Transgender persons who want to declare their desired sex will no longer have to go through a medical examination in order to do so, according to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules 2020, issued by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on Monday.
The Rules, first released as a draft in July, inviting objections and suggestions, had been criticised by the LGBTQ community for “taking away’’ their dignity by mandating that a third person, such as a District Magistrate, would verify, and subsequently certify the gender of a person.
Notified on September 25, the Rules now state that the District Magistrate will “subject to the correctness of the applicant’s particulars, get the application processed based on the affidavit submitted declaring the gender identity of any person, without any medical or physical examination, and thereafter, issue an identification number to the applicant, which may be quoted as proof of application.”
The application to declare gender is to be made physically to the District magistrate, till the system goes online. Parents will also be able to make an application on behalf of their child.
Transgender persons who have officially recorded their change in gender, whether as male, female or transgender, prior to these Rules coming into force will not be required to submit an application for certificate of identity.In the new Rules, state governments have also been directed to constitute welfare boards for transgender persons to protect their rights and interests, and facilitate access to schemes and welfare measures framed by the Centre.
They also call for a review of all existing educational, social security, health schemes, welfare measures, vocational training and self-employment schemes to include transgender persons.
State governments are also required to take steps to prohibit discrimination of transgender persons in any government or private organisation, or private and public educational institution under their purview, “and ensure equitable access to social and public spaces, including burial grounds”.
The Centre has further mandated that transgender-sensitive infrastructure such as separate wards in hospitals and washrooms be constructed within two years of the Rules being notified.
Every state government is required to also set up a Transgender Protection Cell under the charge of the state’s DGP and District Magistrates to monitor cases of offences against transgender persons and to ensure timely registration, investigation and prosecution.
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