housing and job opportunities due to refusal, discrimination or financial barriers; and overall structural discrimination that enables societal neglect, abuse and harm towards trans and gender diverse people across the globe.

The data collected in the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project reflects only reported murders over 12 months from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023. It does not reflect the additional number of deaths that occurred due to lack of healthcare access, suicide, drug overdose, unreported murders, disproportionate exposure to HIV and STIs, or violence that resulted indirectly in death.

This is a day of tremendous grief. We have been commemorating Trans Day of Remembrance since 1999, when we united in grief to remember Rita Hester, a black trans woman who had been murdered. Despite our best efforts, 24 years later, the violence not only continues but has become intricately linked to global anti-rights efforts that are encouraging the eradication of trans and gender-diverse people.

 

Latest data

This year, the data highlights 321 reported murders of trans and gender-diverse people that occurred globally between 1 October 2022 and 30 September 2023. We mourn and remember the names of our lost siblings.

This data does not exist in a vacuum, nor is it possible to separate it from the intersecting violence faced by sex workers, people from a migrant or refugee background, Black and People of Color, D/deaf and disabled people, people who use drugs, and people without safe housing.

Trans Murder Monitoring 2023 data shows that:

  • 321 trans and gender-diverse people were reported murdered.
  • 94% of victims were trans women or trans-feminine people.
  • Globally, almost half (48%) of murdered trans people whose occupation is known were sex workers. This jumps to three-quarters (78%) in Europe.
  • Trans people affected by racism make up 80% of the reported murders, a 15% increase from last year.
  • 45% of trans people reported murdered in Europe whose migration background is known were migrants or refugees.
  • The age group with the most murder victims was 19 to 25 years old. Of all cases with age data available, three-quarters (77%) were between 19 and 40 years old.
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of all registered murders were committed in Latin America and the Caribbean; nearly one-third (31%) of the total occurred in Brazil.
  • Murders in Armenia, Belgium and Slovakia were reported for the first time.
  • Almost half of the reported murders (46%) were shootings.
  • Just over one quarter (28%) of the recorded murders took place on the street and a further quarter (26%) in the victim’s own residence.

 

How can we protect trans lives?

This year, we call on activists, policymakers, lawmakers, and donors to listen to our community and take urgent action to protect the lives of trans and gender-diverse people. It is our shared responsibility to create a world that protects trans lives.

To policymakers and lawmakers

Pay attention to the data that shows the risk of regular violence and murder faced by trans people, particularly those with intersectional identities. Use this knowledge to design laws and policies that explicitly protect trans people and all the intersecting communities that we may be part of.

  • Implement enforceable laws against hate speech and hate crimes that recognise both gender identity and gender expression as bias motivation;
  • Protect trans asylum seekers by recognising their claims to asylum and providing safe spaces for them to live while awaiting processing;
  • Ensure that legal gender recognition is based on self-determination, is accessible to migrants and asylum seekers, and has minimal barriers to application (including financial and administrative barriers);
  • Counter the anti-gender movement and anti-trans rhetoric by publicly supporting trans and gender-diverse people in all their diversities;
  • Remove barriers to accessing trans-specific healthcare, including through depsychopathologisation, reduction of cost barriers, and provision of training to healthcare professionals
  • Decriminalise sex work, drug use, and HIV status.
To donors

As we confront the growing challenges posed by the anti-gender and anti-rights movements to trans and gender-diverse organising, we call upon donors to play a pivotal role in ensuring our movement sustains and thrives. In times when funding priorities among donors and government are evolving, and opportunities are shrinking, your support is critical.

  • Prioritise funding directly to trans-, gender-diverse-, and youth-led organisations;
  • Provide long-term, flexible and unrestricted funding;
  • Provide funding that allows our communities to prepare for crises;
  • Assess potential anti-rights opposition, attacks or threats within potential and current grantees;
  • Publicly pushback on oppressive and criminalising laws.

Join us as we remember and honour our siblings. We come together to support one another and demand a world that values and protects trans and gender-diverse lives in all our diversities.

In honour of those we lost too soon, show your support for our communities by implementing the calls to action, publicly supporting the lives and rights of trans and gender-diverse people, and signing and sharing this statement.

Follow this link to sign this statement

The signatories of this statement (listed below) are organisations representing trans and gender-diverse people at the national, regional, and international levels.