Protecting the rights of the transgender community through legislative development

  • Amount funded: £121,000
  • Year: 2020
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Locations: Pakistan
Issue

A gap exists between the rights of transgender persons as outlined in Pakistan’s national legislation and the realisation of these rights in Punjab province.

Project partners
Good Thinkers Organisation for Human Development
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How we are helping

This project aims to domesticate the Transgender Persons Act in Punjab province by building the capacity of civil society to engage members of the provincial assembly and other key stakeholders.

About the project

Pakistan became the first country in Asia and one of the few in the world to legally recognise self-perceived gender identity when in May 2018, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act. The Act aims to ensure the rights of transgender persons by prohibiting discrimination and harassment while also enabling transgender persons to change their gender in national records.

However, provincial assemblies have not taken the necessary steps to adopt and implement their own versions of the Transgender Persons Act and, at present, none of Pakistan’s four provinces have adopted it. As a result, transgender persons continue to suffer from the effects of stigma, discrimination and violence based on their gender identity.

This project will build the capacity of civil society organisations and transgender persons to engage members of the provincial assembly so that the necessary steps are taken to domesticate the Transgender Persons Act in Punjab province. Further, the project will raise awareness on the issues facing the transgender community and work with government to help ensure an effective implementation and monitoring of the Act in Punjab once it is approved.

This will be achieved by:

  • Conducting a review of all existing laws and policies related to transgender persons in Punjab Province and identifying gaps;
  • Forming a Transgender Protection Network (TPN) with CSOs in Punjab, conducting training so members can advocate for the rights of the transgender community;
  • Drafting a Punjab Transgender Protection Bill based on the findings of the review and consultations with the transgender community, TPN, legislators, government officials and legal experts;
  • Organising awareness-raising and sensitisation sessions in 36 districts of Punjab with religious leaders, community elders, government officials, political parties and representatives of the Provincial Assembly to improve their understanding of the issues facing the transgender community and raise awareness on the draft bill;
  • Holding regular advocacy and consultative meetings with government officials, political parties and members of the Provincial Assembly;
  • Implementing an awareness-raising and social, print and electronic media campaign on the rights of the transgender community which will include a documentary video and press briefings;
  • Conducting orientation sessions on the draft bill to members of the Provincial Assembly before it is presented to the Assembly; and
  • Conducting public awareness once the Punjab Transgender Protection Bill has been passed and engaging TPN to help monitor the implementation and enforcement of legislation

If successful, there is potential for the proposed project’s approaches to be adapted and replicated in other provinces of the country.

Project Partners
Good Thinkers Organisation for Human Development

Good Thinkers Organisation for Human Development (GTOHD) was established in 2001 as a non-profit and non-governmental organisation. It works to promote justice and development opportunities for marginalised groups of women, children, transgender persons, and religious minorities.

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Governance Areas
Social inclusion