The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was presented in Lok Sabha by the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment as of 19 July, 2019.

Explanation on a transgender person The Bill explains a transgender person as one whose gender doesn’t same or match the gender assigned at birth. It involves trans-men and trans-women, gender-queers, persons with socio-cultural identities and persons with intersex variations like kinnar and hijra. Intersex variations mean a person who at birth shows variation in his/ her primary sexual characteristics, chromosomes, hormones or external genitalia, from the normative standard of male or female body.
Barring or Prohibition against discrimination The Bill prohibits the biasness or  discrimination against a transgender person like denial of unfair treatment in relation to:
  • education, healthcare and employment  ;
  • enjoyment of goods, opportunities and facilities available to the public;
  • right to movement, reside and rent;
  • opportunity to hold public or private office;
Right of  Home or residence Transgender person will have a right to reside and be included in his household. If the immediate family can’t care for the transgender person, the person may be brought to a rehabilitation centre on the orders of a competent court.
Employment No private or government body can discriminate against a transgender person in employment matters like recruitment, and promotion. Every set-up is needed to designate a person to be a complaint officer to deal with complaints in relation to the Act.
Education  Educational institutions recognized or funded by the government shall provide complete education, recreational and sports facilities for transgender persons, without any disparity or discrimination.
Health care  The government should take a few necessary steps to provide health facilities to transgender persons including separate sex reassignment surgeries and HIV surveillance centres. The government shall review medical program to address health issues of transgender persons, and offer complete medical insurance schemes for transgender community.
Document or Certificate of identity for a transgender person A transgender person may make an plea or application to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity, showing the gender as ‘transgender’. A revised document or  certificate may be received only if the individual undergoes operation or surgery to change their gender either as a male or a female.
Welfare policies or steps by the government  The Bill points out that the government will take steps to ensure the full participation and inclusion of transgender persons in a society. It must also take steps for their vocational and self-employment, rescue and rehabilitation and create schemes that are transgender sensitive, and foster their participation in cultural activities.
Offences and penalties The Bill identifies the following offences against transgender communities or persons:
  • forced labouring (except compulsory government service for public purposes),
  • no use of public places
  • removal from village or house
  • sexual, verbal, emotional, economic, and physical abuse. Penalties for these offences shall vary b/w 6 months and 2 years.
National Council for Transgender persons (NCT) The National Council for Transgender persons (NCT) will consist of:
  • Minister of State for Social Justice (Vice- Chairperson);
  • Union Minister for Social Justice (Chairperson);
  • Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice;
  • one representative from ministries i.e, Health, Home Affairs, and Human Resources Development. Other members shall be representatives of the NITI Aayog, and the National Human Rights Commission. State governments will also be represented. The Council will also contain 5 members from the transgender community and 5 authorities from non-governmental organizations.

The Council will suggest the central government along with monitoring the impact of projects, legislation and policies with respect to transgender persons. It will also redress the grievances of transgender persons.