Dawn: Human Rights Watch, an international watchdog body, has urged India to accept the recommendations by United Nations member states at the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to address the country’s most serious human rights problems.
During the September 2012 session of the UN Human Rights Council, India will submit its responses to the 169 recommendations made at its second review in May.
The wide-ranging recommendations call upon India to ratify multinational treaties against torture and enforced disappearances, repeal the much-abused Armed Forces Special Powers Act, impose a moratorium on the death penalty, introduce an anti-discrimination law, and protect the rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal groups, religious minorities, and other groups at risk.
The Indian government has promised a comprehensive response to these recommendations.
The Indian government should make a serious effort to carry out these recommendations instead of simply pointing to existing legislation or policies, said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).
What’s needed is a strong commitment to transparency and accountability to protect human rights, not more lame assertions of good intentions.