• Love Elfvelin, a young trans man (L) and Nova Colliander, a trans woman, pose at the RFSL, Swedish Federation for LGBT Rights headquarters on February 6, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND )Source: AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND
Sweden forced hundreds of transgender people to undergo sterilisation in order to legally change their gender between 1972 and 2013.
By
Michaela Morgan

27 Mar 2017 - 2:58 PM  UPDATED 27 Mar 2017 - 2:58 PM

The Swedish health minister says transgender citizens who were legally required to undergo sterilisation in order to transition will be financially compensated, according to Pink News

Gabriel Wikstrom told Dagens Nyheter that the government will be introducing a bill that would award 225,000 kronor (about $33,500 AUD) to those forced to undergo the surgery.

“The demand for sterilisation that existed previously laid out a vision from which today’s society wishes to distance itself and the government believes it was wrong to demand it,” Wikstrom said.

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In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to allow people to legally change their gender—but only if they were unmarried, sterilised and underwent gender reassignment surgery.

The barbaric law was only abolished in 2013 and— according to the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL)—could have affected up to 800 people.

RFSL President Frida Sandegard says the proposed payment is not substantial enough.

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“The sum should be at a level that constitutes a real recognition of the excesses of the state,” Sandegard said. 

Kerstin Burman of Swedish LGBT group RFSL said: “Monetary reparations cannot completely compensate for the violations of forced sterilisation, but financial redress initiated by the government is an official acknowledgement that these actions were wrong and that the State should not have treated its citizens in this way.