- The Lok Sabha recently passed the Transgender Persons (Protection Of Rights) Bill.
Highlights of the Bill:
- According to the Bill, a transgender is a person whose gender does not match with the one assigned at birth and includes transman or transwoman (whether or not such person has undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy), person with intersex variations, gender-queer and person having such sociocultural identities as ‘kinner’, ‘hijra’, ‘aravani’ and ‘jogta’.
- A transgender person has to obtain a Certificate of Identity which will confer rights and be proof of recognition of identity as a transgender person.
- An application for obtaining such a Certificate should be made to the District Magistrate (DM). The DM will refer such an application to a District Screening Committee.
- A National Council for Transgender (NCT) persons will be set up to advise the central government on policies, and legislation related to transgender persons. It will also monitor and evaluate such policies.
- The NCT will consist of representatives from (i) ministries such as social justice and empowerment, health, minority affairs; (ii) NITI Aayog; (iii) National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women; (iv) state governments; (v) nominated members from the transgender community; and (vi) experts from non-governmental organisations.
- The transgender community took a closer look at the Bill that was supposed to protect their rights, and found that barely any of their demands had been included.
- Their main concern is that the government makes rules without consulting them and it does not make any difference to their lives.
- The legislation has been criticised by the transgender community for replacing district screening committees with bureaucratic impediments.
- They have also highlighted that the provisions against discrimination have no enforceability.
- The Bill has also attracted disapproval for only providing separate definitions for intersex persons but no provisions for transgenders.
- The transgender community seek a Bill that would have separate provisions for transgender, transsexual and intersex persons.