MHA Advisory on Transgender Persons in Prisons

On January 10, 2022, Ministry of home affairs (MHA) has released advisory on transgender persons in prisons.

What advisory has been issued?

  • Ministry has asked prison authorities to make arrangements inside the jails in order to recognise the identity of transgender inmates and their rights are not discriminated.
  • It has asked prisons chiefs and state governments to create separate wards or enclosures and earmark separate shower & toilets facilities for transwomen and transmen in order to preserve their right to privacy and dignity of the inmates.
  • While making provision for a separate ward or enclosure for transgender prisoners, authorities have been advised to take due care so that, it may not result in complete isolation or propagate social stigma among transgender prisoners.
  • Ministry advises to respect self-identity of transgender persons at all times while conducting admission procedures, frisking, clothing, medical examination, treatment & care inside prisons and requisitioning of a police escort. Thus, ministry asked prisons to facilitate the process of acquiring the transgender identity certificate.
  • It further asked ‘transgender’ to include as a category in the prison register and electronic records.
  • The prison authorities have also been asked to provide health care facilities and arrange meeting with family & legal advisors at par with other prisoners.

Training for staff

Ministry has also asked the prison chiefs to train and brief the staff about protecting the rights of transgender persons.

Under what act was the advisory issued?

The advisory was issued in accordance with the “Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019”. The act came into effect from January 2020.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

  • The act provides for recognition of identity of transgender persons.
  • It prohibits them against discrimination.
  • It also including them in education, social-security, health facilities as well as other welfare measures taken by government.

NCRB on transgender

As per National Crime Records Bureau, there were 70 transgender prisoners in jails across India in 2020.

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