While The Government Has Announced It, Can Transgenders Be Sent As Volunteers On Hajj Legally?

By Alveena Jadoon | 20 Feb, 2018

The government of Pakistan has announced that it will send transgenders as volunteers on Hajj.

 

Around 150 scouts are being sent to Saudi Arabia and they will serve as Khuddamul Hujjaj or volunteers at Hajj. This year transgenders will also be a part of this team

Source: dawn.com

In an interview with the Express Tribune, the IPC Sindh Boy Scouts Commissioner Atif Amin Husain said, “Efforts for sending transgender youth to Saudi Arabia to serve as Khuddamul Hujjaj are underway. The recruitment process for Khuddamul Hujjaj includes physical training and a test. After that, the PBSA sends a list of successful candidates to the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for a final approval.”

Two to three transgenders will be selected from each province to be sent along with the team of volunteers. Around 40 transgenders in Sindh have recently joined the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association.

 

However the important question is, can transgenders be sent as volunteers on Hajj?

After the government accepted their identity and introduced “X” as a gender on national identity card and the passport, it created problems for them to get their applications accepted for Hajj.

The Hajj forms have not been updated to allow “X” as a gender identity and they are again forced to identify as either male or female. The next hindrance is their documentation. Neither the Hajj administration nor the Saudi government accepts the “X” on all important identification papers.

Source: voadeewanews.com

 

Even though this move is taken to create social acceptance and empathy for them, a lot of grounds need to be worked upon in order to see this decision materialize

trans-awareness-pakistan-black-dress
Source: raafay-awan.blogspot.com

All the necessary documents must be updated to accommodate them. At the same time, correspondence with the government of Saudi Arabia is also important. This will ensure that nothing comes in the way of transgenders not only volunteering during Hajj but also being able to apply for Hajj and get their application accepted.

 

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cover image via dawn.com

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