Skip to main content

Human Rights Watch praises India for setting example in "recognizing" third gender, cites Dutch court reference

Bhumika Shrestha, a Nepalese transgender woman,
listed male in citizenship certificate, 2011
By Our Representative
One of the world’s top rights bodies, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has praised India, along with Nepal, for setting an example for “recognizing” the third gender. HRW’s South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly, referring to a Netherlands court citing cases in India and Nepal, has said, “South Asia’s third gender court judgments” have set an example in in this regard.
According to Ganguly, “A Netherlands district court cited Supreme Court judgments from India and Nepal when it ruled the Dutch legislature should provide a way for citizens to legally identify as neither male nor female if they prefer.”
Ganguly says, “The Supreme Court of Nepal ruled in 2007 in Pant v Nepal that the government must create a legal category for people who identify as neither male nor female. Crucially, the judgment dictated that the ability to get documents bearing a third gender should be based on “self-feeling.”
She adds, “Nepal’s LGBT activists were particularly pioneering, given that no other country before Nepal had developed an identity-based legal recognition procedure for transgender people at the time.”
As for India, Ganguly says, “In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in NALSA v. India that transgender people should be legally recognized according to their gender identity – including if that identity was a third category other than male and female.”
“Both the India and Nepal cases – as well as the new Dutch judgment – cite the Yogyakarta Principles, a 2006 codification of binding international human rights standards related to sexual orientation and gender identity”, Ganguly says.
Its Principle 3 says, “Each person’s self-defined sexual orientation and gender identity is integral to their personality and is one of the most basic aspects of self-determination, dignity, and freedom.”
Believes the senior human rights activist, “The Dutch judgment is the latest affirmation that South Asia’s principled and tenacious activists, lawyers, and judges continue to influence the world. Governments in the region now have an opportunity to set a further example by ensuring these rulings are fully enforced and third gender legal recognition is available to everyone who seeks it.
At the same time, Ganguly regrets, “Other countries in the region – namely Bangladesh and Pakistan – now legally recognize more than two genders in some way. But while legal proclamations there have been promising, implementation has been piecemeal.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Gandhi's grandson, Khudai Khidmatgar chief among advisers to US Hindu rights group

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), a US-wide advocacy organization claiming to be committed to the "ideals of multi-religious pluralism in the United States, India and beyond", advocate peace, justice and human rights of all communities from a Hindu perspective, has declared it has appointed a group of advisors, including Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi.