Eid packages for virus-hit transgender persons

The Ministry of Human Rights launched Eid relief packages for Covid-19 affected transgender persons in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nation Population Fund.

The beneficiaries were identified through a preliminary socio-economic rapid need assessment for Covid-19 to cater to the most vulnerable transgender persons, led and driven by the transgender community.

A statement issued here said that the ministry and UNDP had asked civil society partners who were also members of the Ministry of Human Rights National Implementation Committee and focal persons in Rawalpindi and Islamabad to conduct the assessment.

A total of 120 ration bags will be distributed to the transgender persons. The remaining individual relief packages were handed over to focal persons for distribution to deserving members of the population. United Nations Development Program Consultant Nayyab Ali has coordinated the assessment while Aisha Mughal from the Ministry of Human Rights along with the relevant United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Population Fund team members were overseeing the process. Federal Secretary for Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha distributed ration bags among three transgender persons at the ceremony.

Speaking at the event, she reiterated the commitment of the state to protect the rights of transgender persons.

“MoHR constituted a National Implementation Committee under the Transgender Persons Act 2018. Pakistan has one of the most progressive transgender laws, granting transgender persons equal rights, including the right to self-identification of gender. Provincial consultation meetings have been conducted in all four provinces in order to reduce Trans-phobic stigma and discrimination with transgender community,” she said.

The senior official also highlighted police sensitisation sessions and consultations have also been conducted to finalise guidelines for police engagement with transgender persons in the Islamabad Capital Territory, she said adding: “These are critical steps towards the realisation of equal rights for the transgender community in Pakistan.”

Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said the PTI government was trying its best to ensure that transgender persons were recognised as equal citizens of the state.

“The transgender community in Pakistan, one of the most marginalised sections of the country - has continued to raise concerns regarding economic impact ever since the lockdown was announced. Targeted interventions to alleviate the plight of these persons are necessary.”

She further said, “MoHR is also establishing protection centres for transgender persons in order to provide shelter, rehabilitation and other medical and psychological care to them. Separate Wards have also been opened at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for the members of transgender community.”

Link: https://www.dawn.com/news/1570548