During the opening of the Transgender Day 2015, this year organized by COC Haaglanden, Arnout van Kooij, chairman of COC Haaglanden, gave the following opening speech:


I would like to welcome you to this Transgender Remembrance Day. Every year around November 20, transgender people who have become victims of violence are commemorated worldwide. Last year, so between October 2014 and October 2015, as far as we know, there were 271 transgenders, including a Dutch person. In the period 2008 to 2014 there are 1731 known fatalities. Today we commemorate these victims.

This year, COC Haaglanden will host the Dutch commemoration meeting and we are happy and proud to fulfill that role.

The COC Café is one of the places where members of the LGBTI community in The Hague and the surrounding municipalities meet.

But COC Haaglanden is more than a meeting place. Our association champions the interests of this community. Together we campaign for the emancipation of our supporters. Everyone should be able to be who he or she is or wants to be openly and in all circumstances, and that is not yet the case.

As COC Haaglanden we support people who want to change this and we work together with organizations that aim to do the same. One of those organizations is the Transgender Network Netherlands, which is organizing this meeting with us today.

It is no coincidence that this meeting takes place in The Hague. The Hague is a city where peace and security are of paramount importance. The institutions of the International Criminal Court and Peace Palace are located here. There is a gay monument that reminds us that everyone has the right to be a full member of society. Freedom from fear is an important human right and The Hague is a city that is committed to ensuring that everyone can live, work and go out in peace and safety. As a Rainbow City, The Hague pays explicit attention to promoting the emancipation of lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders in society in The Hague. With the signing of the Declaration of Dordrecht, which will take place on 7 December, The Hague shows that the city is taking this seriously. COC Haaglanden has therefore worked hard for this.

We will certainly discuss the importance of the Declaration of Dordrecht, if not today or on 7 December. For now I would like to wish all those present a nice and interesting meeting, and I would like to give the floor to the chairman of the Transgender Network Netherlands, Corine van Dun.


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