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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 24 August, 2020

  • 8 Min Read

National Council for Transgender Persons

National Council for Transgender Persons

Recently, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons, under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

Background

  • Indian Census never recognized third gender i.e. Transgender while collecting census data. But in 2011, data on Transgender was collected with details related to their employment, literacy and caste.
  • As per the 2011 Census, the total population of Transgender is 4.88 lakhs, the highest being in Uttar Pradesh followed by Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar.
  • In the National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India case (2014), 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.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

  • The Bill 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.
  • A transgender person may make an application to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity, indicating the gender as ‘transgender’.
  • It calls for establishing a National Council for Transgender persons (NCT).
  • The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to Education, Employment, Healthcare, Movement, Reside, Rent, public or private office, and access to a Govt or private establishment.
  • The Act has a provision that provides transgender with the right of residence with parents and immediate family members.
  • It states the offences against Transgender persons will attract jail of 6 months to 2 years + a fine.
  • Bill also seeks to provide rights of health facilities to transgender persons including separate HIV surveillance centres, and sex reassignment surgeries. Govt shall review the medical curriculum and provide medical insurance.

Functions of the National Council for Transgender Persons:

  • 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.

Composition of the Council:

  • Its chairperson will be the Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It will also consists of:
  • Representatives from 5 states or UTs (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.

Way Forward

  • 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.

Source: TH

Source: TH


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