RIGHTS OF THE TRANSGENDERS IN INDIA
- According to the 2011 Census, India’s total population of transgender people is 4.9 lakh.
- They are subjected to the worst levels of social neglect and abuse in society.
- Their rights are frequently violated. They are regarded as criminals and social outcasts.
- To achieve socioeconomic fairness, the government introduced the ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019’.
- A transgender person is defined as someone whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth, according to the bill. Transmen and transwomen, those with intersex variants, gender-queers, and people with socio-cultural identities like kinnar and hijra are also included.
- A transgender person may apply to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity that specifies their gender as ‘transgender.’
- Discrimination against transgender people is prohibited under the bill, including denial of service or unfair treatment in the areas of education, employment, and healthcare.
- Public products, facilities, and opportunities are accessible to or enjoyed by the general public.
- Right to move around, live in, rent, or otherwise occupy property.
- Possibility of running for public or private office.
- Access to a government or private institution that is caring for or holding a transgender individual.
- Health care: The bill also intends to offer transgender people with health-care rights, such as specialized HIV surveillance centers and sex reassignment surgery.
- It also says the government will examine medical curriculum to address transgender people’s health challenges and give comprehensive medical insurance plans for them.
- It stipulates that offenses against transgender people will result in a prison sentence of six months to two years, as well as a fine.
- Government welfare measures: The bill specifies that the appropriate government will take steps to ensure transgender people’s full inclusion and involvement in society.
- The National Council for Transgender People (NCT) is a non-profit organization that advocates for transgender people. The law aims to establish the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) to help transgender people.
How numerous issues in the bill jeopardize individual rights:
- This bill does not go far enough to safeguard transgender people who are routinely and unjustly subjected to abuse.
- The bill fails to legally recognize a self-defined gender identity, which the Supreme Court recognized in National Legal Services Authority v Union of India. The bill lays out a hazy bureaucratic framework for legal gender recognition, infringing on trans people’s ability to have their self-identified gender recognized.
- The bill recognizes a number of crimes committed against transgender people, all of which are punishable by up to two years in prison. The bill fails to recognize the wide spectrum of violence they encounter and does not give sanctions that are proportional to the severity of the offense.
- Furthermore, the Bill fails to recognize and punish the violence perpetrated against transgender people by officials in educational and health-care institutions, police stations, jails, shelters and remand homes, and other places of detention.
- It ignores the lack of an adequate enforcement mechanism for the legal prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity.
- To recognize transgender people, a District Screening Committee would issue a certificate of identity. This is also a breach of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution.
- The bill is also vague on whether a trans person with a male or female gender certificate will be eligible for government welfare programs and services geared toward trans people.
- The bill makes no mention of consequences for rape or sexual assault of transgender people, despite the fact that rape is defined as when a male enters a woman forcibly.
Steps to take:
- The inclusion of intersex people in the Indian bill is significant, but it should be titled the Rights of Transgender and Intersex Persons Bill and include explicit intersex protections in accordance with India’s international human rights commitments.
- The bill should be changed to include a greater emphasis on teacher training to assist them in adopting inclusive teaching methods so that children are not harassed or discriminated against by staff or other children.
- The government should take steps to reduce stigma and discrimination in a variety of ways, from public awareness campaigns in the media to targeted training and sensitization for police and health-care personnel.
- Thailand should teach India a thing or two.
- It is one of those model countries that provides all of the necessary facilities to the transgender community.
- There should be a community’s population.
- This exercise should involve the entire community.
- For the time being, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has more reliable information about transgender people in India.
- It could be used to plan welfare programs.
- In the National Legal Services Authority and Navtej Singh Johar case, the Supreme Court maintained the Indian constitution’s guarantee of equal rights for transgender people.
- Although the transgender bill contains many important elements, there are still certain difficulties that must be addressed.
Source: THE HINDU.