The 27th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group is being held from 1st to 12th of May 2017 at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.
What is Universal Periodic Review?
Universal Periodic Review is a process through which human rights records of all United Nations’ Member States are reviewed.
- This review process is conducted under the auspices of UN Human Rights Council.
- UPR was created on March 15, 2006 through UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251 which created the Human Rights Council itself.
- Objective of UPR is to improve Human Rights situation in UN member states and address issues pertaining to human rights violations. UPR instils a sense of responsibility in member states to respect and safeguard human rights and fundamental freedom.
- As a part of review, every member state declares what actions have been taken to improve human rights situation in their countries and what efforts have been made to fulfil their human rights obligations.
- Every country is placed on equal footing during the Universal Periodic Review process.
Mukul Rohatgi represents India at the 2017 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UNHRC
India’s National Report for the UPR-III was reviewed on the May 4, 2017. India was represented by Mukul Rohatgi – the Attorney General of India. Mr. P.S. Patwalia – Additional Solicitor General of India and Ms. Ruchi Ghanashyam – Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs were a part of 18-member Indian delegation that accompanied Mr. Rohatgi.
Following recommendations accepted by India during the UPR-II in 2012 were included in the National Report for UPR –III:
- To prevent discrimination and violence against women and girls, members of religious minorities, and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- To promote equal access to justice for all, by providing more legal aid to the poor and marginalised.
During review of India’s National Report at UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on May 4, 2017, issues such as ratifying the UN’s Convention Against Torture (CAT), criminalising marital rape, need for reviewing the Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act (FCRA), discrimination against religious and other minorities, need to repeal anti-conversion laws and need to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Acts (Afspa) were raised by other countries.