Rights of Transgender: National and International Legal Protection


  • Fatima Idrees Fatima Jinnah Women University
  • Saadia Salman Fatima Jinnah University
  • Zainab Iqbal Fatima Jinnah University
  • Nadia Khadam Fatima Jinnah University


This study focuses on the rights of transgender persons, who are a vulnerable human group facing a lot of challenges. Transgender persons are humans whose gender identity is not in alignment with birth sex. International Human Rights treaties do not specifically protect gender non-conforming people, but general treaties for the protection of Human Rights are interpreted to include transgender persons. International Human Rights Law aims at making states conscious of universal Human Rights and binding states to address such rights in their domestic legal frameworks. For this purpose, this study analyses the legal protections available to transgender persons in the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), and Pakistan. The USA has no specific legislation yet at the federal level, but multiple case laws extend the general protection of fundamental rights to transgender persons. The UK has protected the rights of transgender persons actively by legislating on the matter. Pakistan is the first and only Muslim State which enacted the law to specifically protect the transgender community. This study further analyses Islamic law and its implication in the Muslim States concerning the rights of transgender persons. In Islamic law, there is no specific evidence against the rights of transgender persons. In the Muslim States, there has been a conservative approach of societies and governments towards transgender persons, which is by no means justified leading to years of misfortune for transgender persons. This study finds that, although constitutions of many jurisdictions guarantee equal protection to all citizens, laws are still not adequate for the protection of the rights of transgender persons because the vulnerable groups of society need additional and specific legal protections.

Author Biographies

Fatima Idrees, Fatima Jinnah Women University

Fatima Idrees is an ambitious student of law and student researcher at Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She was born in Sialkot and raised in Rawalpindi. She is committed to make wider social impact and in pursuit of that she has been a Millennium Fellow and Campus Director for class of 2021. Her prime interest is in International Human Rights Law, which was boosted by her participation in International Law Certification Course 2021 organized by RSIL. She is strongly motivated by the idea of empowering women and other vulnerable groups of society to contribute towards growth of humanity. She is looking forward to serve with her all potentials in order to bridge the gaps between law and society and bring into effect the ideas of polity established over principles of democracy in State of Pakistan.

Saadia Salman, Fatima Jinnah University

Saadia Salman was born in Karachi, Pakistan. Growing up, she was fascinated by the dynamic political situation of her country, which carved an effect on her personality and increased her interest in the subject. She is currently studying Law at Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi. Her educational background in Law has provided her broader approach to multiple fields including the International Relations. Being a Muslim and a humanitarian, she advocates the prevalence of Human Rights and strongly endorses the notion of Justice and Equality. She participated in the 6th Global Issues Conference where she advocated the Rights of Transgender. Saadia, from her early age, engaged herself in pursuits of social welfare and remained engaged with organizations like SOS Village and SKMCH. Being a descendant of a migrated family, she feels proud to have inherited culturally rich ethical values. She has keen interest in literature and has written multiple poems and proses for the school journal. In addition to the academic arena, she has proved her ingenuity in extra-curricular activities by engaging in community services clubs and debate contests. Empathy and assertiveness lie at the core of Leadership, and Saadia has got both features, which justifies her to be acknowledged and inspire her to be the face of true change.

Zainab Iqbal, Fatima Jinnah University

Zainab Iqbal is currently working as a Lecturer in the Department of Law at Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She has completed her Master's Degree (LLM International Law) in 2019 at the International Islamic University, Islamabad. In her LLM, she wrote the thesis on “The Need for a Comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty to Prevent Violations of International Humanitarian Law”. She has served as a consultant for various international organizations including UN Women, British Council and EU.

Nadia Khadam, Fatima Jinnah University

Nadia Khadam is currently serving as Assistant Professor/Head of the Department of Law at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Pakistan. After getting practical advocacy experience, she joined the Ph.D program in Criminal Law, Policy and Procedure. Her areas of research are criminal law, cybercrime laws, cyber security policies, e-commerce policy and reform in the justice sector of Pakistan. She is associated with different initiatives with reference to internet governance in Pakistan. Moreover, she represented Pakistan at different national and international forums.






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