Executive Summary

Through their collective community monitoring project, End Maternal Mortality Now – initiated to bring down the rate of maternal deaths in Assam, India – ICAAD, Nazdeek, and PAJHRA can confirm that India still faces serious problems in regard to the violation of women’s right to nondiscrimination and right to life as protected under the Indian Constitution (Articles 14, 15, & 21), and international instruments including Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Article 12 and 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.[1] India still has much to do to fulfill its obligations under the multiple UPR recommendations regarding maternal and infant health that India supported during the last UPR cycle. The current condition of public health services, further elaborated in the report, underscore the need to adopt a national legislation on the right to health.

This submission brings to light labor rights violations of tea plantation workers in Assam, with recommendations to meet the statutory minimum wage and provide safe & healthy working and living conditions in keeping with its legal obligations. Recommendations on housing seek to address the large scale of violations taking place in the absence of a national legislation on the right to adequate housing, with India’s urban poor being victims of forced evictions and inequitable rehabilitation.

Furthermore, since its last UPR review, India has still not ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its Optional Protocol.[2] The practice of torture of civilians by police in custody continues unabated, and a case filed in the United States shows that despite being a signatory to the Convention against Torture, India failed to uphold diplomatic assurances not to torture an individual who was extradited from the United States, in violation of international law. During its prior UPR, India previously supported recommendations to ratify the Convention, but has made no progress in doing so.

[1] ISIF Asia 2015, Project Factsheet Information, isifasia_grants_grants2014_technicalreport_nazdeek_vfinal, p.5.

[2] United Nations 2012, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Thirteenth session, India, A/HRC/WG.6/13/IND/1, p.7, viewed 19 September 2016, <https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G12/116/85/PDF/G1211685.pdf?OpenElement>.

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