Study on Human Rights as a Third Gender
A landmark study conducted by the Kerala Development Society on behalf of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has found that transgender people are regular the subject of entrenched discrimination and isolation, while also facing an identity crisis in a ‘gender-specific India’ in which public utilities such as PAN cards, security checks, and public bathrooms require gender identification.
The report discovered that transgender people are regularly denied access to accommodation and to much of the job market, with 96% of transgender people forced into begging or sex-work. NHRC comments that transgender people also face harassment at the hands of police so are less likely to come forward to report a crime.
While Tamil Nadu state has taken some steps toward addressing human rights violations experienced by transgender people this is not indicative of every state. The NHRC has called for legislation to be passed to deal with discrimination against transgender people in India, and to look to international practices for future guidance.