Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bandhu) hosted a roundtable on ‘Prevention of Discrimination against Hijra and Transgender Population and Protection of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)’ on August 29, 2022, in collaboration with the Daily Prothom Alo-a most popular and leading newspaper in Bangladesh.

Ms. Nasima Begum ndc, Honorable Chairman of National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh, Ms. Aroma Dutta, Honorable Member of Parliament, Mr. Shamim Haider Patwary, Honorable Member of Parliament, Dr. Md. Moktar Hossain (Deputy Secretary)- Director (Social Security) of the Department of Social Services, Mr. Md. Shah Jahan – Deputy Director, Department of Social Services. Ms.Taslima Yesmin, Associate Professor – Department of Law, University of Dhaka, high officials from various NGOs and INGOs were present along with transgender, hijra, and other gender diverse community. A policy brief on Gender Based Violence (GBV) of Transgender and hijra population was shared by Ms. Taslima Yesmin. On behalf of Bandhu, honorable chairperson Mr. Anisul Islam Hero welcomed the guests and delivered his valuable remarks highlighting different initiatives as well as works of Bandhu to uphold the human rights of Hijra and Transgender population in Bangladesh.

In this meeting, the discussants presented a strong expression against the long-standing discrimination against transgender and Hijra community. They all articulated in one point that Transgender Protection Act must be proposed and passed by parliament as soon as possible which is under development process by the Social Welfare Services. This Act may help the community to access basic rights that includes Health, Education, Property, Employment Rights, etc. This roundtable was a milestone to promote Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Rights (SRHR) of the Transgender and Hijra population in front of media and government officials. They also emphasized personal hygiene and proper treatment and care regarding health services. They strongly recommended that if the transgender population grows up in the family from an early age, the existing discrimination against them will be greatly reduced. And a change in mindset is necessary to involve the people of this community in the mainstream of society. They also assured all-out supports so that the draft of the law could be tabled in the parliament at the earliest.

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