Violations by Kazakhstan of the Right of Transgender Persons to Legal Recognition of Gender Identity

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Kazakhstan are subjected to an array of violations of the human rights that are guaranteed them in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These violations include: violent attacks; inadequate and often abusive police response to these attacks; harassment, insults and humiliating remarks; and widespread discrimination in employment, access to health care, education and other arenas. Kazakhstan has neither respected nor ensured the Covenant rights to which all persons – including LGBT individuals – are entitled.

This report, however, focuses on Kazakhstan’s violation of one right in particular: the right to legal recognition of one’s gender identity. For transgender individuals, this is a singularly important right, because denial of legal recognition of gender leads to many other human rights

violations. Without legal identity documents that conform to a person’s gender identity and carry the person’s chosen name, transgender individuals are made extremely vulnerable to violence, humiliation, and discrimination. Moreover, this is a violation that can be readily corrected, if the Government of Kazakhstan is willing to do so.

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