The victims of transphobic violence were remembered on Saturday – the 12th international Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).

According to Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project, 179 trans people were killed in the last year around the world.

Cases were reported from all six major world regions: Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania. As in previous years, most cases were from Central and South America, which account for 80 % of the globally reported homicides of trans people since January 2008.

The statistics were released in the wake of South Africa’s vote at the UN to remove sexual orientation from a resolution opposing illicit executions.

“South African people commemorated Transgender Day of Remembrance this Saturday in the wake of our government stabbing LGBTI people in the back at the UN,” said Robert A Hamblin, Advocacy Manager at Gender DynamiX.

“It was most symbolic that the day we remember the Transgender people who died violent deaths was preceded by this hateful act by those we trust to lead us.”

Hamblin said that the removal of sexual orientation and gender identity from the resolution “effectively disempowered activists to lobby against laws dealing with hate crimes against gender variant people”.

TDOR was first marked to honour Rita Hester who was murdered on November 28 1998. She was a well-known member of the transgender community in Boston, USA, where she worked on education around transgender issues. Hester was stabbed 20 times in her apartment and her murder remains unsolved.

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