The Indian Government has approved a bill to protect the rights of transgender people.
The Transgender Person (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 was approved by the Union Cabinet, and which aims to protect the social, economic and educational right of trans people. The bill was passed under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It should benefit a large number of trans people in India, and was passed partly as part of an effort to destigmatise being trans.
Trans people are still regularly abused and marginalised in India. They also face social exclusion, discrimination, and lack of access to educational facilities.
The bill gives responsibility to the Central Government as well as local authorities, to protect transgender people against abuse and discrimination.
Stricter punishments of up to two years in prison for committing violence or publicly humiliating trans people will be brought into play by the new law. The law specifies violence as any attack, as well as forcing trans people to leave their village or home, forcibly removing their clothes, parading them naked, or inciting them to beg.
All ministries have been given a Cabinet note from the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry. A new National Council of Transgender people is also proposed by the new legislation.