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Transgender Community Members Dub Bill Passed by Lok Sabha as Regressive

Above all, it violates the rights of people in sex work or begging while deciding if they are trafficked or choosing these forms of work," Jamal said.

New Delhi: A day after the Lok Sabha passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, community representatives and activists Tuesday voiced protests, dubbing it as “regressive” and said it disregarded most recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The community representatives said the Bill was in stark “violation” of the fundamental rights of transgender persons enshrined in the Constitution as equal citizens.

According to Jamal, a member of the community from Delhi the Bill criminalises begging and prescribes a jail term for anyone who “compels or entices a transgender person to indulge in the act of begging”.

“But then due to lack of job opportunities, many transgenders are forced to take to begging and the bill does not take into account this aspect. It also does not distinguish between voluntary sex work and delineate it apart from trafficking,” Jamal said.

Above all, it violates the rights of people in sex work or begging while deciding if they are trafficked or choosing these forms of work,” Jamal said.

Bittu, a transgender activist from Telangana, further said that in 2016, Rajya Sabha passed the comparatively more progressive Private Member’s Bill drafted by Tiruchi Siva, DMK member of the Rajya Sabha, which had been drawn up in consultation with the community. It has since then been pending before the Lok Sabha.

“While Tiruchi Siva’s bill had several progressive positions such as reservation rights, employment and education opportunities, right to self determination, special courts, a Transgender Rights Commission and more, this Bill should be more appropriately retitled the Transgender Persons (Violation of Rights) Bill, since it violates more rights than it protects,” Bittu said.

According to another activist, the bill is likely to impact the lives of thousands of trans person and sex workers adversely.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 seeking to define transgenders and prohibit discrimination against them, was introduced in the Lok Sabha two years ago.It was passed with 27 amendments.

Also Read: Amid Protests in House, Lok Sabha Passes Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill

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