Jan 8 2018

Russia’s New Domestic Violence Law: Incompatibility with International Legal Obligations

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*by Sathvik Chandrashekar

After several months of speculation, Russia’s controversial domestic violence bill has finally received presidential assent. Heavily defended on the ground of ‘upholding traditional family values’, it has considerably diluted sanctions on domestic violence that does not cause substantial bodily harm.

While the previous legal framework meted out imprisonment for a period of two years, the new law restricts liability for violence against relatives or children to a monetary penalty or a light sentence of 15 days in prison, if the offence does not occur for more than once a year. Acts of violence that cause  substantial bodily harm, which would require medical treatment, continue to carry criminal sanction.

Additionally, the law was given effect at a time when a sizeable number of Russia’s violent crimes are instances of violence committed within the family. This is not a recent phenomenon, as there have been previous human rights reports that have detailed Russia’s poor record with domestic violence.

I argue in this post that apart from potentially compounding the problem of widespread domestic violence, the new Bill manifestly violates Russia’s international legal obligations. To support this argument, I will examine the new legal framework in light of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

  • UDHR

The UDHR declares that “human rights should be protected by the rule of law” and provides for certain core entitlements, articulated in the form of fundamental human rights such as the right to life, liberty and security, that should be provided to every human being in order to ensure a dignified existence with the larger end of moving towards a better standard of life. Although the UDHR was intended to be a declaratory instrument without an obligatory character, it is now considered to be legally binding by scholars who argue that it is the most authoritative interpretation of the human rights obligations contained in the UN Charter. This proposition is evidenced by various ICJ decisions and State Practice.

The rights enshrined in the UDHR are activated and are applicable to every instance of domestic violence. I submit that any law which considerably weakens sanction against any form of domestic violence, irrespective of the impact on the victim, jeopardises the right to live with dignity and security of the individual, going against the very foundations of the UDHR and hence must not remain in force.

  • The ICCPR and the ICESR

The new regime partially complies with the obligations contained in the ICCPR, as it protects the right to life, insofar as it continues to criminalise domestic violence that causes substantial bodily harm which would require medical examination. However, the new regime allocates liability solely based on the extent of physical injury, leaving the ensuing mental trauma from such an incident virtually unaddressed. No redressal or liability regime has been put in place to address claims of mental injury. According to Article 12 of the ICESR, every State has a duty to provide for the highest attainable standard of mental health. The Bill is in violation of this requirement, as it runs counter to the obligation of progressive realisation of the right to health.

  • CEDAW and the due diligence standard

Russia has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Although the Convention does not recognise domestic violence as a form of discrimination, General Recommendation No. 19, issued by the Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women has recognised gendered violence to be a form of discrimination. To adjudicate whether States have fulfilled their obligation under the Convention, the above-mentioned Recommendation has devised the standard of due diligence. Due diligence is now used as a yardstick to measure whether a domestic legislation is effective in combatting domestic violence. The standard of due diligence identifies State Responsibility at two levels: the systemic level responsibility, i.e. the responsibility of State parties to keep effective systems and structures that can adequately address both the causes and consequences of violence against girls and women and the individual level responsibility which is the responsibility of the State parties to provide avenues for prevention, protection, punishment and reparation to each victim.

I forward two grounds to argue that the new Bill falls foul of the due diligence requirement. Firstly, it does not provide adequate protection to the victim, as it contains no provision for reducing access of the perpetrator to the victim, once there has been a conviction, such as a restraining order. Secondly, it does not provide a framework of adequate punishment and reparation. By making domestic violence an administrative offence, a conviction does not even appear on the criminal record of the perpetrator accompanied by a limited requirement to investigate the case, meaning that there are practically no consequences for such an action.

The ECHR, in Aydin v. Turkey, has on similar grounds held that Turkey did not act with due diligence. Apart from the above-mentioned requirements, the CEDAW Committee, in General Recommendation No. 28, states that State parties have an obligation to initiate criminal proceedings, where gendered discrimination constitutes the violation of other human rights such as the right to life and physical integrity.

Therefore, by allowing only a limited scope for investigation and no criminal liability, the new Bill falls foul of the due diligence requirement and is not in compliance with the CEDAW.

Conclusion

Illegality aside, the new Bill seems to be sending the wrong social message. Given that most instances of domestic violence go unreported, as they normally arise in relations of intimacy, the State, through the new Bill, seems to be saying that certain forms of violence are acceptable and inevitable. Victims could be rendered voiceless if such messages are perpetuated, through coercive power. All in all, Russia’s new move to decriminalise domestic violence is a step backwards in the protection of human rights.

 

Author: Sathvik Chandrashekar

3rd Year, ‘B’ Section

NALSAR University of Law

Posted by: Posted on by Heidi Elfriede El-Megrisi

Dec 12 2017

Economic Will for Climate Change Action

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*By Austin Schiano

In the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, I was scouring to understand how this decision would affect present and future progress in combatting climate change. After some thought, it became clear that the behavior of businesses would be key.

I found myself musing over several questions: Would this withdrawal act as a signal to affect corporate behavior on combating climate change? And, more importantly, what could we as consumers do to understand and encourage sustainability if the U.S. government was stalled on the topic?

To help get our bearings, it’s important to understand the effect of lobbying efforts in the U.S. The Internal Revenue Service defines lobbying as an attempt to influence a legislative body through communication with a member or employee of that institution or government official. In essence, lobbyists try to convince legislators to take a specific position that would help the corporation (or other entity) that is financially backing the lobbyist.

In 1995, Congress passed the Lobbying Disclosure Act that requires companies or other entities to register federal lobbyists to help ensure transparency and accountability. While attempting to protect the branches of government, U.S. representatives and the inherent value of the legislative process, the Act also provided a data source for understanding the true impact of lobbying.

In a report published in the Academy of Management Discoveries (AMD), researchers analyzed this data over time and found that corporations with high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and corporations who emitted the least greenhouse gases both spent the most money and directed lobbying efforts around climate issues. This is very important when we try to understand the forces at work when energy legislation is on the docket.

