A senior health ministry official has urged for recognition of transgender people in the Civil Code, which will open the way for legalizing sex reassignment surgery in Vietnam.
Nguyen Huy Quang, director of the Legal Department under the Ministry of Health, told the media Thursday that he hopes legislators will support the move when they discuss the draft amendments to the Civil Code at a plenary meeting in Hanoi next month.
“We've got to see the reality... Even when [sex reassignment surgery] is not allowed, [transgender people] still go abroad for it,” Quang said.
About 500,000 people in Vietnam own internal gender identity that does not match the sex their assigned gender, Quang said.
About 1,000 of them have had sexual reassignment surgeries abroad, according to Quang.
“Personally, I favor the option of recognizing them… This is also the issue of living with real gender identity,” he said.
Local media have reported many people facing multiple difficulties after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery abroad because their gender remains unchanged in identity papers back in Vietnam.