Human Rights

Divisional-Level Consultation Addresses Access to Justice and Legal Aid for Transgender and Hijra Communities

On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, a divisional-level consultation took place in Jashore District, focusing on "Access to Justice for Transgender and Hijra Communities." This event was organized by Bandhu Social Welfare Society supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). During the consultation, a report on "Human Rights Violations - 2022" of transgender and hijra populations was presented, giving voice to the concerns of these communities. The issues raised included the lack of access to education, healthcare, housing, employment, religious freedom, family support, inadequate law enforcement agency assistance, and limited access to justice.

The discussion involved various stakeholders, including the joint secretary of the Press Club Jessore, lawyers, representatives from I/NGOs, and human rights activists. They delved into topics such as mental health, employment opportunities, skill development, legal assistance, family counseling, and social research.

Key takeaways:

  • Homeless transgender and hijra individuals within the 'Ashrayan-2' project will be given priority. The Jashore district administration will incorporate feedback and evidence gathered from the consultation into their plans. – Mr. Tushar Kumar Paul, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Jashore.
  • The Social Welfare Department in Jashore is providing stipends to thirty-nine students from the respective community and this support will continue. He also noted that special allowances also cover hijra individuals aged over 50 years – Mr. Ashit Kumar Saha, Deputy Director, Social Welfare Department, Jashore.
  • Ensuring ethics and values in society is a shared responsibility that each of us should uphold. It cannot be achieved by any single entity alone. – Mr. Mahbubur Rahman, Senior Police Inspector (DSB), Jashore.
  • There is a need to amend the Inheritance Law. Six groups will receive the "Sheikh Hasina Youth Volunteer Award," one of which is the hijra community. The Department of Youth Development is offering training for individuals aged 18-35, allowing the respective age groups of transgender and hijra individuals to seize this opportunity. – Mr Md Jakir Hossen, Deputy Director of the Department of Youth Development, Jashore.