The United States welcomes Attorney-General Goolam Vanhanvati and the Indian delegation.
We commend India, the world’s largest democracy, for its longstanding democratic traditions protected by a strong Constitution and laws, vibrant civil society, and independent media and judiciary. We also appreciate India’s dedication to confronting remaining human rights challenges.
In particular, despite legal protections, societal violence persists, including sexual violence against women, domestic violence, honor killings, and female feticide, as well as caste-based discrimination and violence and trafficking in persons. A lack of sufficient redress for victims of communal violence continues to deny some victims meaningful justice.
We value the role civil society plays in defending India’s democratic values, and are concerned about the stringent application of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, which has created significant challenges to the funding of legitimate NGOs, as well as a trend toward self-censorship among civil society. We support the millions of Indians who have raised concerns about this act and about corruption at all levels of society.
Finally, we are concerned about widespread impunity. We encourage government efforts to ensure that national security, policing, counter-terrorism, and stability concerns do not come at the expense of human rights. We appreciate and encourage further government efforts to address incidents of extrajudicial killings and torture committed by security forces, and unlawful and dangerous conditions facing those who are in detention or are seeking redress through the judicial system.
To that end, the United States makes the following recommendations:
- Ensure that laws are fully and consistently enforced to provide adequate protections for members of religious minorities, scheduled castes, and adivasi [ah-DEE-vas-ee] groups, as well as, women, trafficking victims, and LGBT citizens;
- Strengthen the process for ensuring independent and timely investigation mechanisms to address and eliminate corruption; and provide for and facilitate increased accountability and transparency in this process; and
- Ratify the Convention Against Torture and end impunity for security force