New Delhi: The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 has been passed by the Parliament. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 26 November 2019, and already passed by the 17th Lok Sabha on 5 August this year.
The proposed Bill has the following provisions:
(i) Non discrimination against a Transgender Person in educational institutions, employment, healthcare services etc.
(i) Recognition of identity of Transgender Persons and to confer upon them right to self perceived gender identity.
(iii) Provision of right of Residence with parents and immediate family members.
(iv) Provision for formulation of welfare schemes and programs for education, social security and health of Transgender Persons.
(v) Provision for National Council for Transgender Persons to advice, monitor and evaluate measures for the protection of their rights.
The Bill will make all stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Bill. It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Central Government and State Governments and Union Territory Administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons.
The Bill provides for the creation of a National Council for Transgender Persons that will advise Government on policy formulation for the community, monitor the implementation of such policies, and address grievances, among other duties.
Under the provisions of this Bill, causing harm of any kind, including physical or sexual abuse, to a transgender person, may attract punishment of imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years.
The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society, said a Press release from the Ministry of Social Justive and Empowerment, adding that it will lead to greater inclusiveness and make transgender persons productive members of the society.
It should be noted that the transgender community has criticised the Bill.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said in Rajya Sabha while the Bill was being debated, “Nobody from the transgender community – with 30 lakh or 40 lakh – are represented in any House. We can’t hear them here. Let us open our ears and listen to what they say in a Select Committee.”
“The message is, rape a woman; yes, very bad; rape a child, worse; but, the transgenders, these people are on streets, they are begging, they are under high risk, and what is this bill that we are passing? This is not about politics,” O’Brien observed.