India: Citizenship Amendment Act causing fear among transgender and sex worker communities due to its potential to render them stateless

Author: Md Aqib Khan, The Hindu, Published on: 15 March 2020

"CAA triggers fears among sex workers, transgenders", 16 March 2020

...People belonging to the Hijra community, a cultural form in South Asia, take up the profession of Khajra (sex work), Challa or Mangti (begging for money in trains or on roads) and Badhai (blessing on auspicious occasions in return for money)...are in "deep stress"...

...nearly 50,000 gender minorities of West Bengal, as per 2011 census...are now running from pillar to post to collect birth certificates and related documents to establish their citizenship for the purpose of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The actual size of the sexual minorities is far higher, experts said, and “the situation is becoming challenging by the day for each one of them,” said Aparna Banerjee, president of the West Bengal Hijra Development Society.

“According to the survey done by the National Human Rights Commission of India in 2018, only 2% of transgender and Hijra population stay with their families while the rest [98%] are abandoned. How will they produce documents of their ancestors? Most of them don’t even have their own voter ID cards because it’s only a few years ago that we got the right to vote,” said Ms. Banerjee...

...The sex workers said Sonagachi being the biggest residential hub of the people engaged with sex trade also houses hundreds of people from sexual and gender minority communities from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and parts of South East Asia. They are here for decades and many are “in their 70s or 80s, suffering from complex age-related diseases...  

"They are losing their identity for which they have fought for so long,”... 

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