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National Council for Transgender Persons
- 24 Aug 2020
- 6 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons, under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
Features of Transgender Persons Act, 2019
- Seeks to establish Natonal Council for Transgender persons.
- Definition of a Transgender Person: The Act defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. It includes transmen and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.
- Certificate of Identity: The Act states that a transgender person shall have the right to self-perceived gender identity.
- A certificate of identity can be obtained at the District Magistrate's office and a revised certificate is to be obtained if sex is changed.
- The Act has a provision that provides transgender the right of residence with parents and immediate family members.
- Prohibition Against Discrimination: The Act prohibits discrimination against a transgender person in various sectors such as education, employment, and healthcare etc.
- Punishment: It states that the offences against transgender persons will attract imprisonment between six months and two years, in addition to a fine.
- To mainstream the transgender community’s concerns, focusing on livelihood issues as well as to raise awareness about the trans community, so that transpersons are accepted within families and in the larger society.
- To ensure that transgender welfare boards are set up in all States and essential needs of the transgender community, like housing, food, healthcare and education are met.
- Advising the Central government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons.
- Monitoring and evaluating the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons.
- Reviewing and coordinating the activities of all the departments.
- Redressing grievances of transgender persons.
- Performing such other functions as prescribed by the Centre.
- Its chairperson will be the Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- It will also consists of:
- Representatives from five states or Union Territories (one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions), on a rotational basis.
- Five members of the trangender community (one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions).
- The tenure of the community members shall be three years.
- Representatives from 10 central departments.
- The council will have joint secretary-level members from the Ministries of Health, Home, Minority Affairs, Education, Rural Development, Labour and Law.
- In addition, there will be a member from the Department of Pensions (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions), NITI Aayog, National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women.
- 2013: The government set up an expert committee to study the problems of transgenders and recommend solutions.
- 2014: In National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India case, the Supreme Court of India declared transgender people to be a 'third gender'.
- It also affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender as male, female or third-gender.
- 2014: A private member Bill, the Rights of Transgendered Persons, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
- The bill looked at a range of entitlements of such persons, providing specifically for them in health, education sectors, skill development and employment opportunities, and protection from abuse and torture.
- However, this Bill got lapsed.
- 2016: The Government introduced its own Bill in the Lok Sabha and it was referred to a Standing Committee.
- 2019: The Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.
- 2020: Government establishes the National Council for Transgender Persons.
- The establishment of National Council for Transgender Persons which seeks to increase awareness and inculcate sense of respect and acceptance for transgender community, is a welcome step. However, its upto the effective functioning of the council whether it will able to identify the issues faced by the transgender community and accordingly advice the government.
- Apart from policies and regulations, there is also a need for an inclusive approach, sensitising legal and law enforcement systems in particular towards the issues of transgender community.