13th January, 2022 Society
Figure 1: no copyright infringement intended
- The Home Office (MHA) has issued instructions to all states regarding transgender people in prisons.
What are the instructions from MHA:
- Ensure isolated detention of transgender people in prisons.
- Revised prison registration to include "transgender" as a non-male and non-female category.
- Take similar precautions in the prison management system when maintaining electronic records.
Issues faced by Transgenders in prisons
- Lack of awareness:The report, `Lost Identity: Transgender Persons in Indian Prisons`, by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) found that prisons across the country lacked policies and awareness about the needs of transgender inmates, leading to a denial of their rights.
- No Proper Data: No proper mechanism or uniformity in the maintenance of data regarding transgender persons.
- Lack of Compliance: Government`s failure to comply with the standards for ascertaining the needs of trans prisoners.
- Failure of Courts: Courts too fail to recognise a `third gender` in various cases and the gender of transgender persons continues to be documented in the male/female binary categorisation.
- Poor Police Sensitisation: Lack of awareness pervades the prison process, including search procedures and prison detention.
- Lack of infrastructure: Lack of infrastructure and political gaps ultimately lead to serious human rights abuses.
- No Training: There is no substantive training / awareness program on transgender rights in prisons.
- Develop Model Policy: The center needs to develop a model policy to identify the special needs of transgender people in prisons.
- Provide an overview: Provides an overview of prison documentation, search procedures, housing, medical facilities, and guidelines for recreation / welfare / educational activities.
- Separate section for transgenders: Form a separation within the prison by ensuring separate sections for transgender people in the prison.
- Focus on right accommodation: Prisons can make the right arrangements to provide the right accommodation and facilities according to gender identity.
- Separate toilet facility: To protect the right to privacy and dignity in prisons, trans men and trans women should be provided with separate toilet and shower facilities.