India: Joint submission for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

FIDH at the UN
Ludovic Courtès / Creative Commons

On March 31, 2022, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), FrontLine Defenders (FLD), and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) made a joint submission for the fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India, to be held in November 2022.

This submission focuses on the situation for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) and relevant restrictions on freedom of association and expression in India since the country’s third UPR in May 2017.

During its third UPR cycle, India received a total of 250 recommendations, of which one was specifically related to HRDs and six to freedom of association and civic space. One of the recommendations related to HRDs, which recommended that India introduce a law to protect HRDs, was not accepted by India and has not been implemented. Six recommendations to amend the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA) to ensure freedom of association were similarly “noted” by India and have not been implemented. In fact, amendments to the FCRA passed in 2020 have worsened the situation for CSOs.

 This submission provides an update on relevant legislative developments since 2017, focusing in particular on legislation that has further restricted the work of human rights organizations and HRDs.
 Secondly, the submission reports on the judicial harassment faced by HRDs in India.
 Thirdly, the submission analyzes the restrictions placed on CSOs by the government, primarily through the FCRA, and documents cases of CSOs being targeted by the government in recent years. Finally, the submission provides recommendations for India’s fourth UPR cycle.

This submission is based on information gathered through verified information concerning developments in India since its third UPR cycle.

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