Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act

Last update: October 2022

For the preliminaries: Transgender Persons (Rights Protection) Act, NALSA Judgment 2014, Private Member’s Bill, Transgender Persons (Rights Protection) Rules, 2020, Garima Greh

For the sector: Indian Society and the Challenges Facing Transgender People, Reforms for Transgender People, Transgender People (Protection of Rights) Act – Related Provisions and Concerns

Why in the news?

Who is a transgender?

  • According to the law, transgender refers to a person whose sex does not correspond to the sex assigned to that person at birth.
  • This includes trans people with intersex variations, gay people, and people with socio-cultural identities such as kinnar, hijra, aaravani and jogta.
  • india 2011 census was the first census in its history to include the number of “trans” people from the country. The report estimated that 4.8 million Indians identify as transgender.

What issues do transgender people face?

  • Lack of legal protection: They are subjected to prison violence, failure to fulfill the State’s obligation and general apathy towards their problems such as education, housing, medicine and employment.
  • Poverty: Lack of legal protection results in unemployment for transgender people people. They are denied services and experience high unemployment rates, housing insecurity and marginalization.
  • Harassment and stigma: They are encountered the ridicule of society and are considered mentally ill, socially deviant and sexually predatory.
  • Anti-transgender violence: They are forced to gender conformism, aversion-based pseudo-psychotherapiesforced marriages, striptease, physical and verbal abuse and are pushed into prostitution by their own families.
  • Barriers to health care: Their exposure to basic health care is minimal as they are subject to the apathy of the medical fraternity with professionals lacking skills in transgender health care.

What is the reform agenda for transgender people?

  • In 2009, appropriate guidelines were issued by the Electoral Commission all provinces to modify the format of registration forms to include an option to “others”. This allowed trans people to check off the column if they did not want to be identified as male or female.
  • The Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority Vs. Union of India (2014) recognized them as “Third Kind”.
    • In the landmark decision, Judge KS Radhakrishnan observed that “the recognition of transgender people as a third gender is not a social or medical issue, but a matter of human rights”.

  • In 2014, the Transgender Rights Bill was introduced as a private member’s bill by MP Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Tiruchi Siva, and adopted by the Rajya Sabha in April 2015.
  • Recently, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 was enacted.

What are the main provisions of the bill?

What are the challenges associated with the law?

  • Transgender people are not set correctly and the law has no provision for gender self-determination.
  • The law is silent on granting reservations to a transgender person, going against the Supreme Court’s verdict in NALSA Judgment in 2014 which seeks to reserve transgender people as socially and educationally backward classes.
  • Begging is a way of life for transgender people as they dance or sing and earn money. However, the law criminalizes begging by making it an offense without taking alternative positive action for their social security.
  • He fixes lighter consequences for discrimination and attacks against trans people compared to cis-gender people which prescribes a prison sentence of 7 years for sexual assaults on women.
  • The act treaty transgender as victims rather than an empowered subject with rights.
  • The Standing Committee’s concerns regarding recognize rights in marriage, divorce and adoption of the transgender person have not been addressed.
  • The act violates the constitutional right of transgender people to freedom of residence under section 19 because they either have to stay with their parents or go to court.

What other initiatives has the government taken for transgender people?

  • Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020:
    • The rules were made under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019.
    • The rules seek to rrecognize transgender identity and prohibit discrimination in the areas of education, employment, health, holding or disposal of property, exercise of public or private functions and access to and use of services and benefits public.

  • National portal for transgender people:
    • It would be help transgender people digitally apply for a certificate and identity map from anywhere in the country, so preventing any physical interaction with the officials.
      • It will help them track application status, rejection, grievance redressetc., which will ensure the transparency of the process.

    • It was launched under the Transgender People (Protection of Rights) Rules 2020.

  • Garima Greh:
    • In November 2020, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated Garima Greha shelter for transgender people.
    • The Program of “foster home for transgender people” includes shelter, food, clothing, recreational facilities, skill development opportunities, yoga, fitness, library facilities, legal support, technical advice for gender transition and surgeries, capacity building for transgender organizations, employment, etc.
      • The scheme will rehabilitate a minimum of 25 transgender people in each of the households identified by the ministry.
      • 10 towns have been identified to set up the 13 foster homes.

  • Recognition in Indian prisons:
    • In January 2022, the Department of the Interior issued a notice to State/UT Prison Chiefs to ensure the privacy and dignity of third sex prisoners.
      • According to a National Crime Records Bureau, there were 70 transgender prisoners in prisons across the country in 2020.
      • In India, the Prisons Act 1894 does not recognize sexual minorities based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as a different class of prisoners.
        • It only separates prisoners into the categories of women, young offenders, remand prisoners, convicts, civilian prisoners, inmates and high security prisoners.

What more can be done to uplift transgender people?

  • Transgender inclusive policies: The legal and law enforcement systems need to be empowered and sensitized to the issues of the transgender community.
    • An inclusive approach for transgender people must be planned and adopted by government and society.
    • Their grievance of not being included in policy formulation or decision making needs to be assuaged and the chances of their public participation should be increased.

  • Responding to social concerns: The provision of free legal aid, supportive education and social entitlement must be ensured for the transgender community at the ground level, as the NALSA judgment suggests.
    • Separate policies related to health care should be developed and communicated in all private and public hospitals and clinics.
    • There is a need to increase awareness and instill a sense of respect and acceptance in the transgender community.

  • Financial security: Liberal credit facilities and financial assistance must be ensured to start their career as an entrepreneur or businessman.
  • Transgender in prison: awareness and documentation are two important tools for addressing reforms with reference to sexual minorities, in particular trans prisoners.
    • As the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) defenders, we need a gender-neutral approach to the treatment of transgender prisoners.
      • The CHRI recommendations should be taken into account by the Union government to provide model policy‘ on the special needs of trans prisoners, through a consultation process with members of the trans community, to honor the mandate of the NALSA judgment.

UPSC Civil Service Examination Past Year Questions (PYQ)

Preliminaries

Q1. Regarding the Parliament of India, consider the following statements: (2017)

  1. A private member’s bill is a bill introduced by an MP who is not elected but only appointed by the President of India.
  2. Recently, a private member’s bill was passed in the Indian Parliament for the first time in its history.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(vs) Both 1 and 2
(D) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d)

Q2. In India, legal services authorities provide free legal services to which of the following types of citizens? (2020)

  1. Person with annual income below Rs. 1,00,000
  2. Transgender with annual income below Rs. 2,00,000
  3. Member of Other Backward Classes (OBC) with annual income below Rs. 3,00,000
  4. All seniors

Select the correct answer using the code below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(vs) 2 and 3 only
(D) 1 and 4 only

Respond to)

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