Ireland urged to adopt hate crime legislation in fight against transphobic crime

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A report designed to improve the reporting of hate crimes against trans people in Ireland has been launched at the University of Limerick with campaigners calling for legislation.

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) hopes the report titled ‘Stop Transphobia and Discrimination (STAD) can improve the way transphobic incidents are investigated by police.

STAD documented 32 hate incidents last year, of which 15 were designated hate crimes.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents experienced verbal abuse or insults, 28% experienced threats of violence, 19% experienced physical violence and 6% experienced sexual harassment.

TENI’s Chief Executive Broden Giambrone said: “Trans people, like all Irish people, are striving to live authentic lives and to thrive in society.

“There is no doubt that Irish society is changing but the violence and discrimination the trans community faces must stop.

“To change the way that trans people are treated we need to understand the full extent of the problem and look for viable solutions. The STAD report holds a mirror up to Irish society and show us we must be better.”

Jennifer Schweppe, co-director of the Hate and Hostility research group at the University of Limerick, said: “Ireland is almost unique in western democracies in not having hate crime legislation.

“The country is coming under increasing pressure from external bodies such as the EU, the Council of Europe and other human rights organisations to introduce legislation which targets hate motivated violence.

“The absence of such legislation has led to a situation where we as a society have given a ‘permission to hate’.”

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