In the U.S., climate lobbying has been most active when environmental legislation has been under consideration. The AMD report showed that from 2006-2009, corporations spent over $1 billion USD on lobbying efforts surrounding the proposal of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House of Representatives. Spending on climate and environmental-focused lobbying has only increased since 2009. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics organized by the Senate Office for Public Records estimates that $3.9 billion USD was spent between 2009-2014 on climate and environmental lobbying. What this means is that corporations are spending large sums of money lobbying on climate issues.

The U.S. Government lobbying data set, however, does not identify whether those who lobbied were for or against a specific legislative issue. We would have to conduct a more detailed analysis of the corporations’ behavior to get a better sense of their position on the legislation.

In a brief examination of major companies, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) presents a case study for their support of managing carbon emissions. The company spent an estimated $27 million USD on climate change lobbying in 2008, while also supporting a cap-and-trade system for emissions. PG&E demonstrated their commitment further by leaving the Chamber of Commerce in 2009 due to the Chamber’s fervent opposition to carbon regulation. Nike Inc. likewise resigned from the Chamber’s board of directors in 2009 for similar reasons.

So, what can we as consumers do to influence the manner in which corporations lobby? A key answer lies in shareholder resolutions, which are non-binding recommendations to the board of directors of a public corporation. These shareholder resolutions are public and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If a large enough constituency of shareholders coalesce around a shareholder resolution, they can encourage further advocacy for a change of corporate policy. This is where things get interesting.

Following the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which resulted in the Paris Agreement, “the number of climate-related shareholder resolutions worldwide hit an all-time high.” Additionally, according to The Earth Institute at Columbia University, “of the 370 shareholder resolutions filed in 2016 relating to environmental and social issues in the U.S., a record 94 were related to climate change.” Shareholder resolutions are being used increasingly to bring climate issues to the forefront.

Reviewing corporate lobbying is one of the most powerful tools we consumers have to guide the private sector toward a more sustainable future. This article is the start of a critical conversation, on which our planet cannot afford to wait. Some corporations are making valiant strides toward environmental protection, but ‘some’ will not save us. We have pushed the earth to a dangerous tipping point and there will be no going back if we cross it.

References

Shear, M. (2017), “Trump Will Withdraw U.S. From Paris Climate Agreement”, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/trump-paris-climate-agreement.html.

The Internal Revenue Service. (2017), “Direct and Grassroots Lobbying Defined”, https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/direct-and-grass-roots-lobbying-defined.

Usman, H. (2013), “Corporate Lobbying: Can Transparency Mitigate the Risk for Investors?”, https://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2013/06/27/corproate-lobbying-can-transparency-mitigate-the-risk-for-investors/.

US Congress. (1995) “Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995”, https://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov/lda.html.

Delmas, M, Lim, J, and Nicholas, N. (2016) “Corporate Environment Performance and Lobbying”, https://www.ioes.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/amd20140065_rp1.pdf.

U.S. House of Representatives. (2009), “H.R.2454 – American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009”, https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-bill/2454.

Delmas, M, Lim, J, and Nicholas, N. (2016) “Corporate Environment Performance and Lobbying”, https://www.ioes.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/amd20140065_rp1.pdf.

Delmas, M. (2016) “Research: Who’s Lobbying Congress on Climate Change”, https://hbr.org/2016/10/research-whos-lobbying-congress-on-climate-change.

Delmas, M, Lim, J, and Nicholas, N. (2016) “Corporate Environment Performance and Lobbying”, https://www.ioes.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/amd20140065_rp1.pdf.

Goldman, G, Rogerson, P. (2013)  “Assessing Trade and Business Groups’ Positions on Climate Change”, http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/center-for-science-and-democracy/trade-and-business-groups-climate-change.pdf.

USSIF. (2017) “Shareholder Resolutions. US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment”, http://www.ussif.org/resolutions.

Hulac, B. (2016) “Exxon Mobil Faces Showdown with Shareholders over Climate Change”, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxonmobil-faces-showdown-with-shareholders-over-climate-change/.

Hapgood, H. (2016) “Shareholders Turn Up the Heat on Climate Change”, http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2016/10/12/shareholders-turn-up-the-heat-on-climate-change/.

Author Bio

Austin Schiano is an international political communications professional, with experience in the private sector, UN, Media and NGO space. He received his Master’s Degree in Global Affairs from NYU’s School of Professional Studies in 2015.

 

Posted by: Posted on by Heidi Elfriede El-Megrisi

Dec 4 2017

Marriage Migration in Rural China: Daughters Have a Price Tag

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*By Jason Hung

The Chinese government launched economic reforms in 1978 which has been seen as a hallmark of urbanization among coastal areas, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong. Since then, urbanization and suburbanization progress in inland China have been lagging behind. The regional gap has exacerbated the income and wealth disparities between urban and rural China.

Due to the lack of economic and cultural reforms in rural China, the conservative, rigid, male-centered patrilineal family system is deeply embedded in rural household units where virilocal marriage is popular. In other words, family property is often inherited equally among all sons. Married daughters and their descendants are no longer regarded as members of her natal families. These married women have no obligation to take care of their natal parents nor do they inherit any property from their natal families. Thus, many natal families in rural China seek opportunities to acquire “compensation” for raising a daughter. The natal parents commodify their daughters by tagging them with a “bride price”. [1] [2] Through negotiation, prospective brides’ parents would bargain, reach a consensus, and make a deal with any prospective grooms’ parents from urban areas. Once the transaction terms and conditions are mutually agreed upon, those females from rural China are “sold” to their prospective grooms for an arranged marriage in urban China, and become migrant wives. [3]

Brides’ safety and national security could be at stake

Marriage migration is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the brides’ parents are able to earn a decent amount of payment from the grooms’ families. This helps relieve the financial burden from the brides’ side, since most families in rural China are living in destitution. This arranged marriage, or shall we say an economic transaction, advances upward social mobility for rural families. On the other hand, however, both the personal safety of the brides and the national security of China could be at stake.

