The UN member states at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in May this year had made wide-ranging recommendations calling upon India to ratify multinational treaties against torture and enforced disappearances, repeal AFSPA, introduce an anti-discrimination law and protect the rights of women, children, dalits, tribal groups, religious minorities, and other groups at risk.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Indian government has promised a “comprehensive response” to the UPR’s 169 recommendations and will submit its responses during the current session of the UN Human Rights Council.
It said there are expectations that the Indian government will make serious efforts and not mere “lame” assertions to address its human rights problems.
“The Indian government should make a serious effort to carry out these recommendations instead of simply pointing to existing legislation or policies,” South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly said.
“What is needed is a strong commitment to transparency and accountability to protect human rights, not more lame assertions of good intentions,” she said.
“India should accept the recommendations by United Nations member states at the UPR to address the country’s most serious human rights problems,” the group said in a statement.
During its 2012 review, the Indian government set out the fundamental rights provided by the constitution, judicial pronouncements, the Right to Information Act, the Right to Education Act of 2009 and the NationalFood Security Bill to demonstrate the government’s commitment to protect human rights.
The government however “downplayed” abuses by security forces and the role of AFSPA in facilitating these abuses, HRW claimed.
The government asserted that most complaints of army and paramilitary abuses were found to be false, and said the Act had been upheld by the Supreme Court.
“But the government failed to note that it has ignored measures to prevent abuses outlined in the Supreme Court ruling,” the rights group said.
The UPR is the mechanism to examine the human rights records of all 192 UN member states and provides an opportunity for each state, every four years, to explain what actions it has taken to improve respect for human rights in its own country.
- Ram Narayan Kumar- A born Human Rights Activist (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- India continues to #Torture #Kashmir (kashmirsolidaritymumbai.wordpress.com)