Working Group on Human Rights
in India and the UN
e-Newsletter on Human Rights
May 2013
Human Rights in India – Status Report 2012: Updated and RevisedWGHR Monitoring Tool for Recommendations from the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review for India
Human Rights in India – Status Report 2012: Updated and RevisedHuman Rights in India – Status Report 2012: Updated and Revised
WGHR Documents for
India’s Second UPR
Human Rights
in India
Status Report
2012
Stakeholders'
Report for
India's 2nd UPR
UN documents for India's
2nd UPR
National report submitted
by the Government of India
Annexes to the National
Report – 1, 2, 3
Summary of 51
Stakeholders' Submissions
by OHCHR
Compilation of UN
Information
Report on 2nd UPR:
Recommendations made
to India (May 2012)
India's 2nd UPR:
Recommendations
accepted by the Govt. of
India (Sep 2012)
 

"WGHR's video statement welcoming the report and recommendations made by the UN Special Rapportuer on Extrajudicial, Summary or Abitrary Executions " - 27/05/2013

Vrinda Grover, an active WGHR member released a video statement welcoming the report and recommendations made in it at the HRC by the UN SR on EJE. WGHR appreciates the mention of excessive and disproportionate use of force by India. Agreeing with the recommendation that AFSPA must be repealed or at least amended in order to comply with international human rights law. WGHR also favours the mention that effective use of existing mechanisms in India can deter extrajudicial executions.

Watch the video statement here


“WGHR along with other human rights defenders appeals to Iran to release Bahá’í prisoners” – The Hindu, 16/05/2013

An appeal will be sent to Iranian Embassy and the Ministry of External Affairs to release the seven Bahá’í leaders and other prisoners of conscience in Iran who have been facing many human rights violations. Mr. Miloon Kothari, Convener of Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN says, “Religious freedom itself is a cornerstone of democratic citizenship. I think it’s very important that we collectively urge the Indian Government to put pressure. The persecution has reached the level that we need to address the Prime Minister and others and say that they have to publicly condemn Iran for the religious persecution of the Bahá’í”. Read more


WGHR Members' News and Activities


ACHR Press Release: “Continuance of Mr. Khil Raj Regmi as the Chief Justice of Nepal is harming independence of judiciary” – 23/05/2013

Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its report released on March 23, 2013 asserts that if Mr. Khil Raj Regmi continues to serve as the Chief Justice of Nepal, it could impede the independence of judiciary which might prove to be harmful for conducting free and fair elections. The report also mentions questionable mandate of four major political parties and their involvement in corruption. Recommendations have been made, like conducting the elections in five phases, along with an appeal to the “international community to provide assistance to Nepal to conduct free and fair elections”. Read more

Read the full report here


“A musician and a human rights defender arrested illegally in Manipur” – Asian Human Rights Commission, 18/05/2013 

Human Rights Alert (HRA), a member of WGHR has informed the Asian Human Rights Commission on an illegal arrest of a musician and a human rights defender when they complained against the police torture. On a previous occasion the police had tortured the arrested members of the troupe. “The two victims had filed complaints about the incident and had led a joint action committee formed by the villagers that demanded action against the police officers.” The illegal arrest seems to be the counterblow of this. Read more


“WGHR members criticise the conditions of jails and human rights of the prisoners in India”- The Hindu, 17/05/2013

According to Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, a WGHR member, judiciary is slow paced for disposal of cases which leads to under-trials being imprisoned for long periods of times. Suhas Chakma of Asian Centre for Human Rights, a WGHR member says, “The biggest problem in the prisons is the lack of external overview. This has been delegated to the National Human Rights Commission but they are not able to visit more than five to six prisons a year. There is need to strengthen bodies like NHRC”. Also Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) blames the overcrowded prisons for not being able to manage segregation of convicts and under-trials in prisons. Read more


“HAQ: Centre for Child Rights analyses what does the Delhi budget have in it for children in National Capital Territory”- 09/05/2013
       

HAQ: Centre for Child Rights has presented a report, analysing the status of budget allocation for child development in Delhi budget. The analysis shows a decline in allocation in most important sectors like health and protection. “Out of every 100 rupees in the State Budget, protection of children has received only forty five paise… this when Delhi accounts for more than one fourth of the total crimes against children in India and has seen an increase of 5.6 percent in 2011 over 2010.” Apart from this, it has been noticed that the budgets have gone unspent affecting the planning and implementation of provisions.

