UPDATE 10 January 2019 :
Over 12,000 Indians sent close to 15 lakh emails to Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament (MPs) asking them to stop the regressive Trans Rights Bill from becoming law.
Trans rights activists and supporters were on the ground, protesting, lobbying with MPs, speaking to the media -- for many across big and small Indian cities.
Our collective pressure managed to get the Trans Bill stalled at the Rajya Sabha -- which remained in deadlock until the end of its winter session. This is a key milestone in the fight for a progressive bill that truly provides a life of dignity and respect for the transgender community.
THANK YOU for taking action on this campaign -- we will need your continued support to take this campaign to victory!
20 December 2018:
We have only 7 days to take action!
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 was hurriedly passed by the Lok Sabha on December 17, 2018 -- entirely disregarding the concerns raised by the transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming community.
Now, the bill has gone to the Rajya Sabha for approval. We have only 7 days to raise our concerns with Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament (MPs) to not allow the bill to be passed in its present form.
One of the biggest problems with the Trans Rights Bill is that it gives absolute authority to a District Screening Committee to certify whether someone identifies as a transgender person or not. It mandates Sex Reassignment Surgery for someone to change their gender to male or female. However, a Supreme Court (SC) judgement grants self identification -- the Trans Bill entirely overrides this judgment.
The right to bodily integrity, autonomy and dignity is guaranteed to all citizens of India by our Constitution under the right to life. Self-identification is a deeply complex personal experience, not something to be decided by bureaucrats. This is unacceptable -- send an email to Rajya Sabha MPs to remove this from the bill.
The bill criminalises begging with severe punishment, but makes no mention of providing alternative employment opportunities, or reservations. It is precisely because of rigid mindsets and discrimination at the workplace that transgender persons resort to begging as a means of income generation.
The Trafficking bill passed in July, 2018 compounds the criminalisation of the transgender community, by providing a staggering 10 years of punishment for organised begging, which it calls a form of aggravated trafficking that goes beyond punishments for trafficking for forms of forced labour.
It also does not distinguish between voluntary sex work and delineate it apart from trafficking. Above all, it violates the agency of people in sex work or begging to decide if they are trafficked or choosing these forms of work.
A few Parliamentarians have already raised objections with the current form of the Trans Rights Bill. We know they are listening -- trans rights activists have been lobbying, demonstrating, writing letters, sending their recommendations for many months. The pressure is working. We’ve been in conversation with trans rights activists who have been fighting the bill on the ground. Our co-ordinated action will amplify their efforts in securing a progressive Trans Rights Bill.
We have exactly seven days -- Each email that a citizen sends to the Rajya Sabha MPs will make them think twice about passing it in its current form.
We’ve drafted this template email that you can personalise if you would like to. Let’s step up for those members of our society who are marginalised and oppressed.
We wish for the Government of India to withdraw the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 and to refer it to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha.
TG Bill Factsheet 2016 Factsheet: Bill Provisions and Community Demands - Sampoorna
Why the Transgender Community is Angry Over a Bill Meant to Protect Their Rights - The Wire
Indian Parliament passes bill that criminalises transgender people - Medium
‘Equal to killing us’: Why India’s transgender community is rejecting the Trans bill - The News Minute
- Why transgender community is struggling in spite of NALSA judgment - DailyO