WGHR Announcement: “WGHR is holding a series of regional workshops on UN Mechanisms in Bengaluru, Ranchi and Udaipur –24.10.2013
WGHR is organising regional workshops on UN and National/State Human Rights Mechanisms in Bengaluru, Ranchi and Udaipur on 7-8 November, 20-21 November and 2-3 December respectively. The workshop are aimed at engaging with human rights activists, CSOs, human rights institutions and other stakeholders on the UN human rights mechanisms with special focus on Special Procedures and the UPR. It will draw participants working in nearby states.
Schedule of the Workshop:
Bengaluru Workshop, 7-8 November
Ranchi Workshop, 20-21 November
Udaipur Workshop, 2-3 December
Application form and background note cum invite can be found here
WGHR Statement: “Capital Punishment Not a Deterrent: WGHR Demands Abolishment of the Death Penalty” – 25.09.2013
WGHR believes that death penalty has no deterrent effect on crimes. Therefore, WGHR condemns the fast track trial court’s decision of awarding death penalty to the accused in 16th December Delhi Gang Rape case.
“The societal clamour in India for the death penalty against the rapists, predictably reaffirmed by the fast track trial court, is a tragic indicator that society instead of protecting the humanistic values Indian civilisation is built upon becomes the judge and the executioner. Persistence with the death penalty in India, and the broad support that it has in the country, means that we as a society have murder on our hands,” stated Miloon Kothari, WGHR Convenor and former Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council.
WGHR Member News and Activities
“The Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), a member of WGHR oragnised a public hearing on violence against homeless women” – 24.10.2013
HLRN also a part of Shahri Adhikar Manch: Begharon ke Saath (SAM: BKS) helped organise a public hearing on violence against homeless women on 13 August 2013 at India International Centre along with other SAM: BKS members. SAM: BKS is a forum working on homelessness in Delhi. The Forum consists of several organisation, including the homeless and their networks, and works on issues related to their human rights to adequate housing, food, health, work/livelihood, security, and political participation.
Due to lack of housing security, homeless women and girls face violence and abuse on the streets and other public areas on a daily basis. These forms of violence range from verbal, physical and se-xual abuse to economic and social exploitation which severely affects their mental and physical health. Often, the media fails to talk about such atrocities on homeless women and girls and public authorities ignore their complaints. The plight of these women always seem to be unheard. Thus, SAM: BKS invited 12 homeless women and girls to testify at the public hearing with the intention to bring to light the nature of violence and abuse they face regularly.
The participants testified in front of a jury consisting of Justice Leila Seth, Justice A.P.Shah, Ms. Ambika Pandit, Ms. Madhu Mehra and Mr. Miloon Kothari. There were more than 200 homeless men and women, representatives from organizations, media and the general public present in the audience.The public hearing brought out many incidents of police brutality, se-xual abuse, economic exploitation and social ostracisation of homeless women. In order to curb such atrocities, SAM: BKS plans to raise issues of violence against homeless women to relevant government bodies to take action against the perpetrators.
“All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM), a forum initiated and promoted by National Campaign on Dalit Huaman Rights (NCDHR) organised a national tribunal on violence against dalit women” -
A national tribunal – Violence Against Dalit Women in India was organised by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM), a forum initiated and promoted by National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) - a member organisation of WGHR. All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) is a forum for Dalit Women committed to challenge the nexus of patriarchy, caste, culture and class oppression, exploitation and marginalisation.
The Tribunal aimed at building a concerted discourse and conversation on the caste and gender based violence which will contribute to the larger campaign envisaged to end violence against Dalit women in India. Over 100 Participants from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujrat, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan testified in front of the jury. The jury consisted of Mr Henri Tiphagne (Executive Director, People’s Watch and Convenor WGHR); Farha Naqvi (Member, National Advisory Council); Vrinda Grover (Lawyer, Member WGHR); Gayatri Singh (Director, HRLN); Prof Vimal Thorat (Convenor, AIDMAM); Dr. Srivella Prasad (General Secretary, NCDHR); P. Sivakami (former IAS Officer) and Vidyanand Vikal (Chairperson, Bihar State Commission for Scheduled Castes).
One of the most important observations made by the jury was that there is a collusion between the police, the medical officers, the investigative officers and all concerned authorities which work to protect the perpetrator of the crime. The nature of violence mostly observed is of se-xual nature and the cases severely underreported.
UN Human Rights News
“UN’s development agenda for disabled adopted by India” – Firstpost.com, 03.10.2013
A UN General Assembly document aimed at giving disabled persons due consideration in post 2015 UN development agenda was adopted by India in New York in a high level meeting on Disability and Development. India, at the meeting also solicited the international community to adopt measures and frame policies to achieve the aims of “outcome document” of the meeting.
“The outcome document is expected to become a landmark declaration which will serve as a guide for framing laws and policies by all nations in the disability sector in the days to come,” a ministry statement said.
“India refused to sign piecemeal climate deal at the UN” – the Hindu, 20.09.2013
Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the global community is sign a new compact by 2015. According to the convention, the developed countries will provide financial and technological support to the developing countries to keep the climate change under check, to reduce emissions etc. In the recent past the developed world has been postponing the decisions adaptation, technology and finance except the mitigation element of the 2015 deal.
India has refused to sign the deal as it considers that such segregation might lead to breakage of the link between financial and technological provisions on one hand and mitigation on the other. Also that all elements of the deal must be discussed and decided upon to establish an equilibrium.
“India upholds UN’s role on using chemical weapons in Syria” – the India Express, 06.09.2013
India supports UN, along with the international community on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and is of the view that military actions, anywhere in the world must not be carried out without the authorisation of the international forum. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission also asserted while talking to media persons at the G-20 Summit that before carrying out such operations, it is important to be sure of facts and high level research, considering the past incidents.
Human Rights News
“Death Penalty is barbaric and an anomaly in Indian democracy” – The Hindu, 3.10.2013
Mr. Satyabrata Pal, a Member of the National Human Rights Commission asserts that death penalty is barbaric and an anomaly for a country which takes pride in being a democracy. He further crticises the Supreme court judgment which specifies that death penalty to be awarded in rarest of rare cases and when the collective conscience expects the justice system to inflict death penalty. Mr. Pal also believes that media can distort reality and create an outrage.
“If a man is to be hanged because the judge feels that the collective conscience is so shocked that it will expect him to inflict the death penalty, can a trial be fair, with the accused presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty?” says Mr. Pal.
“UN experts express concern over POSCO plant in Orissa” – Vancouverdesi.com, 1.10.2013
The POSCO project, according to a rights group’s June report is said to displace 22,000 people from Orissa by illegal land seizures and deprive them from their natural habitat as well as resources.
“People should not be impoverished in the name of development; their rights must take precedence over potential profits,” Magdalena Sepulveda, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said in a statement.