The National Network of Sex Workers, India, which has over 1 lakh members, has urged President Ram Nath Kovind not to sign the transgender Bill 2019.
“This Bill harms communities of transgender people and, hence, we urge you in all good faith to send this Bill back to Parliament and seek consultation with the community,” Kiran Deshmukh, president, NNSW, said in the letter to Kovind.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 has been passed by both Houses of Parliament amid strong protests from the transgender community, the very people whose rights the Bill claims to protect.
One of the issues in the Bill that the community is concerned about is self-identification of gender. “Why do transgender persons have to certify their transgender identity before a magistrate when the 2014 NALSA judgment of the Supreme Court grants them the right to self-identification. The Bill seems to be violating the spirit of the NALSA judgment on right to self-identification of gender. Large-scale consultations must be held with the community to arrive at a mechanism that complies with the principle of right to self-identification and also ensures that the benefits meant for transgender people are not taken away by cisgender people,” the letter states.
Other issues are:
* Name change, which only covers the change of the first name
* Intersex and transgender wrongly conflated in the Bill
* Bill also silent on issues of reservation, the letter states
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