Since most of these rural females have no social network with individuals from urban areas, they move beyond the security network of their kinship lines once they migrate for marriage. If they encounter any difficulties, or threats, imposed by the grooms or their families, these females have no one to whom they can reach out. Rural-urban migrants often encounter substantial cultural differences in urban China, which could possibly engender conflicts between migrant women and their new families. Additionally, Lanmei Ma et al. (1995) and Tianqi Xu et al. (1992) argue that these grooms are often older and poorer men in urban areas. Some may be mentally or physically handicapped. [4] Migrant brides then become responsible for looking after their husbands – men they are unfamiliar with – for the rest of their lives. [5]

From China’s perspective, human traffickers, drug dealers and other criminals have been taking advantages from arranged marriages to transport prostitutes, drugs and other illegal belongings. The United Nations Women has enacted Article 15 and 16 of The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to help control this migration flow and to prohibit any arising illegal activities. In line with the anti-arranged marriage international convention, the Chinese Communist Party has outlawed arranged marriages in the New Marriage Law (1950). Nevertheless, arranged marriages remain one of the most prevalent forms of marriage in rural China. [6] [7] By 1990, the number of marriage migrants already exceeded four million. As reported in Trends and determinants of female marriage migration in contemporary China (2010), Hu Ying et al. discovered that 12.06% of individuals in China who are married, are in fact female marriage migrants.

Calls for Border Controls and Demands for Rural-Urban Equalities in China

Marriage migration is therefore an issue that demands state intervention, since marriage migration has been used as a cover for a range of crimes, including illegal migration, sex exploitation (especially women exploitation) and human trafficking. Border controls are in demand to tackle any ‘fake marriages’ and ‘illegal marriages’. While some women and their natal families are willing to engage in ‘fake marriage’ to obtain legal residence status in urban areas, the broader social and national security concerns should override any personal, yet illegal, interests. [8] Marriage migration and ‘fake marriages’ are undesirable byproducts of rural-urban income disparity. While the government demands tightening security measures for stricter border controls, they should also prioritize suburbanization and urbanization of rural China. In doing so, the enjoyment of better social welfare systems and facilities in rural China could become an alternative, and legitimate, means for upward social mobility, rather than the practice of marriage migration.

References:

[1] Bossen, Laurel (1994), “Zhongguo nongcum funu: shime yuanyin shi tamen liuzai nongtianli? [Chinese peasant women: What caused them to stay in the field?]”, In Xingbie yu Zhongguo [Gender and China], ed. X. Li, H. Zhu and X. Dong, Beijing: Sanlian Shudian, pp. 128-54.

[2] Honig, Emily and Hershatter, Gail (1988), “Marriage”, In Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s, ed. E. Honig and G. Hershatter, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp. 137-66.

[3] Wang, Jianmin and Hu, Qi (1996), Zhongguo liudong renkou [China’s Floating Population], Shanghai, China: Shanghai Caijing Daxue Chubanshe, p. 287.

[4] Ma, Lanmei, Chen, Zhongmin, and Du, Guizhen (1995), ““Dui “wailaimei” hunyu guanli qingkuang de diaocha yu sikao [Investigation and contemplation of the fertility management of female immigrants]”, Renkou yanjiu [Population Research], 10 (1), pp. 56-8.

[5] Xu, Tianqi and ye, Zhendong (1992), “Zhejiang wailai nuxing renkou tanxi [Analysis of female inmigrants in Zhejiang], Renkou xuekan [Population Journal], 2, pp. 45-8.

[6] Croll, Elisabeth (1984), “The Exchange of Women and Property: Marriage in Post-Revolutionary China”, In Women and Property – Women as Property, ed. R. Hirschon, London: Croom Helm, pp. 44-61.

[7] Shen, Tan (1996), “The Process and Achievements of the Study on Marriage and Family in China”, Marriage and Family Review, 22(1-2), pp. 19-53.

[8] Humbeck, Eva (1996), “The Politics of Cultural Identity: Thai Women in Germany” In Women of the European Union: The Politics of Work and Daily Life, ed. M. D. Garcia-Ramon and J. Monk, London: Routledge, pp. 186-201.

Author Bio

Jason Hung is a final year Sociology and Quantitative Methods student at the University of Warwick. In 2017, Jason Hung was a visiting scholar at UCLA and was a research assistant at Warwick. Jason Hung also works as a featured human rights writer for Oxford Human Rights Hub, RightsViews (Columbia University) and Warwick Globalist.

Posted by: Posted on by Heidi Elfriede El-Megrisi

Dec 4 2017

Right to Dignity, not for Manual Scavengers: The neglected state of rights of scavengers in India

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*by Swapnil Tripathí

It was recently reported that the National Capital of India witnessed numerous deaths of sanitation workers, employed in the cleaning of sewage and drains, mainly due to lack of safety equipment. These deaths are not just restricted to New Delhi as similar deaths have been reported in other Indian states.

Manual scavenging has been termed as the worst surviving symbol of untouchability. The International Labour Organisation has described it to mainly include the removal of human excreta from public streets and dry latrines, as well as the cleaning of septic tanks, sewers and gutters. The practice, though prevalent in other parts of the world, has a predominant presence in India. The people engaged in carrying out this act are usually from lower castes, namely the Dalits. As per the Apex Court in 2014, there are over 9.6 million dry latrines that are manually emptied. The states where the practice is common are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.

The issue with such work (and ensuing deaths) is that the activity of manual scavenging is prohibited by both international instruments and domestic law. International agencies such as UNICEF (as a water and sanitation issue), WHO (as a health issue), UNDP and the ILO have all criticized manual scavenging and have called for an end to the practice.

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (“Act”) is a law against manual scavenging in India, prohibiting dry latrines and all kinds of manual cleaning of excrement, as well as the cleaning of gutters, sewers, and septic tanks without protective gear (§7 & §9). However, since sanitation is a state subject, the implementation of the law is state-specific. However, the act of manual scavenging is more than a state issue, it is also a human rights violation.

