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Senate body for legislation to ensure transgender rights

Senate body for legislation to ensure transgender rights

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Marginalised Segments of Society on Tuesday recommended legislation and allocation of a job quota for transgenders to ensure their rights.

Moreover, the committee decided to invite representatives of transgenders to get their input for further recommendations.

The chairman of the committee, Nisar Mohammad of the PML-N, said there was a need to change perceptions and attitude towards transgenders.

“Transgenders are deprived of their basic rights and do not get recognition. They should be given recognition as per the Islamic and international laws,” he said.

Mir Kabeer Ahmed Shahi of the National Party said transgenders should be treated as human beings and a job quota should be allocated for them. Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi (independent) said there was a need to change the mindset in society.

ANP Senator Sitara Ayaz said there were well-educated transgenders but they were also not getting their rights.

“I suggest that along with the male and female, there should be a third section for transgenders on the Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC),” she said.

A representative from the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) said efforts were underway to provide due rights to transgenders. The Ministry of Law and Justice has also given an opinion that steps can be taken for the betterment of transgenders without even making a law.

He informed the committee that according to a survey there were 300 transgenders in the federal capital.

A representative from the National Commission on Human Rights said a helpline and a tribunal had already been established to address the issues of the marginalised segments of society.

“We also held a convention for transgenders in Karachi in which the participants lodged complaints that they were not getting access to education and healthcare facilities. Moreover, the government of Sindh has promised to establish a police station and a community centre for transgenders besides allocating a job quota for them,” he said.

Issues faced by IDPs

The committee chairman expressed annoyance over non-resolution of issues faced by the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and suggested that their problems should be addressed on a priority basis.

“Had a small portion of the $13 billion Coalition Support Fund been spent on the IDPs, they would not have been living in camps for over two years. Moreover, the security situation is not satisfactory in Fata that is why 39,000 IDPs could not be sent back to their homes,” Senator Nisar Mohammad said.

The committee members added that Rs400,000 were not enough for the reconstruction of demolished houses of the IDPs and the amount should be increased.

Dawn

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