UN Committee wants more from India on human rightsJuly 8th, 2008 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) A UN committee has recommended repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, more budgetary support for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and setting up of human rights commissions and courts in all states. In its recommendations, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN CESCR) also called for the implementation of the Sachar Committee report (on socio-economic status of the Muslims) “without further delay”.
Sharing the recommendations here Tuesday, after reviewing India’s report in Geneva beginning of May, UN CESCR committee member Maria Virginia Bras Gomes hailed the report prepared by more than 150 Indian NGOs on various social, economic and cultural issues. It helped the committee “substantiate their questions to the concerned state party”, she told news persons.
“It helped us have an alternative view on issues prevalent in the state and question the concerned party,” Gomes said.
India ratified the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1979. However, it submitted its first report after 15 years. The UN Committee has now asked India to submit its next report in June 2011.
The UN Committee report takes a strong stand on enactment of the Unorganized Sector Workers Social Security Bill which will entitle workers to social security benefits like maternity benefit, health, old age benefit and labour accident insurance.
It also talks about enactment of a law that criminalizes trafficking in persons and commercial sexual exploitation of women.
In what should bring a smile to the lips of the Bhopal gas tragedy survivors protesting for more than 100 days now in the capital, the UN Committee also seeks information on measures that have been taken to rehabilitate the victims.