The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (Act) imposes certain obligations on the State Governments to ensure the full inclusion and participation of transgender persons in society, and to take welfare measures to protect the rights and interests of transgender persons. One of the ways prescribed for non-discrimination under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 (Rules) is to constitute a Transgender Protection Cell. This is to be constituted under the charge of Director General of Police in each State, and District Magistrate in each district, to monitor cases of offences against transgender persons, and to ensure timely registration, investigation and prosecution of such offences. Further, some other welfare measures prescribed in the Rules include, taking adequate steps to prohibit discrimination in any establishment, including in the areas of education, employment, healthcare, public transportation, participation in public life, sports, leisure and recreation and opportunity to hold public or private office, and to also ensure equitable access to social and public spaces; and sensitisation of institutions and establishments.
In pursuance of this, on 9 October 2020, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) issued a letter to the Director General of Police of all States and Union Territories requiring their immediate action on the above. This includes issuing necessary directions on constitution of the Transgender Protection Cell, harassment-free zones for transgender persons in public transportation and other welfare measures for safety and security of transgender persons in accordance with the Rules. Further, in this regard, the Ministry of Home Affairs (Women Division) has also issued a letter on 21 January 2021, to the Chief Secretaries of the State/UTs Home Department, requesting to initiate necessary measures in accordance with the MoSJE’s letter, as well as in accordance with the Act and Rules, and to undertake necessary sensitization programmes for the police and prison officials.
– Aakriti Chokhani, Advocate & Associate, POSH at Work