In August 2018, the Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA), Pakistan published the Transgender Persons Welfare Policy. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar directed the government to draft the policy after noting the issues faced by transgender persons in Pakistan and other developing countries. This is the first policy in Pakistan which deals explicitly with transgender persons.
IDENTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION
The policy does not detail the process of identification in the Province but defers to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 . It states that transgender persons must be able to obtain a Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) for free.
PROTECTION FROM VIOLENCE, DISCRIMINATION, AND EXCLUSION
The policy recognises the historical exclusion of and lack of social and state support offered to transgender persons. It cites empirical studies and records of the TransAction alliance, Blue Veins Organisation, and the Khawaja Sira Society, to record killings, violent attacks, and physical abuse against transgender persons in the Province. The policy seeks to improve access to police, educational institutions, government offices, healthcare and rehabilitation services by providing sensitisation trainings to professionals.
LIVELIHOOD AND WELFARE MEASURES
The policy states that the denial of education and employment opportunities to transgender persons is a major challenge. The policy provides for skill development courses, scholarships and stipends, and community development programs to enable access to education. Further, it addresses employment concerns through instituting self-employment schemes, offering job search and entrepreneurship support, and providing interest-free loans. The policy reiterates transgender persons’ entitlement to social security provisions.
READ THE POLICY HERE