AFSPA – UN puts India in uncomfortable Zone

By- Staff Reporter | Date- June 04, 2012

Repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 (AFSPA) was one of the major recommendations made in the 13th Session of Periodic review on 30th May, 2012 when the Working Group of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted the draft report on India’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The 80 recommendations were made by the UN member states after India’s detailed human rights record was reviewed.

Amongst other recommendations apart from repeal of AFSPA are abolishing death penalty, ratification of the UN convention against torture and the UN convention on enforced disappearances, the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, comprehensive reforms to tackle sexual violence and other acts of violence against women, banning all forms of child labour, etc.

The government of India is going to look into all recommendations from UN and respond to these before the plenary session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2012. It is when the UN will take its final stand on recommendations.

It is to be mentioned that throughout the convention, India did not have convincing replies to several questions. India is accused to have tried justifying most questions on human rights including those on AFSPA by stating reasons of “Insurgency and Terrorism”. India tried to maintain throughout as a land of peace, hiding the obvious fact that 21 out of its 28 states are ridden with armed insurgency. India is also accused to have misled the UN on its freedom on internet.

In the last review of 2008, India had got 18 recommendations but only 1 of these has been acted upon. With 80 added now, India is set to face credibility crisis at UN with recommendations piled up with no action.

AFSPAArmed Forces (Special Power) ActHRCUNUnited NationsUnited Nations’ Human Rights Council