Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR): India: Slavery of the children is making mockery of Right to Education Act in India
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
From: Communist Party of India (Marxist) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: letter 2 CPI(M) on evention of Torture Bill, 2010(PTB)
To: PVCHR ED <email@example.com>
----- Original Message -----From: PVCHR EDTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgSent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 9:36 PMSubject: letter 2 CPI(M) on evention of Torture Bill, 2010(PTB)
Ms Brinda Karat ji
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Member, Select Committee, Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010
Sub: Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010(PTB)
We are thankful to you for setting the agenda for legislative reform that truly protects the rights of the poor and marginalized people of this country. True to your belief, unlike many others, you showed great solidarity with the civil society groups who have been voicing the plight of the survivors of torture.
Comrade, we believe, the primary concern of legislations must be to devise mechanisms to manage what are believed to be the disruptive consequences of physical and psychological torture for victims and the family(majority of them are tribals, dalits, women and religious minorities). However, the effect of this management on the person whose life and affairs are being managed has not been a legislative concern. UNCAT and the need to adhere to its standards provides a historic opportunity to initiate forward looking discourse on the rights of the victims and especially, 'right to rehabilitation'. The PTB, 2010 has provided the possibilities for adopting a victim's right regime which would acknowledge, amongst others, deprivations endure by survivors of torture and recognize rights which would prevent further denials. Victim's need for support should be seen as an inevitable consequence of human interdependence. PTB is not just about adherence to a set of international guidelines and making law for here, it is also setting direction for the future. These directions have to be necessarily aspirational, to go beyond the present shortcomings and limitations. We think the present text of PTB, legitimizes the present deprivations and closes opportunities for near future. Our study, with Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Denmark has actually intended to explore the opportunities for improvement of the present bill. The bill must ensure that the arrogance and misuse of power by state agencies must not trample the life of any other person. Impunity, in all forms should end.
House of Lords and House of Commons, Joint Committee on Human Rights, while accepting oral and written evidence on UN Convention Against Torture(UNCAT) on Monday 21 November 2005, gave an opportunity to (1) Special Counsel, Human Rights Watch, (2) Director, REDRESS and (3) Researcher, Amnesty International for providing global as well as country specific experiences. So, we request you to provide PVCHR an opportunity for making submission before the honorable members. May I request you to consider the above cited international practice and allow the Executive Director, PVCHR and the legal head or representative of RCT for the purpose. Worth mentioning that RCT steadfastly maintains its secular and non- political character in the research world while working for the survivors of torture. Both the organizations have been working together for the last four years primarily, in Uttar Pradesh.
Executive Director, PVCHR
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Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Open letter to Civil society organization of India on Prvention of torture Bill,2010
Our organization, Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has been working in the field of Human Rights, particularly, dedicated to protection of victims' rights through constitutional means. PVCHR, like many civil society groupsconsider the need of a 'Prevention of Torture Bill' (Lok Sabha has already passed it) but not in the present form. The bill's passage in the lower house has disappointed us as we work with the victims through handholding and not just representing them in Delhi for political gain, expected a wider and better parliamentary scrutiny. However, we are happy that, the combined opposition and ruling party in their collective wisdom has referred the bill to the select committee.
Immediately, after Lok Sabha passed the bill on 6 May 2010 in a hurried manner, Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) sent an open letter to the Prime Minister, India,(http://pvchr.blogspot.com/2010/07/prevention-of-torture-bill-2010.html) and all members of the Parliament(http://testimony-india.blogspot.com/2010/07/open-letter-to-member-of-parliament-on.html), citing a comparative analysis done by PVCHR and Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Copenhagen-Denmark showing what the present bill offers and what the UNCAT desires. The analysis, clearly proved how the bill not only falls short of the specifications of the UNCAT but also greatly replaced protection of perpetrator instead of victims.
While meeting several Members of Parliament and important leaders of the national and regional political parties, PVCHR came across stories of torture suffered by some members. Not surprisingly, they still carry the sense of humiliation suffered in the hand of state agencies. There is a huge relief to know, that the present bill has come under scrutiny. PVCHR feels, that people who are instrumental in drafting such a bill, perhaps have not internalized the growing anger rooted in the state's inability to give 'justice' to the victims, across the country. The bill in its present form would have further alienated the victims and undermined the common man's trust in the state.
PVCHR in association with Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Denmark, has come out with a study that identifies short comings in the present bill on two accounts; one, far less adherence in the legislative standard provided in the United Nation's Convention Against Torture, to which Indiais a signatory; second, strengthening the hands of perpetrator, in this case, representatives of the agencies of the state, who are already armed with several legal protections. These serious lapses would isolate the victims, who already stand isolated. Tardy judicial processes and inherent problems in the existing social dynamics have given opportunity to non state actors, who in turn have effectively projected the failure of institutional justice delivery mechanisms created by our law makers. We hope, this study will be a useful resource for your organization for intevention before select committee.We would also request you to consider to demand that 'Right to Rehabilitation' so far, only provided to persons with disabilities must include 'victims of torture', while recognizing that torture includes both physical and psychological aspects as per UNCAT.(Please see: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34430163/Prevention-of-Torture-Bill-2010-RCT-Comments)
PVCHR on its part will continue to inform the Honorable Members about its understanding of the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 and suggest areas that need greater attention as well press for a wider public consultation, so that, the bill helps preventing torture effectively.
According to the Rajya Sabha website, (at http://18.104.22.168/newsite/press_release/bill_committee.aspx), the last date for sending suggestions to the Select Committee on the Prevention of Torture Bill is 22 September 2010.
National Alliance on Testimonial therapy and its member PVCHR request to CSOs in India to write to:
Shri Mahesh Tiwari
Joint Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat
Room No. 212-A
Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi 110001.