Pakistan launches anti-harassment hotline for trans people


In an effort to shield them from prejudice and abuse, Pakistan on Friday opened a hotline for transgender persons, according to a senior government official.

Many people in Pakistan view trans persons as misfits, especially in the nation’s most traditional neighborhoods where they are frequently sexually attacked, raped, and even murdered. To prevent discrimination, they are also reluctant to enroll in traditional schools.

 

An advisor to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif named Salman Sufi tweeted that the eagerly anticipated hotline for defending transgender individuals from harassment and discrimination had been established and was operational.

 

The hotline is connected to top police officers and the Ministry of Human Rights, he added.

“We are glad that this so-called hotline has been set up for us,” Almas Bobby, a spokesman for transgender people in Pakistan, told The Associated Press (AP) by phone. Bobby said in most cases of harassment, trans people are either beaten, arrested or publicly harassed by police across the country.

“How can we call on this hotline when our phones are snatched? When we are arrested like a robber from wedding parties, where we have to perform and earn? Who harasses us the most?” Bobby said. “Yes, indeed, the police. And we will have to call the police to seek justice.”

The transgender rights bill is being amended to allow trans people to determine their gender identity for previously issued official papers, such as national identification cards and academic credentials. This revision is why the hotline was created.

Hardline clergy, however, have opposed the modifications, which has led to controversy.

Human rights experts say there is still much to be done to guarantee that trans individuals are accepted on a social level, even if Pakistan has recently achieved considerable headway in the Muslim-majority nation’s transgender rights legislation.

In Pakistan, according to Bobby, there are roughly 10,000 transgender persons.

In the central city of Multan, Pakistan inaugurated its first government-run school for transgender kids last year, promising to establish more similar institutions in the future.

In a major decision from 2019, the Pakistani Supreme Court recognized transgender people as a third gender.

Because doctors could not decide whether to treat transgender patients in a male or female ward, they were frequently denied medical care in the past.


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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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