National Council under Transgender Persons Act, 2019

Forums Miscellaneous Provisions National Council under Transgender Persons Act, 2019

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  • #3061

    Chapter VII of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act. 2019 [Act No. 40 of 2019] provides for the constitution of the ‘National Council For Transgender Persons’. From the distribution of membership in the National Council under Section 16 in Chapter Seven of the act, it is abundantly clear that equivalent representations of different members of the transgender community from respective regions in the country is not present. Ques: Whether the proposed constituency of the council, its diversity, and possible lack of representation of the transgender community, becomes a travesty to assurance of justice?

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    • #3062

      Q.) Whether the proposed constituency of the council, its diversity, and possible lack of representation of the transgender community, becomes a travesty to the assurance of justice?

      There has been the accrual of many provisions and policy making powers to the National Council. To say the least therefore, there is eminent probability that the decisions taken thus by the council would directly affect the outcomes of initiatives and methods reflecting on the Transgender Community. To understand the same, a perusal of Section 17 of the Act, showcases that the council acts to advise the Central Government on policies, programmes, legislations and projects. It also monitors and evaluates the impact of these policies and programmes which serve the purpose of promoting equality of transgender persons. The Council is also the grievance redressal forum. However, Section 16 only outlays 5 representatives from the transgender community from the regions of North, South East, West and North East Region on a rotation basis between all the states. This clearly highlights the lack of representation to the community sought to be helped through this legislation and that the assurance of being heard (fairly) and for positive actions to be taken for them to be hampered. In proposal a larger number of individuals from the Transgender community would greatly improve the ability of the problems to be addressed, on a more practical basis backed by first hand experiences and also to balance the constitution of the council, with an overwhelmingly large number of members present who are representatives of just the government.

    • #3609

      Everyone experiences both empowerment and oppression uniquely. Intersectionality is often absent in critical conversations relating to policy and law making despite our knowledge of its importance in these settings. Which leads to this question, how can policies be made when the people they are affecting aren’t present in the conversation? The duty of policy making is often left to a homogeneous group of people who aren’t even affected by the issues being discussed. The capacity of community organizations to monitor, document and respond to discrimination and human rights violations must be strengthened. Training in legal literacy, and public speaking for advocacy are needed. Transgender representation in dialogues around social and legal protection, policy and legal reform, and public sensitization is necessary and the aforesaid cannot be possible without representation of the transgender community The proposed National Council for Transgender Persons does not give adequate representation (it has only 5 seats designated for transgender persons) to the members of the very community it wishes to represent. Moreover, as the Central Government is tasked with the responsibility of nominating members to the Council, this may lead to the government exercising great control over it. Not forget the fact that certain provisions of the Act that may hinder the progress made for transgender rights, the public consultation process seems ill-timed considering the country-wide coronavirus lockdown. The lockdown restricted the movement of the transgender community and made it difficult for them to discuss the rules and provide adequate feedback making the lack of representation in different categories as issue which might cause hindrance to justice and has to be addressed in the future. The right to be recognized as a marginalized group thus appropriate representation be afforded to transgender in all Government instrumentalities and all other groups & organizations whether local or international is a must so that it does not create injustice and the entire reason for which the council and this law was formed or created is not ignored. Thus, a greater representation of transgender members across all categories and in the process of nomination should be an amendment the government and the council should be looking towards.

    • #3660

      National Council is composed of Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment who is the Chairperson and representatives from ten central departments. In addition to this it consists of representatives from five states or Union Territories and five members from the transgender community, each from North, South, East, West and northeast regions. We can see that the transgender community is under-represented and is not even diverse.
      There has been a rampant and longstanding discrimination against the Transgender community and thus, the slow evolution of the law has only contributed to the evil. The importance of specialized national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights has been widely recognized. It is especially crucial in the backdrop of multiple human rights violations of the community requiring immediate intervention. Establishing National Council for transgender community is a welcome step. However, it must be ensured that the composition and powers of the Council do not become hindrance for the object sought to be achieved. Representation gives voice to the silenced minorities and repairs the hurt of living in an unequal society. To see one’s community represented addresses and makes responsible the very structure that denied their existence before. So if the community itself is not represented adequately then how will the council be successful in achieving the goal of creating a society where the transgender individuals not only survive but thrive too.

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