write2kill.in | Select writings of Subir Ghosh
 
 
 
  • Sharebar

Forced disappearances: Time for India to ratify the Convention

Forced disappearances: Time for India to ratify the Convention
The half-widows of Kashmir: Mothers of 'the misssing' protest in Pratap Park Lal chowk, Srinagar. Photo: Aliya Bashir / Women's News Network

On Wednesday, Iraq deposited the 20th instrument of ratification for the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances to the Secretary General of the United Nations. What this meant was that the Convention will enter into force on December 23, 30 days after the 20th accession or ratification.

The text was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2006 and opened for signature on February 6, 2007. So far 87 States have signed, and 20 have ratified it. India was among the first countries to sign, but is yet to ratify the Convention.

Ratifying the Convention would be significant. There are thousands of families in this country, especially those in Assam, Kashmir, Manipur and Punjab, who have been crying for justice. What's most tragic about disappearances is that with the person(s), the news of them disappear too. Most forced disappearances, needless to say, are the handiwork of State agencies.

Says Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary-General, "However, we are still a long way from banishing this widespread practice to history. Although the 20 ratifications mark a milestone for the implementation of the Convention, almost 90 per cent of the international community have yet to commit themselves to tackling enforced disappearances"

"This development in the international arena is indeed a reason for celebration. It equally requires redoubling of commitment of all parties to end this despicable crime against humanity. Its value is concrete and practical and depends largely on the sustained efforts of victims’ families, NGOs, governments, the UN and its new committee to use the instrument to hold violators accountable, to prevent recurrence and to deter future violations," says the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED).

Indeed.

It is also, indeed, surprising that no Indian organisation is a member of this coalition, for instance. That doesn't imply that there is no Indian organisation which fights for these issues. There are those like the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), for instance. And also more localised human rights organisations in states where extra-judicial executions have been or are even now the order of the day. But these efforts, on the whole, are piecemeal and definitely not a concerted bid. What is needed are more coordinated efforts.

The trauma of those whose kin have disappeared in Assam, Kashmir, Manipur and Punjab is untold. Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss; it is callousness.

 
Related links on the Internet
 
 
Daily Newsletter
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Random Pick: Women
Talabs of empowerment
September 27, 2011 | Talabs of empowerment: When Kanupriya Harish took a team from Wells for India around Janadesar village in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district, it was the routine monitoring visit of a donor agency that had supported a... Continue reading Talabs of empowerment
Random Pick: Development
UN report: 22 nations are facing protracted food crises
October 6, 2010 | UN report: 22 nations are facing protracted food crises: About 166 million people in 22 countries are suffering chronic hunger or difficulty finding enough to eat as a result of protracted food crises. Wars, natural disasters and poor government... Continue reading UN report: 22 nations are facing protracted food crises
Random Pick: Cinema
The Poetry of Cinema
August 4, 2008 | The Poetry of Cinema: “We have reached a time when we must open warfare on mediocrity, greyness and lack of expressiveness and make creative inquiry a rule in cinema.” His oeuvre rests on this simple rule, which lies... Continue reading The Poetry of Cinema
Random Pick: Human Rights
Shell accused over misleading figures on Nigeria oil spills
January 25, 2011 | Shell accused over misleading figures on Nigeria oil spills: An official complaint has been filed against oil giant Shell for breaches of basic standards for responsible business set out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development... Continue reading Shell accused over misleading figures on Nigeria oil spills
Random Pick: Politics
Unquestioned power can lead to fascism: 'Fabricated' director KP Sasi
October 11, 2013 | Unquestioned power can lead to fascism: 'Fabricated' director KP Sasi: The much-awaited public screening of Fabricated, based on the case of Abdul Nasser Maudany, will be held in Bangalore on Saturday. This screening is part of a nationwide campaign to focus on... Continue reading Unquestioned power can lead to fascism: 'Fabricated' director KP Sasi
Random Pick: Environment
440% increase in illegal mining cases in Maharashtra
May 11, 2012 | 440% increase in illegal mining cases in Maharashtra: Till the other day it was Karnataka which had a bad name when it came to illegal mining. But in terms of sheer statistics, Maharashtra seems way ahead – with the state registering a whopping 440... Continue reading 440% increase in illegal mining cases in Maharashtra
Random Pick: Health
Baby 7 Billion is Nargis
October 31, 2011 | Baby 7 Billion is Nargis: With the birth of Nargis in a village 40 km from Lucknow this morning, the world's population touched seven billion. Lucknow is the capital of India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh. Nargis,... Continue reading Baby 7 Billion is Nargis
Random Pick: People
Die herd with a vengeance
July 26, 2013 | Die herd with a vengeance: The last time, they had come in droves. This time, they brought their herds too. Over 1,000 people from 80 villages in Chitradurga district on Thursday flocked to Chitradurga town in protest against... Continue reading Die herd with a vengeance