The Constitution of India in conforming with the international position, abolished untouchability (art.17) and also prohibited caste-based discrimination (art.15). Furthermore, it interprets the protection of human dignity as an inalienable right, and as part of the fundamental right to life. The Courts have attributed human dignity to be the most important, fundamental, inalienable and transcendental of rights. Dignity, has been interpreted to include equal treatment, respect and equal protection of law. Right to human dignity carries the status of a universally recognised right as it is endorsed by instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by way of Article 1, 22 and 23.

Sadly, despite such constitutional safeguards, manual scavengers remain victims of discrimination. There are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, as India is a federal democracy and sanitation falls within the competency of its States (Entry 6, List II, Schedule VII, Constitution of India), the implementation of the prohibition on manual scavenging rests solely within the domain of the states. Hence, no collective/nationwide action can be taken by the federal government. Secondly, the law requires that the rehabilitation of scavengers has to be carried out as per the existing schemes, even though these very schemes have not been successful in eradicating the practice in the past. Thirdly, it is not just the law but the attitude of public authorities which aggravates the plight of the scavengers. The Government has repeatedly sought an extension of the deadline to curb the problem, exhibiting its lack of commitment.

The present scheme of law therefore fails in protecting the dignity of manual scavengers. The end to manual scavenging can come not only by modernising sanitation, but by also ensuring former scavengers do not go back to it as a result of poverty or unemployment. Amendments to the current law, strict enforcement, and a change in mindset are needed.

In Safai Karamchari Andolan v. Union of India, the Supreme Court directed the government to completely abolish the practice and provide for the rehabilitation of people released from manual scavenging. However, no progress has been made. It is clear that the judiciary has been taking active steps to ensure respect for the human rights of manual scavengers, but such steps without the support of the others organs of government is to no avail.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recently drafted a proposal for an improved implementation of the Act. The proposal provides for revised safety standards, stricter punishments for contractors and better rehabilitation machinery for the scavengers. It is hoped that the proposal will be implemented quickly, which would not only ensure that the rights of the scavengers are protected by punishing the wrongdoers – it would also rehabilitate the scavengers both monetarily and psychologically, thereby making the basic right to dignity a reality for the manual scavengers.

References:

Author Bio

Swapnil Tripathí is a Fourth Year, Constitutional Law Hons. student at National Law University, Jodhpur (India). He takes an active interest in the subject of Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence.

This article was previously published. It is available here: http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/the-dignity-and-rights-of-manual-scavengers-in-india/

Posted by: Posted on by Heidi Elfriede El-Megrisi

Nov 22 2017

‘The Illusory Safe Haven’: Examining Bangladesh’s Position on Managing the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

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*By Chandni Ghatak

In the past few months, the Indian subcontinent has witnessed a refugee problem due to alleged instances of ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. This has caused several thousand people to flee to neighbouring countries such as India and Bangladesh in seek of refuge. As usually witnessed in any crisis of this magnitude, the host countries are faced with providing an adequate amount of care and assistance for these displaced people. The Indian government awaits a decision by its Supreme Court on the legitimacy of deporting these people and refusing them the rights they are entitled to under international law as refugees. Bangladesh, however, presents a different aspect of this struggle.

With its geographical location, Bangladesh stands to be the closest and most easily accessible haven for the Rohingya. The country has witnessed more than 500,000 Rohingya enter its territory with more coming in almost every day.

While there have been reports of several Rohingya being prohibited by patrols at the borders from entering the country, those who have managed entry struggle due to the cramped spaces and limited quantities of food the camps have to offer. The Bangladeshi officials have been struggling with this sudden and large influx. Recently, as a scheme to tackle this current challenge of sustaining the over burdened camps, suggestions are being made to the Bangladeshi government to implement sterilisation programmes for the Rohingya. While this may seem an attractive offer to authorities, the appalling consequences it would have on shaping the discourse revolving the rights of refugees is frightening. The author argues that despite Bangladesh not being party to the Refugee Convention of 1951 [Convention] or its Protocol, such action could, from an international law and Constitutional law perspective, be challenged.

It is a recognised principle of refugee laws that the rights extended to refugees transcend those which merely ensure physical safety. Human rights law has expanded its ambit to ensure that these refugees may enjoy other basic freedoms which the host country grants to any other legally residing foreigner. [See Article 7 of the Refugee Convention 1951.]

The universal right to freedom from any type of arbitrary interference with one’s privacy and family is recognised in various human rights instruments, corroborating the notion that such rights are applicable to all, regardless of the underlying distinctions existing between citizens and refugees. This right stands to be violated in the current context mainly because the sterilisation programme, if implemented, would constitute an arbitrary interference not only with the privacy of the individual, but also as an extension on the collective right of the family ( i.e. husband and wife). This protection and preservation of the family as a collective unit was also a guiding principle for the UN Convention on Refugees, thereby exacerbating the grave consequences such action would entail.

Additionally, the recognition of principles of bodily privacy across jurisdictions, as well as the right of women to make their own reproductive choices in international instruments such as CEDAW etc; all demand that the State or any other force cannot interfere with a person’s sense of autonomy. Speaking from a constitutional law standpoint, Article 32 of the Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees the protection of personal liberty of any person, thereby extending its obligations even to refugees. This makes the launch of such a programme unconscionable from a domestic law perspective.

However, let us peruse the arguments from the side of the Bangladeshi Government. The strongest argument (second to its non-ratification of the Convention) to support its stance is the absence of explicit obligations in the Convention on how refugee camps are to be administered. Since the Government is not denying refugees basic amenities such as food, shelter etc; the ancillary aspects, such as the possible initiation of a sterilisation programme, could fall into the category of internal matters. However, in light of privacy being a universally accepted right, the argument does not entirely refute the assertions made against such a programme. Additionally, the duty to protect the human rights of refugees is generally absolute and not subject to the resources available to the State, barring cases of emergency.

Further, if such a programme is condoned in the international arena, it incentivises countries (possibly even India) to permit refugees within their territory not on the principle of respecting human life and dignity, but instead because of the option to manipulate policies in a manner suitable to national interests, which is what Bangladesh is trying to do.

