Alarming figures: Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project unveils interactive map of more than 1,500 reported murders of trans people since January 2008
On May 17th, The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) is being held in more than 120 countries around the world. The IDAHOT is meant to raise awareness regarding the ongoing discrimination and violence committed by states, societies and individuals against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people on various scales, from homo- and transphobic legislations and forms of state repression to hate crimes including insults, attacks and murders. The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to this issue. The 17th of May was chosen to remember the removal of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17th 1990. The IDAHOT 2014 global focus issue is “Freedom of Expression”.
Trans Murder Monitoring launches an update for IDAHOT 2014. The Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project was initiated in April 2009 in order to systematically monitor, collect and analyse reports of homicides of trans and gender variant people worldwide. Updates of the preliminary results are published on the website of the ‘Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’ (TvT) research project two to three times a year. Every year in May, Transgender Europe provides a special update of the TMM results for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) so as to assist activists worldwide in raising public awareness of hate violence against trans and gender variant people.
The TMM IDAHOT 2014 update has revealed a total of 1,509 cases of reported killings of trans and gender variant people from January 1st 2008 to March 31st 2014. The results are presented in form of tables, name lists, and maps. In addition an interactive map visualises a great portion of the 1,509 reported murders of trans and gender variant people that the TMM has documented since January 2008. These data and advocacy tools can be accessed on the TvT website:
In the first three months of 2014, already 75 reported murders of trans people have been registered.
Sadly, from 1 January 2014 to 31 March 2014, the TMM already registered 75 murders in 13 countries. These are only preliminary results, and the numbers are likely to grow even larger during the course of the year. While often the actual circumstances of the killings remain obscure due to lacking investigation and reports, many of the cases documented involve an extreme extent of aggression, including torture and mutilation. Many cases are not investigated properly by the authorities.
Apart from these 75 reported murders in 2014, the ever-growing TMM archive has registered numerous cases in 61 different countries since 2008, most of which hardly received any public attention at all.
The IDAHOT 2014 update reveals a total of 1,509 reported killings of trans and gender variant people in 61 countries worldwide from January 1st 2008 to March 31st 2014.
Cases have been reported from all major World Regions (Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania), evoking an evermore gruesome picture, especially given the very partial knowledge we are able to gain in many places.
Throughout all six world regions, the highest absolute numbers have been found in countries with strong trans movements and trans and gender variant people’s strong visibility, and/or trans or LGBT organizations that do a professional monitoring:
Brazil (602), Mexico (160), Venezuela (81), Colombia (80), Honduras (65), Guatemala (36), and the Dominican Republic (31) in Central and South America, the USA (94) in North America, Turkey (35) and Italy (27) in Europe, and India (35) and the Philippines (29) in Asia.
The close connection between the existence of strong trans movements and professional monitoring on the one hand, and highest absolute numbers of reports, on the other hand, point to a worrisome question: the question of unreported cases. Beside the need for mechanisms to protect trans and gender variant people, this connection also shows the need for strong trans communities and organizations, which are capable of professional monitoring and reporting of violence against trans and gender variant people. Furthermore this connection results in the fact, that the figures show only the tip of the iceberg of homicides of trans and gender variant people on a worldwide scale.
Almost 1,200 reported murders of trans and gender variant people in Central and South America since 2008
The new result update moreover reveals that since January 2008:
1,188 killings of trans and gender variant people have been reported in Central and South America, which account for 79 % of the globally reported murders of trans people since January 2008. In this region, there has been the strongest increase in reports and with 23 countries Central and South America is the best documented region.
124 killings of trans and gender variant people have been reported in Asia in 16 countries;
98 killings of trans and gender variant people have been reported in North America;
87 killings of trans and gender variant people have been reported in Europe in 12 countries;
8 killings of trans and gender variant people have been reported in Africa in 4 countries;
4 killings of trans and gender variant people have been reported in Oceania in 4 countries.
It is important to note that these cases are those that could be found through Internet research and through cooperation with trans organizations and activists. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases.
The alarming figures demonstrate once more that there is an urgent need to react to the violence against trans and gender variant people and to seek mechanisms to protect them. Some international trans activists even started to introduce the term ‘transcide’ to reflect the continuously elevated level of deadly violence against trans and gender variant people on a global scale and a coalition of NGOs from South America and Europe started the “Stop Trans Genocide” campaign.
Attached to this press release you can find tables showing the details and a map, which demonstrates the absolute figures of reports found worldwide since January 2008.
A worrisome result of the TMM IDAHOT 2014 is the significant increase of reported murders of minors. In 2013 25 murdered trans and gender variant persons under 20 years have been reported murdered, half of them have been under 18 years, thus making 2013 the year with the highest number of murdered minors since the start of the Trans Murder Monitoring. This gruesome development continued in the first three months of 2014 in which already 9 trans and gender variant people under 20 years have been reported murdered, six of them have been under 18 years old. Among these 6 murdered minors in 2014 were an 8-year-old trans girl, who was beaten to death on February 18th 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by her father who wanted to teach her to behave like a man, and 14-year-old Vanessa who - after receiving death threats - fled to her grandmother’s house in Angelica, Brazil, where she was found strangled on March 10th 2014. Among the 12 murdered minors in 2013 were a 13-year old trans girl, who has been found strangled in the city of Macaiba in Brazil on June 9th 2013, a 14-year old trans girl, who has been found strangled in the city of Ibipora in Brazil on October 15th 2013, and also 16-year-old „Dwayne“ Jones, who was kicked out of her home with 14, and on July 22nd 2013 attended for the first time a party in female clothing in St. James, Jamaica, where she was chased and brutally murdered by party-goers, who formed a mob, when they realized that she was a trans person. Already in February 2008, at the beginning of the TMM reporting period, 15-year-old Leticia King was shot twice in the head by a 14-year-old classmate in front of the class, in Oxnard, USA.
In total 121 murders of trans and gender variant people under 20 years have been reported in 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, and North America since January 2008: 14 in 2008, 19 in 2009, 13 in 2010, 21 in 2011, 20 in 2012, 25 in 2013 and 9 in the first three months of 2014.
While the documentation of killings of trans and gender variant people is indispensable for demonstrating the shocking extent of human rights violations committed against trans and gender variant people on a global scale, there is also a need for in-depth research of various other aspects related to the human rights situation of trans and gender variant people. Therefore, Transgender Europe developed the Trans Murder Monitoring project into the ‘Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’ research project (TvT). TvT is a comparative, ongoing qualitative-quantitative research project, which provides an overview of the human rights situation of trans and gender variant people in different parts of the world and develops useful data and advocacy tools for international institutions, human rights organizations, the trans movement and the general public. In November 2012 Transgender Europe published the TvT research report “TRANSRESPECT VERSUS TRANSPHOBIA WORLDWIDE - A Comparative Review of the Human-rights Situation of Gender-variant/Trans People”, which discusses and contextualizes the key findings of the TvT project. You can download the research report here:
If you have further questions or if you want to support the research project, please contact the TvT research team: