Rights of Transgender Persons: A Case for More Regional Cooperation in South Asia
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
This article makes a case for a regional convention on the rights of transgender persons in light of the legal developments in transgender rights across key member nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC). It focuses on the right to self-identification of gender. An overview of key legal developments in South Asia on transgender rights is provided and, in light of this, it suggests that a regional convention on the rights of transgender persons by SAARC will be a step in the right direction. Such a step would achieve a twofold purpose. First, it would enforce the internationally-recognized rights of transgender persons throughout societies in South Asia and provide an opportunity to address regionally specific concerns. Second, it would enable the strengthening of SAARC by realizing some of its key charter goals mentioned in Article 1 (a) and 1 (b) of promoting “welfare of the peoples of South Asia…to improve their quality of life,” and providing “all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realise their full potential.”
Georgetown University. School of Foreign Service. Asian Studies Program.
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