UNHRC’s UPR | 09 Oct 2019

The government is forming a task force to prepare a National Action Plan on Human Rights (NAPHR) as mandated under the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

  • The task force will involve the Union Home Ministry and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and have representatives from ministries such as social justice and health.
  • UPR is a state-driven process under UNHRC’s auspices and provides opportunities to member states to declare what actions they have taken to improve human rights and to fulfil their obligations.
  • A review cycle lasts four-and-half years, during which records of member states are reviewed.
  • Earlier in 2017, India accepted 152 out of 250 recommendations on human rights. These pertain to sustainable development goals related to eliminating poverty, access to safe drinking water, sanitation and improving protection for women and children.
  • However, India “noted” and refused to accept some recommendations, including those related to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
  • Also, earlier, the UN had already recommended that India should have NAPHR covering issues such as the rights to health, education, food security, and housing; aspects related to custodial justice; and measures against the trafficking of women and children.
    • NAPHR, once implemented, will help mitigate the criticism India faces at international level when it comes to its human rights record as well as strengthen the social justice system.
    • It will also lead to stronger administration of justice, strengthening of human rights institutions, and linking of rights with development.

UN Human Rights Council

  • It is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
  • It was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 15th March 2006 and replaced the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.

Source: HT