Under the new law Maltese citizens are no longer required to undergo surgery or medical treatment in order to legally change their gender. The new approach means that thousands of trans individuals will now have the choice to undergo whatever level of medical treatment or surgery they are comfortable with.
In many countries legal gender recognition is only available after trans individuals undergo mandatory medial procedures – which can include surgery, sterilisation and psychological treatment.
The new laws also grant additional protection to trans-identifying issues. As well as banning unnecessary surgery to trans and intersex children, trans individuals are now included in previous laws banning discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
The law has been labelled as the most progressive of its kind in Europe and was also described as a ‘groundbreaking human rights milestone’ by Paulo Corte-Real, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive Board.