BY NATASHA BARSOTTI - In the leadup to the 14th International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which will be marked today with vigils, marches and other events, the release of the Trans Murder Monitoring project (TMM) figures indicate that 265 trans people were known to be murdered worldwide over the past year.
In a Nov 14 statement, Transgender Europe, which initiated the project in April 2009, says that in comparison to past years (162 deaths in 2009, 179 in 2010, and 221 in 2011), they are seeing a marked increase in the number of murders, which they attribute to the "extreme level of violence many trans people are exposed to." But they also suggest that the increase may reflect the more concerted cooperation and data exchange that has developed with trans and queer organizations that track the violence and murders in localized and national contexts.
The current update reveals that the majority of fatalities occurred in Brazil (126), followed by Mexico (48), the USA (15), Venezuela (9), Honduras (8), Colombia and Uruguay (both registering 6), and Guatemala (5). In Asia, most reported cases were noted in India (6), Pakistan (5) and the Philippines (4). Turkey recorded five murders.
As in previous years, most reported cases were from Central and South America, which the project says accounts for 80 percent of the globally reported homicides of trans people since January 2008.
The project's preliminary results indicate there have been 1,083 reports of murdered trans people in 56 countries since that time.
Despite the attempts to monitor the occurrence of homicides, in most countries data on the violence and murder of trans people are not systematically tracked or kept, and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases, Transgender Europe says.
In this context, the group says it has converted the TMM project into the Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) research project to provide an overview of the state of human rights for trans people globally, as well as develop advocacy tools for the benefit of international and human rights organizations.
For a list of International Transgender Day of Remembrance events, visit transgenderdor.org.