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Updated on: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 06:21 PM IST

MHA advisory tells prison chiefs to have separate wards for transgender inmates

Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

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The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Tuesday asked prison authorities to make arrangements inside the jails in a way that the identity of transgender inmates is recognised and their rights are not discriminated.

The ministry in a detailed advisory issued asked prisons chiefs and state governments to create separate enclosures or wards and earmark separate toilets and shower facilities for transmen and transwomen to preserve the right to privacy and dignity of the inmates.

“However, which making provision for a separate enclosure/ward for transgender prisoners, due care must be taken by the prison authorities that this may not result in their complete isolation or propagate social stigma among such prisoners,” the home ministry advisory said.

The advisory comes in light of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, which came into effect from January 2020. The law provides for recognition of the identity of transgender persons, prohibition against discrimination and including them in education, health, social-security facilities as well as other welfare measures of the government.

There were 70 transgender prisoners in jails across the country in 2020 revealed National Crime Records Bureau.

The union ministry said the self-identity of transgender persons must be respected at all times while conducting admission procedures, medical examination, frisking, clothing, requisitioning of a police escort, treatment and care inside prisons.

Further it also said that ‘transgender’ should be included as a category in the prison register as well as electronic records. In case a court warrant does not mention the self-identified gender of the inmate, the prison superintendent must make changes in the document with the help of legal services authorities, the advisory added.

The advisory also said frisking of a transgender person may be conducted by a person of their preferred gender or by a trained medical professional and the person conducting the search much ensure the safety, dignity and privacy of the inmate.

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Published on: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 06:21 PM IST
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