The consequences of such actions are not limited to only the catastrophic effects it would have on the rights of the Rohingya people, but would also mark the decline of the persuasive power of the Refugee Convention. Despite countries not being party to the Convention, principles of non-refoulement and other related obligations have over the years obtained a jus cogens nature. Condoning such repressive measures fuels the decline of not only the aforementioned provisions, but also the general overriding character of international humanitarian law. While an official confirmation is still pending on the imposition of such a policy, its absence only comes as a short-lived instance of calm, rather than a permanent commitment and guarantee of a system that protects human rights.

Author Bio
Chandni Ghatak is a 4th year student at National Law University, Jodhpur. She’s currently pursuing her B.A LL.B with IPR honours, with an intent to later on build a career in litigation.

Posted by: Posted on by Heidi Elfriede El-Megrisi

Nov 10 2017

Project Five Fifths

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*An interview with Kwame Sekyere

  1. Firstly, congratulations on launching Project Five Fifths. How did this organization get its start?

Thank you! Project Five Fifths has been a thought in my mind for the past couple of years. It hasn’t always been in the form that it’s currently in now, in fact, it was initially just going to be something similar to a blog, but the more I’ve developed as a person in my skills and experiences, the idea has developed with me, as well.

In terms of actually kicking off as a full-blown organization, it’s difficult to put a date, moment or specific decision on it, but I see it as more of a process of growth that started a couple of years ago.

  1. It’s an interesting name – is there a story behind it?

Yes! I’m glad you asked. Just a quick plug, I write a weekly piece on Medium that covers my thinking behind this Project, the first one came out last week and it actually addresses this question.

Okay, so the name has everything to do with the purpose of the organization, it isn’t arbitrary. In 1787 the United States Constitutional Convention brought about an agreement called the Three-Fifths Compromise. In short, enslaved African-Americans would be counted as three-fifths of a person when state populations were counted.

I’ve taken this concept and applied it to 2017, where I believe we see a diminishing of the value of people who are somewhat distant from us, whether economically, socially or even geographically.

So I see Project Five Fifths as the tool that will bridge that distance and raise the value of these people, making them five-fifths of a person.

 

  1. What do you hope to accomplish with this organization?

This is a great question. I’ve got the weird mix of being extremely optimistic and also extremely pragmatic. In practical terms, I want to create some really great media content that people will enjoy engaging with, but content that is fundamentally rooted in giving a more rounded perspective of those who are distant, sharing their stories and simply bringing us closer to them.

 

  1. Will the media content live on the Project Five Fifths website, or is there another platform to house the work?

So the Project Five Fifths website is the main hub where you can find out about everything. But each production is an individual entity, so they will grow on their own. For example, the first production, The Streets Kitchen Podcast, has its own Twitter and Soundcloud page, but everything it does is publicised by Project Five Fifths.

 

  1. What types of media will be featured in your collection (i.e. art, video, photography, etc.)? How do you plan to create and collect this work?

The type of media isn’t so much of a question for me. My main question is how sustainable each production is. I’m not really looking for one-off pieces, I’m looking to produce media content that can build and grow over time. So the type of media can vary, but it’s more about the way it’s packaged and whether it’s sustainable over time.

Because the main focus is the community being served, I try to rely on the eyes of the people in the community organizations I work with, because they are best placed to know what needs to be heard.

 

  1. What can you tell us about the rest of the team behind Project Five Fifths? What experiences and skills are you all bringing to the table?

This question is difficult to answer. In the conventional sense, this is a team of one. But I do have key collaborators, different creatives I like to work with to produce the content. George and Josh are film students that I work with on video content and Luis, who did the sketch in the Introduction video, is multitalented too. In addition, I’ve got the organizations I work with, one example being Streets Kitchen.

So there isn’t a team per se, but there are people whose talents, reach and ideas are vital. For example, it was George and Josh that convinced me to make a podcast, which then developed into The Streets Kitchen Podcast.

 

  1. You’ve just launched, but how do you think Project Five Fifths can evolve down the road?

This is probably the most perfectly timed question you’ve asked! Not only can it evolve, it will evolve and it is currently evolving as we speak. I’ll tell you a secret, when I wrote the script for the Introduction video, the Project Five Fifths I envisaged then was not the one we saw launched on October 16th.

Fundamentally, it is always going to be about making the lives of marginalized people more known. Currently it’s what I call a ‘production hub’, the strength of this is its mobility – it’s not a house but a hub, it can fill different spaces and adapt to different needs. And I guess all this adapting will lead to evolution! I aim to be clear and open with this, which is one of the reasons I write my weekly posts on Medium.

So honestly, I don’t know exactly how it will evolve, but it will and it is!

 

  1. Where can people go for more information or to reach out with ideas?

The website is projectff.co.uk. We are @Project5Fifths on all social media. People can also email on info@projectff.co.uk. I’m always on the lookout for new people and organizations to work with, so please get in contact if you have any ideas!

Author Bio
Kwame is the Founder of Project Five Fifths and is currently doing a part-time MSc in Human Rights at LSE.  You can follow his work on Twitter @KBSekyere

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Oct 30 2017

India’s Rohingya Deportation Quagmire: Misplaced Nationalism or a Pragmatic Middle-ground?

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By Siddharth Sunil*

Around the 9th of August 2017, news first broke that the Indian Central Government had passed detailed orders directing, inter alia, the deportation of Rohingya Muslims from the country. The order was passed under Section 3(2) (c) of the Foreigners Act 1946. It was met by widespread criticism and prompted numerous sharply worded news reports, op-eds, special television segments, et al. The Central Government responded to these criticisms (which soon found an outlet through a petition filed in the Supreme Court of India) by contending that the deportation of Rohingya Muslims was justified. In its preliminary affidavit, the Government referred to the Rohingya as “potential terrorists”, owing to their belonging to the Islamic faith.

