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WORKING GROUP ON HUMAN RIGHTSIndia’s UPR in Focus

The result of each review is reflected in an “outcome report” listing the recommendations made to the State under review (SuR) including those that it accepted and which it will have to implement before the next review.

The UPR is a full-circle process comprising three key stages:

1. Review of the human rights situation of the SuR
2. Implementation between two reviews (4 years) of the recommendations accepted and voluntary pledges and commitments by the SuR
3. Reporting at the next review on the implementation of those recommendations and pledges and on the human rights situation in the country since the previous review.

INDIA’S UPR

India was part of the first series of States whose UPR was conducted by the Human Rights Council in April 2008. Following India’s first UPR, the Government of India (GoI) had accepted 18 recommendations made by governments at the UN Human Rights Council. WGHR has prepared a chart with an assessment of the implementation of those recommendations. At the second cycle of India’s UPR on 24 May 2012, the implementation of these recommendations as well as new developments in the human rights scenario from 2008 onwards was assessed.

To view most important documents on India’s first UPR and other useful UN documents visit theResources page.

In the run- up to India’s second UPR, WGHR coordinated the drafting of a joint “stakeholders’ report” which addressed some of the most pressing human rights issues in India today. In order for the report to reflect the current human rights challenges in the country as precisely as possible, WGHR and its regional partners held a series of five regional consultations with civil society actors across India between 28 August and 28 September 2011. Click here to see the map of UPR consultations organized by WGHR. These regional consultations were followed by a national consultation on 11 – 12 October 2011, which, brought together representatives from all five regional consultations and looked at common patterns of human rights violations across regions.

The pooled information collected both at the regional and national consultations fed into WGHR’s stakeholders’ report that was submitted to OHCHR on 28 November 2011.

Ahead of India’s UPR in May 2012, WGHR also prepared a status report on human rights in India specifically as a resource document for India’s UPR by adding information to the stakeholders’ report. The report has case studies on important human rights themes and also has an updated chart on UPR I recommendations as an annexure.

ORAL STATEMENTOF THE WORKING GROUP ON HUMAN RIGHTS BEFORE THE UPR III, GENEVA, [DATE]

  1. The Working Group of Human Rights (WGHR), welcomes the Indian government’s decision to accept 152 of the 250 recommendations made by 112 states at this 3rd UPR.(27)
  2. This includes several important commitments to the realisation of social and economic rights, environment, and sustainable development, poverty eradication and realizing the SDGs. We point out however that domestically the government’s stance that continues to perpetuate criminalizing the poor through laws that penalize begging goes against its commitment here. (75)
  3. However, we remain deeply apprehensive at the pattern of ambivalence that emerges from unwillingness to accept recommendations that firmly secure the future of our people’s civil and political rights. (29)
  4. In light of the prevalence of torture and impunity in India we are deeply disturbed that out of 17 recommendations made to ratify CAT only one has been accepted. In earlier UPRs India had accepted several recommendations to ratify this vital Convention but has throughout failed to act on it.(49)
  5. As well, despite strong evidence of deliberate killings and excess use of force with impunity by security forces, for the third consecutive time India has only noted recommendations on revising AFSPA. (31)
  6. In light of increasing hate speech, targeted lynching of minorities and assassinations of journalists and dissenters, and a growing atmosphere of unchecked intolerance, it is surprising and regrettable that India has chosen not to accept 9 of 16 recommendations on hate speech, repeal of discriminatory laws and rights of religious minorities that would strengthen the rule of law and safety and security for all. (64)
  7. We regret also the absence of India’s unequivocal commitment to strengthening the justice delivery system and guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary. This is vital to effectuating our constitutional rights and is also a commitment India must fulfill under the SDGs.(41)
  8. Particularly in light of the frailties of the justice delivery system we regret that Sixteen recommendations relating to ending the death penalty that have been made in UPR III, have not been accepted.(33)
  9. 6 We welcome India’s commitment to end the practice of Child Marriage. However, we are disheartened that several recommendations on violence against women including ending honor crimes, dowry death, marital rape have not been accepted. (54). IF YOU ARE PUTTING ANYTHING ABOUT SAME SEX PUT IT RIGHT AFTER THIS BUT LINK IT TO A ‘NOTED’ RECOMMENDATION.
  10. Finally, like all of us here, we would like to join our government in commending the democracy affirming UPR process.This statement is a culmination of the process.
  11. In keeping with its inclusive spirit the Working Group of Human Rights has since 2009 anchored a nation wide process of consultation in which thousands of peoplenow take part. Over 1000 people from every walk of life endorsed the civil society submission to UPR III. India’s May 17th statement before the Human Rights Council was telecast live to more than 50 locations. Over 5000 people viewed it. Even as I speak people, in the capital Delhi to small towns of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and from grassroots movements in Himalayas and in Kashmir are listening eagerly to their government’s acceptance of your human rights recommendations. Civil societylooks forward to working in close partnership with GOI and the international community to making the international community’s wise recommendations a reality at home. (150)

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