New Parliamentary report on Transgender Rights finds crucial gaps in draft law

The Social Justice and Empowerment Committee has released its report on the draft Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill. Since the introduction of the draft bill in August last year, various human rights organizations and activists had raised concerns over some of its provisions.

The new report addresses the concerns raised, noting the bill’s failure to properly define discrimination, its silence on penalties for those who violate transgender rights, and the absence of an option for transgender people to bring a complaint if they are mistreated or abused. The report concludes that the draft law fails to properly protect transgender people from rape and sexual assault, as transgender persons remain at risk of arrest and prosecution because section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes same-sex sexual relations. The report slams the bill’s definition of transgender people as “unscientific and primitive,” and one which “completely misunderstands trans identities” and severely restricts their right to self-identify.