The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ruled that the transgender community should be included in the national population census.
Hearing a petition against non-inclusion of members of the transgender community in the census, LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah directed authorities to keep a separate box in the national identity card registration form for the sexual orientation of transgender persons, reports the Express Tribune.
The petitioner had requested the court to order effective lawmaking to safeguard the rights of the community.
During the course of hearing, representatives of the deputy attorney general and ministry of population welfare, who appeared in the court, informed Justice Shah that the members of the transgender community will be included in the forthcoming census.
So far, five censuses have conducted- in 1951, 1961, 1972, 1981 and the last in 1998. It should be carried out after every 10 years as per the Constitution.
The census carries legal, political and economic implications, apparently as it provides basis for political representation in the national and provincial assemblies, basis of distribution of funds and determination of quota for recruitment to all the civil posts in the federal government.
In 2012, Pakistan Supreme Court declared equal rights for transgender citizens, including the right to inherit property and assets, preceded a year earlier by the right to vote but are still shunned by mainstream society.
Nepal's 2011 census was hailed as the first national census globally to allow people to register as a third gender while India counted transgender people in its national census for the first time in 2011.
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