Senate committee passes Transgender Protection of Rights Bill 2017


ISLAMABAD: The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights here on Friday passed, ‘The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017’ to ensure a conducive environment for the transgender community to live with dignity and respect like any other citizen of the country.

“The bill is focused on the welfare of transgenders, who have an equal right to live according to their own free will and get as much respect as other people of the society”, said Senate committee chairperson, Senator Nasreen Jalil.

The committee considered two bills on the same agenda, one moved by Senator Rubina Khalid, Senator Samina Saeed and Senator Kalsoom Parveen while the second bill was tabled by Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja, and after thorough discussions a clubbed bill was unanimously passed.

The Senate body approved the recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), which suggested that no separate board was required for the identification of transgenders, rather it was better to consider their own self-perceived gender.

However, the council said that if there was any complication in the inheritance issue and the matter was referred to the court, medical board can be conducted on orders if required.

The committee strongly condemned forced disappearance of people and recommended that a new commission on forced disappearances should be established with a new chairperson.

“No one is above the law and any person, innocent or accused, should be tried under the law,” committee members suggested.

The committee dropped the agenda regarding an attempted abduction of a journalist and also deferred the agenda of re-consideration of the amendments regarding procedural changes to check the misuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan.

Among others, Senator Mufti Abdul Sattar, Senator Saher Kamran, Senator Sitara Ayaz, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology, Dr Qibla Ayaz, officials of the Human Rights Ministry and representatives of Islamabad police attended the meeting.