India: Government should promptly adopt and act on the recommendations made at UN Rights Review

Member States Seek Protection of Minority Rights, Free Speech, Peaceful Assembly

The Indian government should promptly adopt and act on the recommendations that United Nations member states made at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process on November 10, 2022, six international human rights groups said today. The recommendations cover a range of key concerns including the protection of minority communities and vulnerable groups, tackling gender-based violence, upholding civil society freedoms, protecting human rights defenders, and ending torture in custody.

The groups are the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), CSW, International Dalit Solidarity Network, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

All UN member states participate in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which examines their human rights record and proposes action to improve the human rights situations in their countries. In its report submitted to the UN ahead of its review, the Indian government claimed, “it is firmly committed to the promotion and protection of human rights.” However, in the past UPR cycles, India has ignored important recommendations, including to address increasing violence against religious minorities, ensure accountability of its security forces, and protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

During the periodic review, India’s fourth, 130 member states made 339 recommendations highlighting some of the most urgent human rights concerns in the country.

Since its last review in 2017, India has undergone a serious regression in human rights under the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government has escalated its crackdown on independent and democratic institutions, and is using draconian counterterrorism and national security laws to prosecute and harass human rights activists, journalists, students, government critics, and peaceful protesters. Attacks, discrimination, and incitement against religious minorities are increasing. The traditionally marginalized Dalit and Adivasi communities have been denied justice and…