Read the full analysis of the report here


ACHR Press Release: “Thousands recruited as child soldiers, India defends the records of the terror groups before the UN Child Rights Committee” – 09/05/2013

In the first ever comprehensive study on child soldiers in India by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), it has been asserted that Government of India averted the records of terrorist groups on recruiting child soldiers before the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child. The report further asserts that Government of India is clearly violating article 4 of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which says that government shall take measures to prevent recruitment of persons below the age of 18 by the terrorist groups in armed conflicts. Read more

Read the full report here


UN Human Rights News


“UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism presents a report highlighting the effects of discrimination on Dalits” – International Dalit Solidarity Network, 30/05/2013

Mutuma Ruteere, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of discrimination has presented a report recently to the Human Rights Council. The report focuses on education being the most effective means in preventing and combating racism and discrimination and maintains that discrimination in education system leads to high drop-outs and suicides pandemic in caste affected countries. Read more

Read the full report here


“UN Special Rapporteur presents a report on extrajudicial killings and rights violations which also focuses on the same in Kashmir” – 27/05/2013

Christof Heyns, The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary executions points out serious concerns over extrajudicial executions in India and recommends to either repeal or at least amend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The report also says that compensation in case of extrajudicial killings cannot replace the criminal prosecutions and punishments. The government of India refutes many of the allegations made in the report, such as AFSPA violating the constitution has been seen as gross disregard to the Supreme Court, the issue of witch hunting and for not varifying the data received by individuals and NGOs which make allegations on the Indian policies.

Read the full report here

Read India's response to the report here


News on Human Rights Issues


“Manual scavenging kills many every year”- Frontline, 31/05/2013

Even after Supreme Court has pointed serious concerns over the issue of manual scavenging, the practice remains in place. Approximately 19 deaths have been reported in the past year because of this. Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 which amends the Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act 1993 is believed to be only on paper by many activists. Read more


“Indian government suspends the foreign funding of NGOs considering it harmful to public interest” – Asia and Pacific, 20/05/2013

The government of India has tightened the rules on NGOs receiving foreign funding considering their activities to likely “prejudicially affect the public interest”. Anil Chaudhary who heads an NGO states “The government’s action is aimed at curbing our democratic right to dissent and disagree”. Read more


“The state government asks Delhi police to submit a monthly detailed report of child trafficking cases” – Hindustan Times, 16/05/2013

In a meeting held with the Delhi police by Women and Child Welfare minister Kiran Walia, a detailed report has been asked to be submitted by the Delhi police monthly, containing victim’s age, area, particulars of the accused and the status of the investigations. Setting up of high-level committee headed by the chairman for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has also been announced. Read more

“Malkangiri panchayati raj representatives resign over the discontent with state government” – The Hindu, 15/05/2013

In April, 2013, 65 representatives of panchayati raj resigned protesting the unmet demands ofan irrigation canal, road repair and the supply of drinking water to the villages. Malkangiri is one of the top three Naxal affected districts in the country. The adivasis voice out their helplessness and hopelessness due to rights violations, underutilised funds, poor infrastructure and the insensitivity of the state government even after their resignation through protests. Read more


Green signal by the Supreme court for the commissioning of the Kundankulam nuclear plant” – The Hindu, 06/05/2013

The Supreme Court Bench on the issue said “Larger public interest of the community should give way to individual apprehension of violation of human rights and right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution” considering negative aspects as “minor inconveniences and minor radiological detriments”. The Bench also asserts that it is essential economic growth to double the energy supply and in the long run, nuclear energy will be much cheaper than other forms of energy. Read more

 

 

The Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR) is a national coalition of fourteen human rights organizations and independent experts from India. WGHR works towards the realization of all civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights in India and aims at holding the Indian government accountable for its national and international human rights obligations. For more information, visit: www.wghr.org

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