Bride Trafficking: Policy Interventions for an Under-Reported Plague

Bride trafficking is the illegal industry of purchasing brides as a property for due consideration. Organized traffickers sell girls and women as brides who are conned into a life of abuse, exploitation and slavery. Be it Haryana, Assam or Rajasthan, the Indian “Bride Bazaar” predominantly flourishes in parts of the country where the sex ratio is abysmally low and poverty stricken families are reluctant to spend on the dowry and marriage of their daughters. Unfortunately, there are no significant laws and policies to wrestle bride trafficking and its accompanying human rights violations in India. (more…)

The Ordeal of Manual Scavenging: Tracing the Evolution of India’s Mitigation Policies

By Khushi Pamnani, Research Associate, Human Rights and Social Justice Policies

The UN defines manual scavenging as the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling in any manner, human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. Upon collection of the excreta in containers like thin boards, baskets, and buckets, manual scavengers are then responsible to carry them on their heads to locations that are several kilometers away from the latrines. The demand for manual scavenging still persists due to a lack of functional and sanitary sewage systems. 

(more…)

UAPA Bill 2019

UAPA Bill, 2019 : Towards a terror free country or a flawed path?

By Tanu Singh, Ramjas College, New Delhi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah put forward a Bill on 9 July 2019, proposing amendments in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. On 24 July the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha cleared the Bill with 147 voting in favour and 42 against. UAPA, implemented in 1967, is an Act ‘to provide for the more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations and for matters connected therewith’. It assigns absolute power to the Central Government, by way of which, if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so. (more…)

Right to Disconnect: A Statutory Requirement?

By Shloka Suda, School of Law, UPES, Dehradun.

During the last 25 years, there has been a drastic improvement in the modes of communication, every person carrying a cellular device is just a phone call away, letters are written via email, the transmission of messages takes place in seconds through means of the internet. In the wake of advancements in technology, it has become increasingly difficult for a person to separate professional life from personal life. This “problem” has been recognized by the International Labour Organisation, as the said situation has only led to increased responsibility and accountability on the Employee. Any person who wants to give a 100% at his job invariably ends up spending all of his day working, which leads to a degradation in the quality of their life. In order to protect employees from this complication and to maintain the distinction between work and home, a need for “The Right to Disconnect” has been acknowledged. The Right to Disconnect essentially empowers the employee to not respond to any work-related queries post designated work hours. (more…)

Civic Architects: Bride Trafficking

A day full of insights, intense discussions and revelations for our participants and us, while we tried to make sense of the gender disparity, gender inequity and commodification of women’s minds and bodies in the society that contribute to the complex landscape of Bride Trafficking in India. Of learnings, solutions and thought provoking debates at Civic Architects: The Policy Workshop (more…)

Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018: A Pressing Need of the Hour

By Shivangi Singh, Amity Law School, Lucknow.

Trafficking of persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. (more…)

Nagaland under AFSPA Shelter: An Ongoing Saga

By Kartik Pathania, Amity Law School, Delhi.

Disturbed area is an area where any magistrate or police officer of the rank of Sub-Inspector or Head Constable of Armed Police have been given the right to fire or otherwise use force even to the point of causing death, against any person who is indulging in any activity which results in a serious breach of public order. (more…)

Supreme Court rules on protecting Minor Wives

By Arifa Khan, Post Graduate College of Law, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, affirmed that sexual intercourse with a minor wife is rape, where consent is immaterial. The judgment came on a petition filed by an NGO- Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) run by Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi to examine the conflict of Section 375 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The Court struck down Exception 2 to Section 375 of IPC, which exempts marital rape of girls between the age of 15 and 18 from the purview of rape. The POCSO Act has determined the age of consent to be 18 years which cannot be reduced, the court ruled. The Court Bench, comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta, said that the exception to the rape law was contrary to the philosophy of other statutes and violates the bodily integrity of a girl child. The discrimination between a married girl child and an unmarried girl child is artificial. “A child remains a child whether she is described as a street child or a surrendered child or an abandoned child or an adopted child. Similarly, a child remains a child whether she is a married child or an unmarried child or a divorced child or a separated or widowed child.”, Justice Lokur wrote. (more…)

Urban Refugee: Educational Needs of the Dispersed

By Binny Kumari, Central University of South Bihar, Gaya and Saif Rasul Khan, Research Associate, LexQuest.

Meaning of the term urban refugee

The Geneva Convention on Refugees defines a refugee as, “a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well founded fear of prosecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country.”  In context of the term, urban refugee, there is no clear definition but it points to the changing trend of refugees making their ways to cities as against the traditional image of settling in refugee camps. (more…)

India’s Abstention at UNHRC: A shift without compassion

By Mohammad Anas, Aligarh Muslim University, Kerala.

India’s so-called neutrality from voting in the recent UN Human Rights Council meeting on the question of forwarding the “Davis Report” to International Criminal Court has created an instant outrage among the National Councils and people all over the world. Various assumptions are being made as to why India did not take part in the voting. Since 1948 when India got its Independence until in 1992 when full diplomatic relations with Israel were assumed India vowed to support Palestine to fight for its inalienable rights as a sovereign engaged in a struggle against colonial occupation which is much like the one that led to its own hard-won independence.India has always shown solidarity to the Palestine. This sudden change of India being silent on the report has raised many eyebrows. (more…)