Human Rights of Sexual Minorities in India

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Today, it is pivotal to address the question whether the Human rights as defined under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and under the Indian Constitution are imparted evenly to all the individuals or does there still exists some discrimination especially with regard to the recently recognised LGBTQ community.

It becomes important here to discuss the measures adopted recently by the lawmakers to remove the discrimination against the third gender’s rights and how far would they be successful in the real scenario. One of the major setbacks of THE TRANSGENDER PERSONS (PROTECTION OF RIGHTS) ACT, 2019 passed just the last year i.e. an year after the Supreme court decriminalized S.377 of the IPC in the case of Navtej Singh Johar v. UOI, The Act although aims to to prevent discrimination against the transgender but does not provide for punishment for it’s violation.

Since, the judgement passed in 2018, there have been no attempts at the executive level to remove the societal stigma associated with the outlook towards the third gender. A lot of articles I have gone through by the people belonging to this community have discussed the way they are being discriminized against in the matters of employment etc. History tells us how these people had viewed themselves not fit to live as a normal human being i.e. not choosing for elementary education or make their career in some profession.

Precisely, the main problems that are being faced by the transgender community are of discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities, homelessness, lack of medical facilities like HIV care and hygiene, depression, hormone pill abuse, tobacco and alcohol abuse, penectomy, and problems related to marriage and adoption. However, these laws are of no use unless they create a concrete mechanism for the protection of human rights of these sexual minorities as they will be continuously deprived of the above mentioned human rights until then. The situation becomes all the more worst for these people in the current COVID-19 Pandemic as there are no firm laws for these people be hired on contractual basis, so that their job security and fixed returns can be ensured. Even in, the normal times the lack of parental affection forcing them to leave the house or the family themselves abandoning them and societal neglect and abuse faced by them forces them to engage in activities like dancing on the streets and ultimately being the victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.Also, many of the family laws are required to be reframed in the manner that these people enjoy conjugal and inheritance rights.

This brings us to a conclusion that with the laws not serving the popular consciousness of the volksgeist, as discussed by Savigny (belonging to the historical law school) which brings us back to the conflict between the constitutional morality v. public morality. It is undeniable that although this issue has been discussed by many, but has yet not received the acceptance of all and hence, it becomes the responsibility of the government to frame suitable policies in this regard to address the socio-economic problems and to deal with the stigma and public awareness issues.

But yet again do we see an active participation of our legislators to preserve the human rights of these sexual minorities? All of this makes it all the more a serious concern and forces us to ask ourselves “Is this the dignity of life we aspired for under Article 21 of the Constitution?”

References:

  1. Being LGBT in India:some truths Available at www.livemint.com
  2. Transgender rights in India Available at  www.iasscore.in
  3. Discrimination towards sexual-minorities in India Available at www.blog.ipleaders.in
  4. Indian firms becoming sensitive to Lgbt workers year after homosexuality was decriminalised Available at www.theprint.in 
  5. Universal declaration human rights Available at www.un.org

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