Rights of Transgender Persons


The rights of transgender persons under international law are recognized and protected to ensure their equality, dignity, and non-discrimination. The rights of transgender individuals are grounded in various international human rights instruments. Here are some key aspects of these rights:

  • Right to Non-Discrimination

Transgender individuals are entitled to protection against discrimination based on their gender identity. This right is enshrined in numerous human rights treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

  • Right to Gender Identity

The right to self-identify and have one’s gender identity recognized is essential. This includes legal recognition of their gender identity without requiring forced medical procedures.

  • Right to Health

Transgender individuals have the right to access healthcare services without discrimination. This includes access to gender-affirming healthcare, hormone therapy, and other necessary medical treatments.

  • Right to Privacy

The right to privacy is crucial for transgender individuals. It encompasses protection against arbitrary interference with their private life, including medical information and gender identity.

  • Freedom from Violence and Harassment

Transgender persons are entitled to protection from violence, harassment, and hate crimes based on their gender identity.

  • Right to Work and Education

Transgender individuals have the right to education and employment without discrimination based on their gender identity. This includes protection against dismissal or exclusion from educational institutions due to their transgender status.

  • Right to Family Life

Transgender individuals have the right to form families and have their relationships recognized without discrimination.

  • Freedom of Expression

The right to freely express one’s gender identity is protected under freedom of expression laws.

While these rights are recognized under international law, the level of implementation and protection may vary among countries. Efforts are ongoing globally to ensure the full recognition and protection of the rights of transgender individuals, promoting equality, inclusion, and respect for their dignity and human rights.

Constitution of Pakistan

The Constitution of Pakistan does not explicitly address the rights of transgender persons in specific terms. However, several constitutional provisions can be interpreted or applied to uphold the rights of transgender individuals.

  • Article 9 protects the right to life and liberty, ensuring that no person shall be deprived of life or liberty except in accordance with the law. This protection extends to all individuals within the territory of Pakistan, including transgender individuals.
  • Article 25 guarantees equality of citizens before the law and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex alone. While not explicitly mentioning gender identity or transgender rights, the principle of equality can be interpreted to include protection against discrimination based on gender identity.
  • Article 35 obligates the state to protect the family, which may include diverse family structures that encompass transgender individuals.

Sindh Legal Framework

The Government of Sindh passed the Sindh Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in 2018. This law is enacted to safeguard the rights of transgender persons, recognizing their identity and addressing discrimination against them. Key provisions of the law include the right to self-identify their gender, protection against harassment, discrimination, and violence, access to education, employment, healthcare, and inheritance rights.

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