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: Wildlife
Vultures still in peril as pharmacies and farmers flout deadly diclofenac ban
September 13, 2011 | Vultures still in peril as pharmacies and farmers flout deadly diclofenac ban: Over a third of Indian pharmacies continue to sell diclofenac to livestock farmers. Manufacture and sale of this drug for veterinary use has been banned in India since 2006, because of its toxicity... Continue reading Vultures still in peril as pharmacies and farmers flout deadly diclofenac ban
Random Pick: Environment
Europe to protect Atlantic high seas from human activities
September 25, 2010 | Europe to protect Atlantic high seas from human activities: European countries have agreed to create six marine protected areas (MPAs) in the northeast Atlantic to step up the protection of the region's environment. They have defined six zones or MPAs over... Continue reading Europe to protect Atlantic high seas from human activities
Random Pick: Media
Now, what's it between The Indian Express and the Tatas?
December 9, 2010 | Now, what's it between The Indian Express and the Tatas?: The Indian Express, the daily we grew up to revere as the reporter's newspaper, doesn't seem to be so any more. The more you see its reportage on the Tatas, the more it seems to belong to... Continue reading Now, what's it between The Indian Express and the Tatas?
Random Pick: Human Rights
The BlackBerry, the elite, and a question of civil liberties
August 15, 2010 | The BlackBerry, the elite, and a question of civil liberties: The Indian elite is known for many things good, bad and ugly, its ostrich syndrome being one. Any ill that does not plague it, simply does not exist. A liberalised socio-economic regime gives it all... Continue reading The BlackBerry, the elite, and a question of civil liberties
Random Pick: Northeast
Three ceasefire agreements extended in Northeast, but settlements elusive
January 3, 2011 | Three ceasefire agreements extended in Northeast, but settlements elusive: In less than a week, as many as three ceasefire agreements have been extended in the Northeast. Technically, these are not called ceasefires; they are dubbed Suspension of Operations (SoO)... Continue reading Three ceasefire agreements extended in Northeast, but settlements elusive
Random Pick: Politics
Development politics may have won in Bihar, but so have many with criminal cases
November 26, 2010 | Development politics may have won in Bihar, but so have many with criminal cases: Nitish Kumar's victory at the hustings in Bihar is being described as the that of development-oriented governance over caste-based politics. On the face of it, this rightly sums up results. The... Continue reading Development politics may have won in Bihar, but so have many with criminal cases
Random Pick: People
To save these people, you need to keep them out of our sight
March 10, 2010 | To save these people, you need to keep them out of our sight: The most recurring, quoted number in India today is 1,411 – the mean count of tigers ostensibly remaining in the wild in the country. Everyone knows and everyone seems pretty upset. The number, of... Continue reading To save these people, you need to keep them out of our sight
Random Pick: Cinema
Hisss: Reading this review is a better idea than enduring the film
November 8, 2010 | Hisss: Reading this review is a better idea than enduring the film: There are films that you wouldn't want to see a second time. There are ones that you would like to walk out of. And there are those that you should give a go-by after reading a review. Hisss... Continue reading Hisss: Reading this review is a better idea than enduring the film