NHRC issues an Advisory to ensure welfare of Transgender Persons

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  • Treat single transgender child of a deceased government employee or pensioner as an unmarried daughter for the purpose of ‘family pension’ and other benefits
  • Allow Transgender Persons to inherit ancestral agricultural land
  • besides the inclusion of ‘Third Gender’ in civil services jobs
  • Free sex reassignment surgery in government hospitals or grant for the same recommended
  • Provisions be made for separate washrooms for Transgender Persons in all public places

New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India, headed by Justice Shri Arun Mishra issued an Advisory to the Central and State governments and UT Administrations to ensure the welfare of Transgender Persons. The Commission has prepared this Advisory after wide discussions with various stakeholders and its Core Group members on LGBTI issues.

The rights of Transgender Persons have gained recognition and legal validity through the enactment of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, which aims to safeguard and uphold their rights.

In the Advisory, the Commission has observed that one of the primary concerns faced by Transgender Persons in the country is that despite the legal advancements, they continue to grapple with discrimination at various places like employment disparities, limited access to healthcare, and exclusion from social circles.

The Commission, in a letter to the Secretaries in the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment and Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Chief Secretaries of States and Administrators of Union Territories, has asked for the implementation of its recommendations in letter and spirit, and sought Action Taken Report within two months.

The Advisory has focused on six key areas for action by the Centre, States and UT Administrations to ensure transgender persons get access to education, healthcare, employment, inclusivity, welfare, and grievance redressal.

Some of the important recommendations, among others, are as follows;

  • Single trans child of a deceased government employee or pensioner, may be treated as an unmarried daughter for the family pension and other benefits;
  • Transgender persons should be allowed to inherit ancestral agricultural land;
  • Multi-purpose identity cards may be provided to the Transgenders to help the access government schemes and other benefits;
  • The Insurance Companies may be advised to consider and accept the Transgender Certificate issued by the appropriate authority for document verification purposes;
  • The concerned Ministry should ensure the timely release of the funds allocated to Garima Greh;
  • Set up Transgender Welfare Board  under the Section 10(1) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020;
  • Reach out to the family member of Transgenders through Anganwadi workers to sensitize them about trans-children public to be sensitized through educational campaigns;
  • Establish a Transgender Protection Cell under the Director General of Police or his/ her nominee in the State to monitor cases of offences against Transgender Persons; 
  • Adequate steps may be taken to deal with the complaint of sexual harassment of Transgender persons;
  • A policy should be formulated to address the issues of violence, discrimination and harassment at educational institutions by protecting gender non-conforming students from bullying, harassment or other forms of violence; 
  • An anti-discrimination cell must be set up at the district level for Transgender persons, and ensure the setting up of a monitoring committee at educational institutions to address the issues of prejudices, discrimination, sexual abuse and other violence against them;
  • Transgender students should not be discriminated against in higher studies, and suitable provision for providing financial assistance to them for pursuing degree/ diploma/ PG courses may be ensured. Provision of scholarship and free education for Transgender students also be formulated;
  • Medical boards at the district level should be set up to assist Transgender person in consultation, besides provisions in every district civil hospital for consultation, treatment, counseling for sex reassignment surgery;
  • A provision for a suitable amount to be made for those who want to opt for a sex change or free sex reassignment surgery in government hospitals;
  • Include ‘Third Gender’ as an identity category of the Transgender community seeking jobs in various civil services and to enable them to apply and appear in entrance examinations. Besides, wide publicity is to be given to the National Career Service Portal amongst the Transgender community;
  • Sensitization programmes for other employees on sexual orientation and gender identity may be organized regularly. A Grievance Redressal Cell having at least one Transgender Person be set up in the organizations wherever they are employed to deal with their issues;
  • Forms which require candidates to indicate their sex must provide ‘Third Gender’ as a category in the options;
  • All public places should have separate washrooms for Transgender Persons. Provide an exclusive platform for transgender persons to showcase their talent in cultural events and also to consider Old age home facilities for the transgender community;
  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs may consider incorporating welfare activities of Transgender Persons explicitly in Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, which provides the list of activities that can be included for making expenditures for Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) activities.

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