Allegations of discrimination have been made against an Albanian taxi company after a transgender individual said they were refused service.
In a press release, the LGBTI Alliance and Pro LGBT said that on 26 March 2021, a driver from Green Taxi refused to pick up a transgender individual. When the depot was questioned, they allegedly said:
“None of the drivers will take them. They cannot conceive to put a transvestite in their car.”
The two organizations said they have audio material of the conversation whereby employees openly refuse to provide services to persons of the transgender community.
“As reflected in the audio material, in the recent incident in Tirana, the taxi drivers of this company and the employees of the plant, openly refused to provide services to persons of the transgender community, using unacceptable language, which constitutes an open case of discrimination.”
The organizations have reported the incident to the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination stating they have breached articles 1,2,4,5 and 7 of the Law on Protection from Discrimination
In their statement they added:
“We remind the company Green Taxi and any other natural and legal entity, whether business or service provider, to refuse to provide services to any individual, for any reason mentioned in Article 1 of this law and specifically due to sexual orientation or gender identity constitutes a violation of the obligations and guarantees of Article 20.”
This article states that natural or legal persons who provide goods or services to the public are prohibited from discriminating against another person who seeks to use them, including facilities for transport.
“The transgender community is systematically exposed to violence and discrimination, which makes it extremely difficult to obtain services, both from public structures and services provided by private entities.
Transgender individuals are citizens who, under the laws in force and the fundamental guarantees of any democratic state, deserve to enjoy effective equal rights, regardless of the rest of society. It is unacceptable for the personal convictions of some persons or of a company operating under national law in force to be placed before the rights guaranteed by the legal corpus,” the statement reads.
Exit contacted Green Taxi to ask whether they have a policy against transporting transgender individuals. They replied, “we don’t have that policy.”
When asked for a statement, they advised “our manager will talk to you about this, wait for his reaction please.”
No statement was forthcoming despite two reminders over the subsequent 24 hours.