Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2023:
The Human Rights Watch in its World Report 2023 (33rd edition) said that Indian authorities had “intensified and broadened” their crackdown on activist groups and the media throughout year 2022.
- It also claimed that the current Central ruling party used abusive and discriminatory policies to repress minorities.
World Report 2023’s Findings about India:
- The report found the Central govt. promoting Hindu majoritarian ideology, provoking authorities and supporters to engage in discriminatory and at times violent actions against religious minorities.
- It highlighted the government’s discriminatory stance toward minority communities in cases of violence against women
- Even after 3 years of removal of Article 370 and subsequent creation of two UTs (J&K and Ladakh), “the government continued to restrict free expression and peaceful assembly” in the two UTs.
- HRW appreciated the increasingly liberal steps taken by the Supreme Court of India such as the ruling to halt all use of the colonial-era Sedition law.
- It also referred to the SC’s ruling on extending abortion rights to all women regardless of marital status and widening the definition of a family to include same-sex couples, single parents, and other households.
- It also took note of the SC’s banning of the two-finger tests in a step to protect survivors of sexual assault.
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
- It is an international non-governmental organisation founded in 1978 as “Helsinki Watch,” initially aimed at investigating rights abuses in countries that signed the Helsinki Accords.
- Currently, its ambit has expanded to about 100 countries worldwide.
- It is headquartered in New York City.
- Helsinki Accords (1975) was a major diplomatic agreement signed in Helsinki, Finland, at the conclusion of the first Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (now Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).
- Primarily an effort to reduce tension between the Soviet and Western blocs, they were signed by all the countries of Europe, the US and Canada.
- The agreement made the 35 signatory nations pledge to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.