To ensure the protection of the rights of the transgender community, the Ministry of Home Affairs has written a letter to the chief secretaries of all Union Territories and states in the country. It directed the authorities to sensitize police and prison officials in this regard as well as tasked the states to protect and rehabilitate the members from the community.
"The law mandates adequate steps to be taken by the State Governments/Union Territories for not only providing for welfare measures to be taken but steps to be taken for rescue, protection, and rehabilitation of a transgender person," read the MHA's letter, as reported by The New Indian Express.
Under section 18 of the Transgenders (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, it is a punishable offence in case anyone compels or entices a transgender person to indulge in the very act of forced or bonded labour, the exception being any compulsory service for public purposes imposed by the government. If someone denies a transgender person the right of passage to a public place or obstructs such a person from access to a public place to which other members have the right to use, forces or causes a transgender person to leave the household, village or any other place of residence, the person will be severely punished.
It also mentioned that harming or injuring or endangering the life, safety, health, or well-being, whether mental or physical, of a transgender person or performing acts of sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal and emotional abuse will be a punishable offence. It further stated that Rule 11 calls for adequate measures to be taken to prevent discrimination and also set up a Transgender Protection Cell under the charge of District Magistrate in each district and a state-level cell under the Director General of Police, to monitor cases of offences against transgender persons and ensure timely registration, investigation, and prosecution of such offences..
In another recent development, members of the transgender community will now be able to use public toilets exclusively made for them in New Delhi. India Today reported that the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided to provide public toilets exclusively for the third-gender in the national capital.
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