Needless to say, the affidavit irked consciences of a great number of Indians, and also sparked scathing comments from across the globe. The Government’s allegations were declared to be unsubstantiated, bigoted, incorrect, and made in bad taste. The truth is that there have been absolutely no terrorism-based arrests of Rohingya Muslims, and, save some instances of thieving and other petty crimes (which have been few and far in between), the 40,000-strong Rohingya population residing in India has had a clean record. This begs one to scrutinize the Government’s order with a fine comb, and to read between the lines.

A superficial understanding of contemporary Indian polity would reveal that the impugned order to deport the Rohingya seems to trace its roots neither to the Constitution, nor to statutes (albeit it is backed by one), but to a political ideology. Many believe that a drastic decline in religious tolerance and an increase in attacks on Muslims have characterized the three years that the incumbent government has spent at the Government. However, it is worthwhile to steer clear of these allegations for now, given that they are sans concrete proof.

The Government, in its affidavit in the Supreme Court, has claimed that the deportation of Rohingya Muslims is imperative to protect national security. Further, it has said that Article 19 of the Constitution of India (which, inter alia, provides for a fundamental right of citizens to reside anywhere in India) cannot be extended to the Rohingya Muslims, as they are not citizens of India. Apart from failing to convincingly demonstrate the exact ways in which the protection of national security is to be achieved by deporting the Rohingya Muslims, the order is further surprising, since it is antithetical to the traditional position that India has taken in this regard. India has historically been an accommodative and hospitable nation, and operated its tourism industry for several years under a Sanskrit catchphrase that when translated means “a tourist is akin to God”. By way of example, emphasis and further operational guidelines may be placed on 1991, when a massive influx of Sri Lankan Tamils into India was witnessed. They were allowed entry and granted registration as refugees. There was an implicit acknowledgement of the fact that the Tamils were not all terrorists; it is pertinent to note that it was the Tamils who formed a large part of the terrorist outfit LTTE, which was responsible for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, and thus, tensions against the Sri Lankan Tamils were justifiably at a peak. Despite this fact, the Government (then) managed to take a pragmatic stand, and refrained from branding all Tamils as terrorists. It is, thus, an important observation that no Rohingya Muslim, currently residing in India has been suspected of or convicted for any terrorist act: which lends no credible rationale to the Government’s impugned order.

It may be noted that India is not a signatory to either the 1967 Protocol or the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees, but it is a signatory to numerous United Nations Conventions on Human Rights, refugee matters and related issues. Therefore, it may be easy to make a positivist argument against non-refoulement (a fundamental International Law principle that forbids countries from returning asylum-seekers to countries where they would be in likely danger of persecution based on race, religion and nationality, among others) binding India.  However, India’s consistent State Practice in this regard and recent instances in which India has urged fellow nations to refrain from diluting the principle of non-refoulement ensures that, as a customary international law, non-refoulement is binding in India, regardless of whether or not India is a signatory to the relevant treaty.

An aerial shot shows thousands of new Rohingya refugee arrivals crossing the border near Anjuman Para village, Palong Khali, Bangladesh. ; As an estimated 500,000 Rohingya sought safety in Bangladesh between late-August and October 2017, UNHCR began work on an extension site next to the long-established Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. Whole families, young mothers and unaccompanied minors were among those fleeing for their lives since fighting reignited in Myanmar. They came by boat or walked barefoot for days, wading through vast rice fields. They left most of their possessions behind. Large groups crossed into south-eastern Bangladesh hungry, in poor physical condition and in need of life-saving support. By mid-September, the Bangladeshi Government allocated some 2,000 acres of land on which family tents and temporary communal shelters were erected to shelter new arrivals. UNHCR site planners estimate that these will be sufficient to house 150,000 people.

 

Article 21 of the Constitution of India extends the right to life and personal liberty, unlike Article 19, to non-citizens. In a High Court judgment from an Indian state, it was observed: “the principle of ‘non-refoulment’ is encompassed in Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the protection is available, so long as the presence of the refugee is not prejudicial to the national security”. This judgment is important in that it lays down ‘national security’ as a qualifier. This, the author submits, is a reasonable middle-ground, but there must be an efficient fact-finding mechanism to separate genuine cases affecting national security from false claims of threats to national security. The modalities of such a mechanism, however, would warrant careful consideration. The Supreme Court echoed the need of such a halfway-house (balancing of human rights with national interest) while hearing the petition filed by the Rohingya Muslims, by orally observing that a holistic hearing was in order and said that emotional arguments would not be permitted by the Court. The matter has been deferred to the 21st of November for further hearing.

It must be borne in mind that, thus far, there are no substantive Supreme Court precedents on this matter. Therefore, the onus is now on the Apex Court of India to be the conscience keeper of the Constitution of India and, above all, to demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond for something that transcends nationalities, and to act as a guardian of human rights. The judgment will be eagerly awaited.

*Siddharth Sunil is a student of the (class of 2020) B.A., L.L.B. (Hons.) course at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India. He is avidly interested in Indian Constitutional Law, and plans to be a practicing litigator when out of law school.

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Oct 24 2017

Negotiating the Change in Climate Change

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by Johanna L. Gusman, M.Sc., J.D.*

Last month, leaders from around the world gathered in New York for the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where the General Debate opened on the issue of ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’. Discussing global climate action was squarely on the agenda, which is certainly timely as natural disasters have nearly quadrupled in number since 1970. The United States and the Caribbean are still coping with the recent hurricane-induced devastation, and one of the world’s largest polluters is seriously considering backing out of its commitment to the Paris Agreement, which is (ironically) the very country that hosted this year’s UNGA. Even without the United States’ commitment to the international community on climate change, overall implementation of climate action policies is well below what is needed to address the enormity of this threat. It is a situation that has scientists, environmental activists and concerned citizens alike calling for more than just continued rhetoric. Yet, in all the dialogues, there is one invasive and not openly talked about issue that must receive more attention if real strides are to be made: fossil fuel industry interference in climate change policy making.

