ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 aimed at ensuring rights of transgender persons with majority vote by rejecting amendments proposed by JUI-F lawmaker Naeema Kishwer Khan.
Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan People Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) piloted the bill to provide for protection, relief and rehabilitation of rights of the transgender persons and their welfare and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto [ the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 in the House.
Opposing the bill, JUI-F lawmaker Naeema Kishwer said the bill should be referred to the standing committee for detailed deliberation. She moved a motion and amendments to refer the bill to Council of Islamic Ideology and the standing committee.
Syed Naveed Qamar said that detailed discussions were carried out on the bill the standing committee of the Senate and requested the House to pass the bill.
Ayesha Sayyad of Jamaat-i-Islami also opposed the bill and maintained that the bill should be referred to the standing committee.
Under the proposed law, the Transgender persons will be able to register to obtain a driver’s licence and passport. They will have the option to get their gender changed in National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) records.
Harassment of transgenders will also be prohibited in and outside their homes. They will not be discriminated against by educational institutions, employers, in trade and health services, and when using public transport and buying or selling or renting property.
The government will establish a safe house for transgenders and provide them medical and educational facilities and psychological counselling. Separate rooms will be established at jails where transgenders could be detained. In addition to all basic rights, they will be entitled to inherit property.
The government will take steps to ensure employment opportunities for transgenders and they will have the right to vote in all national, provincial and local government elections and they will not be discriminated against in their pursuit of a public office.
Anyone found guilty of forcing a transgender person to beg will be sentenced to six months in prison and served a fine of Rs50,000.
The Senate has already passed the bill.-APP