Transgender and Intersex community in Pakistan are a marginalized population. Their lives revolve around difficult conditions and have to face stigma in their daily lives. Reports of harassment, violence, denial of services, and unfair treatment against transgender and intersex persons in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation have been highlighted in media in the recent times.

Blue Veins an organization working for the transgender and intersex community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa launched first of its kind android app “Trans-Muhafiz” for safety and reporting of violence against transgender community under the support of Canadian Fund For local initiatives (CFLI). The launching ceremony was held at Peshawar press club in which Transgender activists, civil society representatives and people from other walks of the life participated.

On the occasion of the launching Qamar Naseem Program Coordinator Blue Veins said “the app is first of its kind in Pakistan, unique and simple to use in case of emergency, which can be easily downloaded and installed from Google play store. App is made to improve reporting system of violence against transgender community.  Trans-Muhafiz has both online and offline reporting options. An online violence reporting system will create a more empowering reporting experience for transgender survivors, provide authorities with better evidence and data on violence, and facilitate the identification of repeat perpetrators.

While sharing the features of Trans-Muhafiz Qamar Naseem further mentioned “Blue Veins in order to facilitate Trans community with the latest technology introduces this application which will help to empower trans community in raising their voices against violence by making more easy and accessible reporting system for them.”

He further said Trans-Muhafiz has both online and offline reporting options. The app users would have to add emergency contacts who would get alerts in case of emergency. In online report system of app not only text massage can be send but violence can be reported through sending voice massage, picture and video. In case of unavailability of internet facility user can turned to offline option which will on pressing offline option send SMS to added emergency contacts along with the location of accident.”

“Blue Veins will host and maintain the app during and beyond project timeline, it will help transgender community to report the violence case by rescue option at the time of violence or can also report it by sending video or voice message. The data collected from this app and other sources will be shared with media and other stakeholders after every month, biannually and an annual report will also be released,” he added.

Arzu Khan General Secretary of the TransAction Alliance KP while expressing her views said “we continue to receive large number of violence cases from various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through phone calls, whatss app groups, facebook and word of mouth, We are able to document few  while most cases goes un documented” Since 2015, 54 transgender persons are killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while 607 cases of violence are reported to us by our community till date,” Arzu updated that in 2017 seven transgender persons are killed in KP while 208 cases of different kinds of violence including sexual harassment rape, beating, gang rape, torture, intimate  partner violence, extortion, denial of access to services, misbehave at police station or public spaces.

Farzana Jan president of the TransAction Alliance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that “launching of the trans-Muhafiz is historical and defining moment for trans community. It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that any android application is made for our personal safety. Now a day’s smart phones are considered as the most common and constant companion for anyone in case of emergency and any other eventuality. In a real sense, we hope that we will never need to use Tran-Muhafiz but at least having it available in our cells we will have peace of mind that we can have a valuable, easy, and accessible aid and help which will preserve our safety in unforeseen eventualities.”.

Coordinator of Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network Taimur Kamal  said “Right to life, protection and security are the fundamental rights under the constitution of Pakistan. It is very heartbroken that everyday transgender persons are either killed or made target of various forms of violence in violation of their basic rights.  Many of the cases went unreported because we lacked sufficient reporting mechanism to secure data or details of the accident. Trans-Muhafiz will help the trans community to document the case through easy and accessible way.

According to media reports, a higher level of violence against the Transgender persons can be witnessed in Khyber Pakhtukhwa. They experience rejection, stigmatization, harassment and physical violence because they do not conform with prevailing gender norms. Denied official identity documents that reflect their preferred gender, they are cut off from work, denied basic public services, and faced with deeply engrained discrimination in the health and education sectors. These abuses are systematic but under-reported. The response, at both a national and international level, has been, almost without exception, inadequate because there are no credible data base available which document and reflect the abuse, violence and discrimination faced by transgender community.