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Canada Plans To Make It Easier For Transgenders To Travel, Looking To Update Gender Identity Policy

Travelers Today       By    Yosarrian Nino

Updated: May 08, 2017 06:30 AM EDT

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Canadian passport, GENDER IDENTITY, transgender
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Canada is updating its gender identity policies in travel documents, removing the stress that transgenders experience when they need to identify their gender.
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Canadian government is looking to make it less stressful for transgenders to travel, as they're looking to update their gender identity policies. This will allow transgender travelers to properly identify their gender in their travel documents.

According to a report from CBC News, Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Justice Minister of Canada, said that the update in their policies will be across federal departments, which will include revamped travel documents. She said that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is mindful of a third box for transgenders to mark, aside from male or female.

"Individual ministers and (people) within their departments are recognizing that this bill has been introduced, that there is work that needs to continue to be taken," she adds. The report said that the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee is studying the government legislation to protect the human rights and security of Canadians that's based on gender identity.

The International Civil Aviation Order (ICAO) requires sex field to be identified in travel documents. The ICAO already allows three markers on the documents, one for female, one for male, and one for "unspecified," but Canada is currently offering only male or female.

The proposed bill, which is called C-16, would update the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This will make it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity.

But not everyone agrees with the proposed changes. Travel + Leisure reports that Don Plett, who is a Conservative Senator, said changing the passport "isn't a workable solution," considering that giving in to the changes could mean more changes in the future.

"When you start putting other boxes in, where does that end?" he asked. He continued with asking how many more boxes should the government put in.

Wilson-Raybould, though, acknowledges that adding another box to check is just the start. She said that the government still has a lot of "work to do" as just adding another box to identify gender is not just the intent of C-16. Check out which countries have the most powerful passports in the video below.

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