Commission supports policy to recognise gender identity
Commission supports policy to recognise gender identity of prisoners
The Human Rights Commission has given its support to the principled approach taken by the Department of Corrections towards the gender identity of trans prisoners.
Commissioner Richard Tankersley said today, “The Commission values its engagement with the Department of Corrections and welcomes the initiative that will help trans prisoners better realise their human rights.”
Minister of Corrections, the Hon Anne Tolley announced yesterday that Cabinet has approved a revised approach to the placement of transgender and intersex prisoners. Where a prisoner’s birth certificate has been amended to record a sex different from that recorded at birth (which requires a Family Court order), the prisoner is entitled to be placed in accordance with the revised certificate.
Secondly, a transgender prisoner who has not had their birth certificate amended may apply to the Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections for placement in accordance with their nominated gender. These provisions will not apply to prisoners whose sentence relates to a serious sexual offence against a person of their nominated gender, or who was released from prison for such an offence within the last seven years.
Mr Tankersley said the policy, which is expected to be in place by the end of the year, would see New Zealand draw on international best practice. In particular, he said, it was welcome to see specific reference to intersex people, since many of the issues faced by trans prisoners might also be relevant to intersex prisoners.
The Commission’s engagement with Corrections policy has been based on the work of its 2008 public inquiry into discrimination experienced by trans people, and the recommendations of its report To be who I am.