Principle 3

The Right to recognition before the law

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities shall enjoy legal capacity in all aspects of life. Each person’s self-defined sexual orientation and gender identity is integral to their personality and is one of the most basic aspects of self-determination, dignity and freedom. No one shall be forced to undergo medical procedures, including sex reassignment surgery, sterilisation or hormonal therapy, as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity. No status, such as marriage or parenthood, may be invoked as such to prevent the legal recognition of a person’s gender identity. No one shall be subjected to pressure to conceal, suppress or deny their sexual orientation or gender identity.

States shall:

a)     Ensure that all persons are accorded legal capacity in civil matters, without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and the opportunity to exercise that capacity, including equal rights to conclude contracts, and to administer, own, acquire (including through inheritance), manage, enjoy and dispose of property;

b)     Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to fully respect and legally recognise each person’s self-defined gender identity;

c)     Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measuresto ensure that procedures exist whereby all State-issued identity papers which indicate a person’s gender/sex — including birth certificates, passports, electoral records and other documents — reflect the person’s profound self-defined gender identity;

d)     Ensure that such procedures are efficient, fair and non-discriminatory, and respect the dignity and privacy of the person concerned;

e)     Ensure that changes to identity documents will be recognised in all contexts where the identification or disaggregation of persons by gender is required by law or policy;

f)       Undertake targeted programmes to provide social support for all persons experiencing gender transitioning or reassignment.