Bill to protect Transgender persons gets introduced in the Lok Sabha; strives to empower transgender persons by providing inclusive employment, inclusive medical facilities, inclusive education facilities etc.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 (“Bill”), which was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2016 and was pending consideration of the Rajya Sabha lapsed on the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.
Now, this Bill has been reintroduced in the Lok Sabha on 19th July, 2019.
The Transgender community is one of the most marginalized communities in the country because they do not fit into the general categories of gender of male or female.
Consequently, they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and sundry others.
Though the Constitution guarantees to all person equality before law and expressly prohibits discrimination on the ground of gender, yet the discrimination and atrocities against the transgender persons continue to take place, even today.
Objectives of the Bill:
- To define the expression “transgender person” and to prohibit discrimination against them.
- To confer right upon transgender persons to be recognised as such, and a right to self-perceived gender identity;
- To provide a certificate of identity to transgender persons;
- To ensure that no establishment discriminates against transgender persons in matters relating to employment, recruitment, promotion and other related issues;
- To provides for a grievance redressal mechanism in each establishment;
- To punish with fine and imprisonment for contraventions of the provisions of the proposed legislation.
Key Highlights from the Bill as introduced in the Lok Sabha on 19th July, 2019
- The Bill defines establishment as:
- any body or authority established by or under a Central Act or a State Act or an authority or a body owned or controlled or aided by the Government or a local authority, or a Government company as defined in section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013, and includes a Department of the Government; or
- any company or body corporate or association or body of individuals, firm, cooperative or other society, association, trust, agency, institution.
- The most important aspect of the Bill is that it defines a transgender person. A transgender person means a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man or trans-woman (whether or not such person has undergone Sex Reassignment Surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy or such other therapy), person with intersex variations, genderqueer and person having such socio-cultural identities askinner, hijra, aravani and jogta.
- The Bill strictly with prohibits discrimination against a transgender person and by any person or an establishment on the following grounds:
- the denial, or discontinuation of, or unfair treatment in, educational establishments and services thereof;
- the unfair treatment in, or in relation to, employment or occupation;
- the denial of, or termination from, employment or occupation;
- the denial or discontinuation of, or unfair treatment in, healthcare services;
- the denial or discontinuation of, or unfair treatment with regard to, access to, or provision or enjoyment or use of any goods, accommodation, service, facility, benefit, privilege or opportunity dedicated to the use of the general public or customarily available to the public;
- the denial or discontinuation of, or unfair treatment with regard to the right of movement;
- the denial or discontinuation of, or unfair treatment with regard to the right to reside, purchase, rent, or otherwise occupy any property;
- the denial or discontinuation of, or unfair treatment in, the opportunity to stand for or hold public or private office; and
- the denial of access to, removal from, or unfair treatment in, Government or private establishment in whose care or custody a transgender person may be.
- Obligations of Establishments with regard to transgenders:
- Prohibition against discrimination of any transgender person in any matter relating to employment including recruitment, promotion and other related issues.
- Ensuring compliance with the provisions of this Act and provide such facilities to transgender persons as may be prescribed.
- Every establishment will have to designate a person to be a complaint officer to deal with the complaints relating to violation of the provisions of this Act.
- In line with the provisions of this Bill, the Central and the State Government will also come up with measures with regard to healthcare facilities to:
- Provide for medical care facility including sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy;
- Before and after sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy counselling;
- Facilitate access to transgender persons in hospitals and other healthcare institutions and centres
- The Bill also proposes to punish with imprisonment for a term of six months to two years along with a fine to anyone who:
- compels or entices a transgender person to indulge in the act of forced or bonded labour other than any compulsory service for public purposes imposed by Government
- harms or injures or endangers the life, safety, health or well-being, whether mental or physical, of a transgender person or tends to do acts including causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse.
Source : Lok Sabha