Transgenders Rights Bill to hit RS wall

Transgenders Rights Bill to hit RS wall

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill is likely to hit the Rajya Sabha wall as Opposition parties demand that it be sent to Select Committee for wider consultation.

A section of the Opposition parties believe that the definition of transgenders is problematic and the changes suggested by the Parliamentary Standing Committee that scrutinised the bill, has not been incorporated.

Sources said the Opposition would demand that the bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday, be sent to a Select Committee by Rajya Sabha.

The bill seeks to empower the transgender community by providing them a separate identity. It also seeks to prohibit discrimination against such persons.

In Lok Sabha, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had described the bill as “flawed” as it prohibits discriminatory practices against transgender persons but fails to define discrimination.

Violation of rights

Activists claimed that the bill passed by Lok Sabha is in “stark violation” of the fundamental rights of transgender persons.

"The Trafficking bill passed recently compounds the criminalisation of the transgender community, by providing a staggering 10 years of punishment for organised begging, which it calls a form of aggravated trafficking that goes beyond punishments for trafficking," a statement said.

"It criminalises the administration of hormones and other medicines while again not distinguishing between coercion and assistance in accessing gender affirming hormone therapy. It also does not distinguish between voluntary sex work and delineate it apart from trafficking. Above all, it violates the agency of people in sex work or begging to decide if they are trafficked or choosing these forms of work," it added.

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