SJCL participates in the 2 nd International Conference on Transgender Rights and the Law.

The Constitution of India recognizes and guarantees to all citizens the fundamental right to equality, non- discrimination on the basis of sex, equality in public employment, and the right to freedom of expression and movement.

This has been a challenge for both the society and the polity, even as we move into the 21 st century. The road to equality has been ridden with impediments and this is evident particularly in the case of the LGBTQ+. To raise awareness about Trans rights and the status of the law of our land, The Centre For Law and Policy research conducted the “2 nd International Conference on Transgender rights and the Law” on the 14 th and 15 th of April 2018 at the Indian Institute of Human Settlement.

The Constitution of India is an important document that believes in affirmative action to bring about positive change in the country. The efficacy of these programmes in integrating the trans community to the mainstream however seems questionable at best today.

Keeping this in mind, several sessions were held to compare the rights guaranteed by the constitution and its actual implementation. It has been four years since the NALSA judgment, where The Supreme Court of India, which declared transgender people to be a 'third gender', affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgenders, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender as male, female or third-gender. This judgement is a major step towards gender equality in India.

The decision given in the NALSA case has helped the transgender community to use law to fight for gender equality. Several activists, journalists, intellectuals, lawyers and academicians took part in the event. On the first day there was a panel discussion on “Constitutional Trans*formation.” Which was chaired by Prof. Sitharamam Kakarla of Azim Premji University, Akkai Padmashali of the Ondede Trust and Mr.Anandh Grover, a lawyer who made headlines in the mass eviction cases (Olga Tellis & Ors. Vs. Bombay Municipal Council) were the speakers. On day two there were panel discussions on the transgender community’s right to legal identity and on the current global trends in trans–law movements.

This conference was a rendezvous for law and activism. The panel discussions came to the conclusion that more people need to be educated about gender identity and gender politics. The Constitution of India should be used in advocacy for rights because it proves to be a timeless masterpiece. The demand of the transgender community is fair and clear, that transgender rights are human rights.

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