The National Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill for the protection of rights of transgender persons.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 was passed in NA with majority votes. The bill was also passed by Senate in March this year.

Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) piloted the bill to provide protection, relief and rehabilitation of rights to transgender persons.

The bill was opposed by JUI-F lawmaker Naeema Kishwer who said it should be referred to the standing committee for detailed deliberation.

The JUI-F lawmaker moved a motion and amendments to refer the bill to the Council of Islamic Ideology and the standing committee.

However, her amendments were rejected.

PPP’s Naveed Qamar said that detailed discussions were carried out by the Standing Committee of Senate and requested the House to pass the bill.

Provisions under the bill that seek to protect the rights of the transgender community include:

Will be able to register to obtain a driver's licence and passport.

Will have the option to get their gender changed in National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) records.

Harassment of transgender will be prohibited in and outside their homes.

Will not be discriminated against by educational institutions, employers, in trade and health services, and when using public transport and buying or selling or renting property.

The government will establish a safe house for transgenders and provide them medical and educational facilities and psychological counselling.

Separate rooms will be established at jails where transgenders could be detained.

In addition to all basic rights, they will be entitled to inherit property.

The government will take steps to ensure employment opportunities for transgenders.

Transgenders will have the right to vote in all national, provincial and local government elections and they will not be discriminated against in their pursuit of a public office.

Anyone found guilty of forcing a transgender person to beg will be sentenced to six months in prison and served a fine of Rs 50,000.