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KARACHI: In a landmark consultation on the non-compliance with the fundamental rights of the transgenders, the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) convened a pivotal meeting at its headquarters here. Chaired by Iqbal Detho, chairperson of the SHRC, the event aimed at spotlighting the persistent challenges faced by the transgender community in Pakistan.

Detho underscored the imperative of recognizing the rights of the transgender community on par with others, citing the SHRC’s proactive stance in addressing their issues. Noteworthy was the emphasis on leveraging the Yogyakarta Principles and ICCPR to advance transgender rights, along with the SHRC’s mission to formulate dedicated policies and legislation in this regard.

Barrister Rida Tahir, Legal Adviser at the SHRC, highlighted the organization’s proactive approach towards cases involving the transgender community. Stressing the importance of non-discrimination and equality, she reiterated the rights enshrined in the Transgender Person’s Protection of Rights Act 2018 and 2020 Rules. Moreover, Barrister Rida detailed the SHRC’s initiatives, including specialized trainings conducted for law enforcement and judicial officials to enhance awareness of transgender rights. She also emphasized the imperative of enacting provincial laws in Sindh post the 18th Amendment to uphold the rights of transgender individuals effectively.

Ehtisham Shahid, Director-General of Nadra’s Regional Head Office in Karachi, reaffirmed the fundamental right of legal identity for all individuals, including transgender persons. Shahid clarified Nadra’s role in providing identity documents to registered individuals, highlighting the organization’s commitment to upholding rights while navigating legal complexities.

Throughout the meeting, various stakeholders voiced concerns and proposed solutions. Mustafa Ali and Muhammad Bux from the Social Welfare Department in Sukkur and Hyderabad, respectively, provided insights into ongoing initiatives supporting transgender individuals, including stipend disbursements and enrollment figures. Ambreen Mubarak, Deputy Director of the Community Development Center for Transgender in Karachi, underscored the challenges posed by the lack of formal identification, hindering access to allocated funds and benefits.

Syed Raza Ali, Founder and CEO of the Peace & Justice Network, announced the development of tailored guidelines for the transgender community, aimed at streamlining processes and enhancing support mechanisms.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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