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WAS and EFS Joint Statement on Transgender Healthcare

June 14th, 2024

Joint Statement by the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) and the European Federation for Sexology (EFS) on Healthcare for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Individuals

 

THE WORLD ASSOCIATION FOR SEXUAL HEALTH (WAS) AND THE EUROPEAN FEDERATION FOR SEXOLOGY (EFS):

 

URGE national stakeholders, including ministries of health and relevant professional organizations to take immediate action to promote the Human and Sexual Rights of transgender and gender-diverse individuals (TGD) and foster access to health care and services. 

 

RECOGNIZE that healthcare is offered to transgender and gender-diverse individuals in many parts of the world. The provision of trans healthcare has moved steadily forward for many decades. In 2019 the World Health Organization adopted the International Classification of Diseases 11th edition, ICD-11. Transsexualism and gender identity disorder classifications were removed from the chapter on mental disorders. A new classification of gender incongruence (childhood, adolescence and adults) was introduced in a new chapter on “conditions related to sexual health” (Chap. 17). This ICD-11 decision is based on thorough scientific evidence and Human Rights standards.  

OBSERVE that we are currently in a political context in which anti-gender and anti-trans activism are jeopardizing the effective implementation of ICD 11 recommendations in relation to transgender and gender-diverse healthcare. In a wider sense, anti-trans activism contributes to increased stigma, discrimination and violence against trans and gender-diverse individuals which may increase shame, suicidal ideation and deterioration in mental health in this population. Against the backdrop of this ongoing anti-trans activism, we see an increase in the restriction of healthcare to individuals, especially adolescents and young adults experiencing gender incongruence. This represents a serious step backwards after many decades of science-supported advancements of benefit for transgender and gender-diverse individuals. 

CONDEMN the many attempts over the years to “treat” transgender people and redirect their gender identity that is not congruent with their sex assigned at birth through conversion therapy. This has been the case for many children, adolescents, and adults. Conversion therapy has been identified as a violation of human rights and medical ethics.

CALL UPON all stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels, including ministries of health and relevant professional associations to (1) adhere to the scientific evidence-based recommendations that are the backdrop of the ICD11 and the SOC 8 (WPATH), (2) ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of transgender health care for all individuals who seek it and (3) take all necessary measures to eliminate conversion therapy for trans-identified and gender-diverse individuals, especially for children and adolescents.  

 

DECLARE, according to the WAS Declaration on Sexual Rights stated in Article 8: "Everyone has the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications in relation to sexuality and sexual health."  Thus, transgender and gender-diverse individuals are entitled to access the best evidence-based care and treatment they need.

ASSERT that Sexual Justice is essential for achieving equality and inclusivity in Sexual Health and Rights. It involves challenging societal norms, power dynamics, and institutions that perpetuate discrimination and violence against transgender and gender-diverse individuals. The application of Sexual Rights is a measure of Sexual Justice.

About WAS and EFS

WAS represents thousands of individuals in Sexual Health as an international confederation with member organizations worldwide. WAS promotes and advocates for Sexual Health, Rights, Justice and Pleasure throughout the lifespan by advancing sexuality research, comprehensive sexuality education, and clinical care and services for everyone.

EFS, a regional federation within the WAS confederation, recognizes sexuality as central to human life, health, well-being, and Human Rights. It serves as the voice and the core network for professionals working in sexology across Europe.

This joint statement aligns with the evidence-based recommendations of WPATH SOC-8, which are endorsed by EPATH (Europe), AusPATH (Australia), PATHA (New Zealand), and numerous other respected organizations worldwide.

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