Athens, October 13, 2022
Subject: «The Ombudsman’s Decision regarding the lifting of the exclusion of trans persons from the Security Forces, mandates the immediate integration of the new ICD-11 classification list that removes gender identity from the list of mental disorders.»
The Greek Transgender Support Association (GTSA), is a voluntary non-governmental organization that promotes the rights and freedoms of trans, gender-diverse, intersex and LGBTQI persons in general, as well as sex workers, with this press release declares its satisfaction regarding the Conclusion of the Ombudsman which came after an appeal by the GTSA in June 2018 regarding the exclusion of trans persons from the security forces.
In particular, in June 2018, the GTSA with a relevant press release had publicized and publicly denounced the exclusion of trans persons after in May of the same year, the Ministry of the Interior and the Headquarters of the Hellenic Police posted in Diaygeia, an Announcement for the Admission of Private Persons to Schools Officers and Police Constables with the System of General Examinations of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, where on page 32 (Indicative Table of Major Diseases and Physical Defects that Exclude Candidates from the Police Schools), among the mental illnesses that constitute a reason for exclusion are “psychosexual disorders (such as gender identity disorder)’.
In this press release, the GTSA had pointed out that in addition to the fact that the exclusion in itself is unacceptable as it further stigmatizes trans persons, it violates the principle of equal treatment in the workplace (law 4443/2016), while the classification of gender identity or concepts related to it in the list of mental disorders is not in line with international developments and in particular with the decision of the World Health Organization which, as of June 19, 2018, removed gender identity from the list of ICD mental disorders . Subsequently, and in connection with the above, the GTSA appealed in the same month to the Citizen’s Ombudsman with the objections mentioned, as a constitutionally competent body for the observance of the principle of equal treatment.
It is worth noting that during the last Announcement of the Headquarters of HELLAS (No. Prot. 6000/2/6921-ρμβ’ – 11.02.2022) , for the admission to the Police and Constable Schools, in chapter 2, par.3, it is still mentioned as a required admission qualification, the candidates: ” To be in good health and in good physical condition, certified by the competent Health Classification Committee, in accordance with the provisions for the physical fitness of candidates for the Schools of the Army (Arms Department), as defined in the P.D. 11/2014 (G.G. Α΄ 17), as amended and valid.”
According to the conclusion of the Ombudsman that was published on October 7, 2022 :
“The exclusion of transgender persons from admission to the Police Schools, only because of their gender identity and without an individualized examination of their general state of health and judgment of their physical performance with a sports test, is direct discrimination against these persons and a violation of principle of equal treatment regardless of gender identity when accessing employment and work, as provided for in the provisions of Law 4443/2016 and Directive no. 2000/78/EK’’.
After these, the Ombudsman, fully accepting the objections of the GTSA, emphasizes that it expects the competent authorities to take immediate action to remove the specific discrimination of the exclusion of trans persons, which, as pointed out, is due to the unacceptable delay of the State to integrate the new ICD-11 classification list that removes gender identity and related concepts from mental disorders;
In addition, we should note that:
1.As stated in the “National Strategy for the Equality of LGBTQI+“, which was drawn up by a Committee which was established on 17-3-2021 by the Prime Minister and in which the memorable President of the GTSA, Marina Galanou, participated :
“[…] However, there is still institutionalized discrimination that mainly concerns the exclusion of trans persons from the professional army, the security forces and also from other professions. As the Citizen’s Ombudsman reports in this regard, “the universal exclusion of transgender candidates from police schools, regardless of the above-mentioned individualized medical and physical assessment, which is provided for other candidates for admission to them, constitutes unjustified direct discrimination” . Finally, the reference to “gender disorder” should be stopped as gender identity does not constitute a psychiatric condition according to the decisions of the World Health Organization. […]”
2.According to the position of the Branch of Intercultural Psychiatry of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association, as published on the EPSE website , which is in the direction set by the World Health Organization for the depathologisation of the trans condition:
“[…] Reliable international studies, as well as psychological tests, demonstrate that the trans state is not a psychopathology, but a variation of the normal expression of gender. Our industry strongly disagrees with the psychiatricization of the transgender condition.”
3.Also, the positions of European organizations should definitely be taken into account. In particular, according to Resolution 2048/2015 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the member states are called to :
«6.2.2. abolishsterilisationandothercompulsorymedicaltreatment, aswellas a mentalhealthdiagnosis, as a necessarylegalrequirementtorecognise a person’sgenderidentityinlawsregulatingtheprocedureforchanging a nameandregisteredgender; and,
«6.3.3. amend classifications of diseases used at national level and advocate the modification of international classifications, making sure that transgender people, including children, are not labelled as mentally ill, while ensuring stigma-free access to necessary medical treatment;
The European Parliament in a Resolution of 22.11.2012, in point 94 states:
“deplores that transgender people are still considered mentally ill in a number of Member States; calls on Member States to introduce or review legal gender recognition procedures, on the model of Argentina, and review conditions (including forced sterilisation) set for legal gender recognition; calls on the Commission and the World Health Organisation to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioural disorders and to ensure a non-pathologising reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11);”
The Greek Transgender Support Association in relation to the above:
1.Calls on the Ministry of Health to immediately integrate and implement the new ICD11 in which gender identity and related concepts have already been removed from the list of mental disorders as of June 2018,
2.To subsequently amend the P.D. 11/2014 (Government Gazette A’-17), which also refers to “gender identity disorder”, as an exclusion criterion, which also stigmatizes trans people and clearly must be removed, so that trans persons are not excluded from the security forces but also from a series of professions fully applying the principle of equal treatment as the Citizen’s Ombudsman points out and also emphasizes the Committee’s Conclusion on the “National Strategy for the Equality of LGBTI+”.
THE BOARD OF MEMBERS
GREEK TRANSGENDER SUPPORT ASSOCIATION
15 ViktorosUgo, 10437, Athens
Trans Day Reception & Empowerment Center: Evangelistrias 6, Kallithea Athens, 17671
Tel. 210.9210 697 & 698 753 9741
Office hours for the public: Tuesday & Thursday – 12.00-20.00
firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com