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Transgender Persons Bill, 2019

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    3rd Dec, 2019

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was recently introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. The bill seeks to empower the transgender community by providing them a separate identity.

Context

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was recently introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. The bill seeks to empower the transgender community by providing them a separate identity.

About

Key Features

A. Definition of a transgender person

The Bill defines a transgender person as one, who is,

  • Neither wholly female nor male; or
  • A combination of female and male; or
  • Neither female nor male.
  • In addition, the person’s gender must not match the gender assigned at birth. This will include trans-men, trans-women, persons with intersex variations and gender queers.

B. Certificate of identity for a transgender person

  • A person recognised as transgender person under the Bill shall have a right to self-perceived gender identity.
  • 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.
    1. The District Screening Committee will comprise a:
    2. Chief Medical Officer;
    3. District Social Welfare Officer;
    4. Psychologist or psychiatrist;
    5. Representative of the transgender community; and
    6. Government officer
  • The DM will issue a Certificate of Identity as ‘transgender’ based on the recommendation of this Committee.
  • The gender of a transgender person will be recorded in all official documents, on the basis of this Certificate.
  • If there is any change in gender, the transgender person may apply for a revised certificate by following the same process as that of obtaining a Certificate of Identity.

C. Benefits related to employment, health and education

  • The central or state governments shall provide welfare schemes and programmes to facilitate and support livelihood for transgender persons. This will include vocational training and self-employment.
  • The central and state governments shall take steps to provide healthcare facilities to transgender persons including:
    1. Separate HIV surveillance centers;
    2. Sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy counselling;
    3. Review of medical curriculum; and
    4. A comprehensive insurance scheme.
  • Educational institutions shall provide inclusive education and opportunities for sports, recreation and leisure activities to transgender persons.

D. Offences and Penalties

  • The Bill specifies the following offences:
    1. Compelling transgender persons to beg or do forced or bonded labour (excluding compulsory government service for public purposes);
    2. Denial of use of a public place;
    3. Denial of residence in household, village or other place of residence; and
    4. Physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic abuse.
  • These offences will attract imprisonment between six months and two years, and a fine

    National Council for Transgender persons:

    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.

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