Trans Identities within the UN Human Rights System: Movements toward Equality or Identity Erasure?

This paper will consider whether and how trans experiences have been mainstreamed into the Concluding Observations and Concluding Recommendations of the UN Human Rights Treaty bodies. The paper will explore when and in what context the Treaty Bodies have engaged with State Party conduct towards trans individuals. The paper will ultimately provide not only quantitative analyses of how frequently the Treaty Bodies investigate alleged violations of trans rights; it will also offer a qualitative critique, revealing how Treaty Body intervention often reinforces harmful medical stereotypes and misunderstands key differences between sexual orientation and gender identity. While the paper will welcome greater UN engagement, it will also advocate a more nuanced approach which respects distinct and individualized experiences of gender.