write2kill.in | Select writings of Subir Ghosh
 
 
  • Sharebar

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: People
May 18, 2006 | Our last chance to save them: Sooner or later, it had to happen. Forty-two children from the isolated Jarawa tribe of the Andaman Islands have been hit by measles in the last three weeks in an epidemic which could wipe them out... Continue reading Our last chance to save them
Random Pick: Northeast
September 5, 2011 | Jatinga: The village where birds are said to commit suicide: This tiny hamlet is a birdwatcher’s paradise. It’s also an ornithologist’s nightmare. For, Jatinga remains a place where birds are supposed to commit suicide. Jatinga village, inhabited... Continue reading Jatinga: The village where birds are said to commit suicide
Random Pick: Media
October 8, 2010 | Weekly that took on Islam and the Moroccan King closes down: Morocco's topselling Arabic language weekly Nichane, which had taken up in the past taboo subjects like monarchy and Islam, closed shop last week blaming "the highest circles of power" for... Continue reading Weekly that took on Islam and the Moroccan King closes down
Random Pick: Human Rights
April 6, 2012 | Kids in juvenile homes being driven to suicide: From lodging girls in boys’ homes to inmates of juvenile homes being abused by the very people who are meant to protect them, the situation of juveniles in Karnataka is not only appalling, it is in... Continue reading Kids in juvenile homes being driven to suicide
Random Pick: Cinema
September 3, 2011 | Reliance goes overboard to curb 'Bodyguard' piracy: Reliance Entertainment has gone overboard after obtaining a John Doe order from the Delhi High Court to prevent piracy of its film Bodyguard, that was released this week. The company has... Continue reading Reliance goes overboard to curb 'Bodyguard' piracy
Random Pick: Society
July 9, 2014 | SC judgment on fatwas needs to be seen closely: Too much hot air is being blown into Monday’s Supreme Court judgment clarifying that fatwas are not binding on Muslims. That’s possibly because there’s a new government in New Delhi that is led... Continue reading SC judgment on fatwas needs to be seen closely
Random Pick: Development
November 5, 2013 | Death by development: Most urban agglomerates in India today are veritable disasters, typically for the same set of reasons, primary among them being the lack of foresight as well as capriciousness in planning. Planners... Continue reading Death by development
Random Pick: Women
October 1, 2011 | Miscarriage of intent: Abortion is not always foeticide, or a crime: There was a recent move in the Maharashtra Assembly which did not go down well with anti-abortionists. The state was planning to treat female foeticide as murder, and book culprits under the Indian... Continue reading Miscarriage of intent: Abortion is not always foeticide, or a crime