Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council (25 February - 22 March 2019) on Agenda 3: Clustered interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, delivered by Ms. Mini Devi Kumam, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India [28 February 2019, Geneva)

Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council (25 February – 22 March 2019) on Agenda 3: Clustered interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, delivered by Ms. Mini Devi Kumam, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India [28 February 2019, Geneva)

Mr. Vice President,

India thanks both SRs for presentation of their reports. Our statement restricts to the report of the SR on situation of women human rights defenders. We note the concern of the SR on reduction of funding for women’s rights and that maximum funding for gender equality is received by civil societies based in donor countries.

2. Acts of reprisals and intimidation for cooperating with UN and its mechanisms in the field of human rights are unacceptable. India is committed to ensuring a safe working environment for all including those engaged in promoting and protecting human rights. Representations are received by relevant authorities on providing security from or on behalf of individuals, including human rights defenders in India. They are examined on the basis of information available and appropriate action is taken. The National Human Rights Commission treats protection of human rights defenders as one of their core priorities. The vibrant and very vocal civil society and their active cooperation with the UN system reflects our policy. While being committed to the principle of protection of human rights defenders, we would like all their activities to be in conformity with the legal framework of India and the rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution of India.

3. Our government has taken cognizance of the need for gender specific measures for the protection of women journalists. The Press Council of India (PCI) works towards ensuring safety of journalists and monitors cases filed on the issues of threats/attacks/killings of journalists. Ensuring gender equality and combating violence against women are integral to all our policies and have been a top priority for India. In conclusion, it is essential that Special Procedures respect judicial proceedings, national laws and domestic redressal mechanisms of States and play a constructive role without being intrusive.

 

Thank you, Mr Vice President

 
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