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Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Allows Transfer of Two Transvestites to Prisons Compatible with their Sexual Orientation

(Mar. 14, 2018) On February 19, 2018, Justice Luis Roberto Barroso of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court ruled in a habeas corpus proceeding that two persons who self-identified as transvestites and who had been placed in a men’s prison cell be transferred to a prison that is “compatible with their gender identity.” (Ministro determina transferência de travestis para estabelecimento prisional compatível com orientação sexual, SUPREMO TRIBUNAL FEDERAL (Feb. 19, 2018).) Both have been imprisoned since December 2016 at a men’s penitentiary in the state of São Paulo as determined by a decision of the trial court judge. (Id.)

Barroso cited Joint Resolution No. 1 of April 15, 2014, of the National Council on Combating Discrimination, which deals with the treatment of LGBT persons deprived of their liberty in Brazil and establishes, among other rights, that transgender persons should, in accordance with their gender identity, be called by their social name, be assigned to specific living spaces, wear women’s or men’s clothing, and keep long hair and other characteristics. The resolution also guarantees the right to an intimate visit. (Id.; Resolução Conjunta No. 1 de 15 de Abril de 2014, do Conselho Nacional de Combate à Discriminação, Ministry of Justice website.)