Thursday Jul 23 2020

Human Rights ministry announces Eid packages for transgenders affected by COVID-19

MOHR with the support of UNDP in Pakistan and UNFPA Pakistan distributed Eid Relief Packages for COVID-19 affected transgender persons. Photo: MoHR Twitter

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Human Rights has launched Eid relief packages for coronavirus affected transgenders with the support of the United Nations Development Program( UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

According to the Human Rights Ministry, the beneficiaries were identified through a preliminary socio-economic rapid need assessment for coronavirus to address and cater to the most vulnerable transgender persons, led and driven by the transgender community.

The MOHR and UNDP have identified civil society partners who are also members of the ministry’s National Implementation Committee and focal points in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to conduct the assessment.

A total of 120 ration bags will be distributed to the transgender persons identified through the need-based assessment.

Bubbli Malik, committee member from Punjab and Nadeem Kashish, committee member from Islamabad, surveyed 75 transgender persons in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to identify the needs of the grass-root level trans community during this pandemic.

UNDP Development Program Consultant Nayyab Ali coordinated the assessment while Aisha Mughal from the Ministry of Human Rights along with the relevant UNDP and UNFPA team members oversaw the process, a press release said.

Speaking at the event to launch the relief packages for the trans community, Federal Secretary for Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha said the state was committed to protecting the rights of transgender persons.

"MoHR constituted a National Implementation Committee under the Transgender Persons Act 2018. Pakistan has one of the most progressive transgender laws, granting transgender persons equal rights, including the right to self-identification of gender,” she said.

Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari said Pakistan has one of the most progressive transgender laws, granting transgender persons equal rights, including the right to self-identification of gender.

“Provincial Consultation meetings have been conducted in all four provinces to reduce transphobic stigma and discrimination with Transgender community,” she said. “These are critical steps towards the realization of equal rights for the transgender community in Pakistan.

Mazari added that the PTI government was trying its best to ensure that transgender persons are recognised as equal citizens of the state.

“The transgender community in Pakistan, one of the most marginalised sections of the country - has continued to raise concerns regarding economic impact ever since the lockdown was announced. Targeted intervention to alleviate the plight of these persons is necessary.”

She added, "MoHR is also establishing Protection Centers for Transgender Persons to provide shelter, rehabilitation and other medical and psychological care. Separate wards have also been opened at PIMS for the members of the transgender community. These are concrete measures that will help guarantee that the rights of transgender persons are protected in Pakistan.”