Starting from September 1, Danes over the age of 18 will no longer be required to undergo any surgical procedures in order to apply for a sex change.
"Today we have dropped the requirement of sterilisation when transgendered people need a new personal identification number as part of a legal sex change," the minister for the economy and the interior, Margrethe Vestager, said in a statement reported by NDTV.
She notes that it will make life more “dignified” for transgender individuals, who will no longer have to mutate their bodies in order to adhere to societal norms.
Law change follows WHO statement
This news comes just a week after the World Health Organisation released a statement encouraging countries to bring an end to compulsory sterilisation on the grounds of it being a human rights violation.
Sweden passed a similar law last year, and this has led to lawsuits by a group of Swedish transexuals demanding compensation for having been forced to remove their genitals, reports PinkNews.
The murky past of sterilisation
Historically, compulsory sterilisation has been closely tied to eugenics programs intended to prevent people who allegedly have ‘defective’ traits from reproducing.
Between 1990 and 2000, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori used compulsory sterilisation in an attempt to reduce poverty rates – with an estimated 300,000 women undergoing forced sterilisation, 18 of whom died during the procedure – which has led to a series of human rights violation allegations and lawsuits, reports Impunity Watch.
Despite the blatant human rights violation associated with it, sterilisation remains a requirement for a legal sex change in many European countries, but no longer Denmark.