By ASIM SHAHZAD
LAHORE: Punjab has proactively worked on transgender rights in Punjab by continuing registration of transgender persons, affirmative action to mainstream transgender persons need to be made in order to dignify their status in the society as all human beings are born free and equal with dignity and rights.
He said that in the first time of the history of Pakistan, Government of Punjab was working on initiatives for transgender community included birth registration, ensure registration with NADRA, comprehensive law to include transgender persons as aggrieved or victims in cases of violence against them and ensuring inheritance rights of the transgender persons.
These views expressed by provincial minister HR&MA Ijaz Alam Augustine in a workshop, the workshop was organized by the Department of Human Rights in association with Faces of Pakistan and Saathi Foundation at a private hotel in Lahore to protect rights of transgender community.
Protection of Rights Act 2018, problem identification, analysis and assessment of severity, sexual identification and fundamental rights, advocacy and lobbying skills and issues of data collection discussed in workshop.
The trainer covered in detail topics such as, analyzing and formulating action plans, analysis of national and international laws, introduction and use of mobile application developed for reporting incidents of abuse, introduction of gender and concepts of gender identity.
Head of Faces of Pakistan Javed William briefed to the minister about the introduction and use of the mobile application developed for reporting incidents of abuse etc. He told the provincial minister that according to the 2017 census, the number of eunuchs in Pakistan is 10,418 out of which 6,709 live in Punjab alone whereas according to experts the actual number of eunuchs is much higher but due to social pressure and fear not registered. Due to which eunuchs are forced to hide their true gender identity and unable to avail the benefits of schemes introduced by the government while in the record of NADRA only 5626 persons have registered themselves as eunuchs.
He suggested that the government and social development organizations have a responsibility to make joint and coordinated efforts for the dignified general acceptance and social encouragement of eunuchs in the society.
The Provincial Minister informed the participants that a bill of protection of rights of transgender community going to table in Punjab Assembly.
He appreciated the efforts of faces of Pakistan and Saathi to raise the voice ofthe eunuch community’s identity card, social, cultural and economic issues.
The provincial minister also answered the questions of the participants and distributed certificates among the participants at the end of the training session.