The Paris Agreement calls for countries around the world to abide by State-sanctioned pledges known as ‘nationally determined contributions’, many of which include drastically reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by limiting domestic dependency on fossil fuels. Trouble is, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provides observer status to the trade associations of some of the world’s most powerful fossil fuel corporations such as ExxonMobil, Shell, and British Petroleum—all of which lobby heavily against policies aimed at doing precisely what countries have pledged to do: limit the most abundant form of GHG, carbon dioxide, the product of burning fossil fuels. This constitutes an irreconcilable conflict in climate change policymaking that should bar industry representatives from being granted access to negotiations that work to limit the consumption of the product from which they profit.

The UN is failing to learn its own lesson on this. One excellent way to limit undue industry influence on global policy making can be found in the international UN legal precedent of Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which requires that Parties, in setting and implementing policies with respect to tobacco control, must act to protect public health interests from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance to national law. The WHO FCTC derives much of its success in protecting human health from its recognition that the tobacco industry has for years operated with the express intention of subverting the role of governments and of the World Health Organization in implementing public health policies to combat the tobacco epidemic. Climate change leaders would be well-advised to explicitly adopt a similar approach to help fight against corporate capture of their policymaking process. Because just like the tobacco industry has commercial interest in preventing tobacco control, the fossil fuel industry has a powerful vested interest in preventing climate change action.

However, even though the UNFCCC has the mandate to stabilize GHG emissions to prevent dangerous human contributions to climate change, it has yet to take up the fundamental task of reigning in the powerful corporations that extract, burn and sell fossil fuels. In fact, it has not formally acknowledged that the fossil fuel industry’s products and practices have contributed to much of the environmental havoc wreaked on people and this planet nor has it condemned the fact that the industry has actively worked to escape the responsibility for and the consequences of its product when such havoc occurs. What’s more, there is little recognition that the fossil fuel industry has failed to significantly invest in the research and development necessary to make its products and practices safe or to provide any meaningful, sustainable alternatives.

Admittedly, the role of fossil fuel companies, and by extension fossil fuels, in our managed retreat from a carbon-intensive economy is far more complex and nuanced than the tobacco industry and its role in the tobacco epidemic. The tobacco industry provides next to zero benefit to the world and the litany of damning court cases shows that the tobacco industry is an easy villain. It is much harder to convincingly explain the exact nature of the culpability for the impending climate crisis and the specific roles that the fossil fuel industry should have in the necessary collective response. However, where there exists an obvious, irreconcilable conflict that is incompatible with the very spirit of the UNFCCC—the fossil fuel industry has no interest in keeping fossil fuels in the ground as it goes against the essence of its business model—it must be openly addressed. If global leaders are serious about focusing on all peoples and a sustainable planet, recognizing the lengths to which certain transnational corporations will go to protect financial interests over environmental ones is surely an easy step forward in the right direction.

A corporation’s first duty is to its shareholders—nothing else. Fossil fuel shareholder interests (i.e. profit) should not dictate climate change policies, and their influence should, therefore, be limited. Otherwise, we are letting those who do not have to play by the rules, make the rules. Thus, what must remain non-controversial is that in setting and implementing climate change policies, UNFCCC Parties must act to protect public health and environmental interests from the commercial and other vested interests of the fossil fuel industry; not have to sit at the table and negotiate with them. To trust that this makes no difference to UNFCCC policies is not only illogical; it is insane. Believing otherwise amounts to much more than merely allowing the fox to guard the proverbial henhouse. It is akin to letting the fox gobble up the hens at its leisure and then arming it against any attempts at rescue by the farmer.

*Johanna Gusman is a visiting researcher at Mansfield College and an international human rights lawyer with an interdisciplinary background in health and law. She studied as a Gates Public Service Law Scholar, was awarded a Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship at Samoa’s National Human Rights Institute, and recently served as a Technical Officer with the World Health Organization (WHO FCTC) where she was the focal point on human rights, liability as well as trade and investment issues. Johanna will be working with the Institute of Human Rights as she completes her work on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control project (WHO).

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Sep 29 2017

Mercury Poisoning: Taking action before it’s too late!

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By By Richa Sharma and Raghav Trehan*

“And virtually none of the children knew that mercury is toxic,” -Juliane Kippenberg [1]

 

Mercury is a silver coloured liquid metal which is found in a mercury sulfide mineral called Cinnabar [2]. Mercury is used in gold mining, dental amalgams, thermometers, fluorescent lights and a lot of other fields. This article will be focusing on how child labourers are being affected by the usage of mercury in gold mining and how mercury poisoning can be prevented by using other methods of extraction.

Extraction of Gold – The Process

“Mercury attacks the central nervous system. It can cause lifelong disability, including brain damage, and even death.” – Carlos Conde [3]

Mercury is mixed with the gold ore in order to isolate gold from it. This results in a mercury-gold amalgam which is further heated to obtain gold. Evaporation of mercury gas which occurs during the process is extremely poisonous.

Child labour in Philippines

“Thousands of children in the Philippines risk their lives every day mining gold. Children work in unstable 25-meter-deep pits that could collapse at any moment. They mine gold underwater, along the shore, or in rivers, with oxygen tubes in their mouths. They also process gold with mercury, a toxic metal, risking irreversible health damage from mercury poisoning.” – Juliane Kippenberg [5]

According to the Minamata Convention [4], usage of mercury is supposed to be eliminated. Simply having strict laws on paper is not sufficient for putting an end to this situation. These laws need to be enforced. Poor families and children from various parts of the world are still involved with gold mining, as this is their only source of income. Taking risky dives in search of gold, is not what children as young as 9 years old are meant to be doing.

Let’s have a look at some of the child labour laws in Philippines [6]:

  1. Minimum Age for Hazardous Work (18) is mentioned in Article 139 of the Labor Code (48).
  2. Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children:
    Department Order 4 on Hazardous Work and Activities to Persons Below 18 Years of Age; Section 12-D of the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act (49, 50)
  3. Prohibition of Forced Labor:
    Section 4-5 of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act; Section 12-D of the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act (51, 52)

As we can see, none of these laws have been enforced. It’s not only about Philippines, various other countries seem to be in the same situation.

