India refuses to Cooperate with UN panel over Jammu & Kashmir Report

Reacting angrily to a submission from the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council on the alleged violations in Jammu and Kashmir, India has informed the United Nations Human Rights Council that it will no longer entertain any communication with the Special Rapporteurs on its report.

What was the Issue and How India Responded?

The Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial Executions, Torture, and Right to Health had referred to a June 2018 report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and written to the government asking about steps taken by New Delhi to address the alleged human rights violations listed in the report.

Rejecting the ‘Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir’ report of the OHCHR, India has accused report as an outcome of the prejudice and bias of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The Indian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva replied has replied to the UNHRC that India does not intend to engage further with these mandate-holders or any other mandate-holders on the issue.

UNHRC Special Procedures

Human Rights Council’s Special Procedures mandate holders comprise of special rapporteurs, independent experts or working groups composed of five members who are appointed by the Council. Their functions include:

  • Undertaking country visits.
  • Act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and other actors bringing alleged violations or abuses to their attention.
  • Conducting thematic studies and convene expert consultations.
  • Contributing to the development of international human rights standards.
  • Engaging in advocacy.
  • Raising public awareness.
  • Providing advice for technical cooperation.

There are two types of Special Procedures mandates: the thematic mandates, such as water and sanitation, arbitrary detention, the rights of migrants, violence against women, torture and human trafficking, and the country-specific mandates.

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