ISLAMABAD – The lower house of Pakistan’s parliament approved the protection of rights of transgender persons and the acid and burn crime bills on Tuesday.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 was passed in the National Assembly with majority votes. The bill was also passed by Senate in March this year.
Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) piloted the bill to provide protection, relief and rehabilitation of rights to transgender persons.
Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2018
The transgender community can now register to obtain a driver’s licence and passport, and get their gender changed in National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) records.
Harassment of transgenders will be prohibited in and outside their homes.
They will not be discriminated against by educational institutions, employers, in trade and health services, and when using public transport and buying or selling or renting property.
The government will establish a safe house for transgender persons and provide them medical and educational facilities and psychological counselling.
Separate rooms will be established at jails where trans person could be detained.
In addition to all basic rights, they will be entitled to inherit property. The government will take steps to ensure employment opportunities for transgender community.
Transgender persons will have the right to vote in all national, provincial and local government elections and they will not be discriminated against in their pursuit of a public office.
Anyone found guilty of forcing a transgender person to beg will be sentenced to six months in prison and served a fine of Rs50,000.
Acid and Burn Crime Bill, 2017
Meanwhile, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairperson Marvi Memon moved the Acid and Burn Crime Bill, 2017, in the lower house of the parliament.
The bill aims at making provisions to specifically criminalise acid and burn-related violence by providing a fair and speedy trial of such heinous offences and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto (The Acid and Burn Crime Bill 2017].
The House adopted all the amendments moved by Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian Syed Naveed Qamar. The bill offers free medical treatment and rehabilitation for acid burn victims, besides outlining a process for conducting trials of accused in the shortest possible time.
Thanking the House on the passage of the bill, Marvi Memon said that it took four years to pass the bill in the current form, expressing the hope that the bill would be also passed by the upper house of the parliament.
ICT Prohibition of Employment of Children Bill 2017
The National Assembly also passed the Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Employment of Children Bill 2017.
The bill, moved by MNA Shazia Marri, prohibits the employment of children to regulate the employment of adolescents in certain occupation and work.