The Centre has constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons which is to be headed by Union Minister of the Ministry Social Justice and Empowerment. The other members will be from various ministries such as the Health and Family Welfare, Home Affairs, Housing and Urban Affairs, Minority Affairs among others.

One representative each shall be present from the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Women. The council also has provisions for representation across all states on a rotation basis, including members of the transgender community.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 has laid down the provision for creating the council, and the composition of its members. It also describes the power and functions of the council, that has been created with the larger aim of upholding transgender rights, helping the community achieve equality and frame legislation and policies which benefit the community.

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Powers and Functions of the Council

Section 17 of the Transgender Persons Act lays down the five major functions of the Council which includes advising the Centre on legislation and policies concerning the transgender community, monitoring and evaluating the impact of legislation and policies on transgender communities.

The council must also review and co-ordinate all activities within various departments of the government and other governmental and non-governmental organisations.It also has the power to redress grievances of a transgender person. Through these functions, the council shall ensure that the community is able to participate in public spheres and their rights under the law are ensured.

Also Read: Without representation, there is very little faith in the system: Kanmani Ray, Transgender Woman Activist

Why It Matters?

The Transgender Persons Act and the council it creates has been subjected to criticism from the transgender community of being unconstitutional and not taking the community needs into consideration. The crucial task ahead of the council would be to balance the interest of the community and ensure that diverse voices from the transgender community are taken into consideration, during the process of making decisions, policies and legislation concerning them.

Image Credit: The Pioneer

Priyanka Chakrabarty is an intern for SheThePeople.TV.

 

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