Solutions to the problem

Instead of using mercury in order to obtain gold, there are a number of other methods that yield the same results. These methods are less hazardous as they do not involve gold-mercury amalgam. A list of mercury free methods have been listed on EPA’s website [7] – gravity concentration methods such as panning, sluicing, shaking tables and other concentration methods such as using magnets and flotation.

New discovery: Orange peels can reduce mercury contamination

A new study by researchers from Flinders University in South Australia reveals that limonene combined with non-toxic industrial waste can clear up mercury contaminated areas effectively. A polymer is created when these two elements are combined.

“More than 70 million tons of sulfur is produced each year by the petroleum industry, so there are literally mountains of it lying, unused, around the globe, while more than 70 thousand tons of limonene is produced each year by the citrus industry (limonene is found mainly in orange peels) So not only is this new polymer good for solving the problem of mercury pollution, but it also has the added environmental bonus of putting this waste material to good use while converting them into a form that is much easier to store so that once the material is ‘full’ it can easily be removed and replaced.” – Justin Chalker [8]

Summary of recommendations made by the Human Rights Watch report

These recommendations have been made for the Philippines Government, UN agencies and donors, international gold traders and refiners [9]:

  • Investigate and monitor child labor in small-scale gold mining.
  • Offer appropriate part-time youth employment opportunities for adolescents between the ages of 15 and 17, that do not interfere with the compulsory schooling requirement for these children.
  • Ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury and implement its provisions
  • Conduct biomonitoring in small-scale mining areas to assess levels of mercury exposure among local communities and provide treatment to those in need

References

[1] https://www.hrw.org/report/2011/12/06/poisonous-mix/child-labor-mercury-and-artisanal-gold-mining-mali

[2] http://geology.com/minerals/cinnabar.shtml

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk6utXucq2o

[4] http://www.mercuryconvention.org/

[5] https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/09/29/what-if-something-went-wrong/hazardous-child-labor-small-scale-gold-mining

[6] https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/resources/reports/child-labor/philippines

[7] https://www.epa.gov/international-cooperation/artisanal-and-small-scale-gold-mining-without-mercury

[8] http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/17729/20151023/water-pollution-orange-peels-suck-up-mercury-new-study-shows.htm

[9] https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/09/29/what-if-something-went-wrong/hazardous-child-labor-small-scale-gold-mining

*Richa Sharma and Raghav Trehan are 4th-year students, pursuing their B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) at Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, GGSIPU, New Delhi. They are keenly interested in human rights and environmental law. Currently, they are actively volunteering for Greenpeace India’s Solar Campaign.

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Sep 14 2017

Divorce versus Marital Rape: A Tale of Hypocrisy

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By Sachin Dhawan*

As per recent reports[1], the central government of India (the government) has, in response to a petition filed before the Supreme Court, defended the statutory exception permitting child marital rape. The validity of the controversial exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which states that “sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape”[2], has been challenged by the NGO Independent Thought.

The government has rightly been taken to task for its shocking stance towards child marital rape. In a brazen display of apathy, it pinned the blame for the social evil on “socio-economic realities”[3] implicitly washing its hands of the problem. In blithely condoning the heinous traditions that sanction the victimization of children, the government made its intentions clear: it was not interested in redressing the problem.

This antediluvian stand by the government is in stark contrast to the affidavit[4] it submitted last year in the case of Shayara Bano v. Union of India. There, it vigorously endorsed the demand for a constitutional abrogation of discriminatory divorce laws affecting Muslim women. The government went all out in this endeavor, proclaiming that “gender equality and the dignity of women are non-negotiable, overarching constitutional values and can brook no compromise”[5]. In this way, it positioned itself as the primary guardian of Muslim women’s rights.

Importantly, most of the affidavit is devoted to detailing the vast network of international covenants and agreements mandating the institution of gender just measures to alleviate the suffering of women. The government takes pains to remind the Court of its past pronouncements on India’s obligation to adhere to international law commitments on gender justice. Sharply expressing its indignation at the suffering of Muslim women due to the practice of triple talaq (instantaneous divorce), the government exhorts the Supreme Court to once again act on the basis of “international covenants to which [India] is a party”[6].

In embracing change for divorced Muslim women while upholding continuity for child brides, the government does not display a consistent attitude towards women’s rights. Indeed, the international obligations cited to uphold gender justice for Muslim women are all but forgotten when it comes to dealing with child marriage, a social evil practiced mostly by Hindus[7]. In such situations, the government prefers to “protect the institution of marriage”[8] rather than invoke India’s international obligations. Despite the severity of the concerns raised by Independent Thought, the government’s response was timid and meek, devoid of the alacrity with which it condemned gender injustice afflicting Muslim women.

Sadly, such behavior is reflective of past conduct of the government. Prime Minister Modi waxes eloquent about the plight of Muslim victims of divorce but has nothing to say about the many more non-Muslim women abandoned by their husbands[9]. Criticizing this employment of a double standard is not to deny the suffering of many Muslim women. However, the selective memory on display when it comes to international covenants suggests that the government’s interest in women’s rights is piqued when the women in question happen to be Muslim, that too on limited occasions[10]. The government’s aspiration to achieve the goals of gender justice as set out in a raft of international accords is laudable but it is an aspiration that should be pursued in the interests of all women.

* Sachin Dhawan is an Assistant Professor at Jindal Global Law School, India.

 

[1] https://scroll.in/latest/846733/centre-defends-ipc-clause-that-protects-husband-for-having-forced-sex-with-minor-wife

[2] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/623254/

[3] https://thewire.in/166569/minor-wife-rape-forced-sex/

[4] https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXilfcxe7yucHNsQXpXa0VuZk0/view

[5] https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXilfcxe7yucHNsQXpXa0VuZk0/view

[6] https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXilfcxe7yucHNsQXpXa0VuZk0/view

[7] https://thewire.in/39885/of-12-million-married-children-under-age-ten-84-are-hindus/

[8] https://thewire.in/166569/minor-wife-rape-forced-sex/

[9] https://thewire.in/86335/abandoned-women-triple-talaq/

[10] https://thewire.in/132084/bilkis-bano-rape-case-narendra-modi/

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