Skip to content Skip to navigation

UN Human Rights Council concered over #CAB

We are concerned that India's new Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 is fundamentally discriminatory in nature.

The amended legislation seeks to expedite citizenship for religious minorities – naming specifically only Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - fleeing persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who have been resident before 2014. But it does not extend the same protection to Muslims, including minority sects.

Press briefing on India

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Jeremy Laurence

Location: Geneva

Date: 13 December 2019

Subject: India

The amended law would appear to undermine the commitment to equality before the law enshrined in India's constitution and India's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to which Indian is a State party, which prohibit discrimination based on racial, ethnic or religious grounds.  Although India's broader naturalization laws remain in place, these amendments will have a discriminatory effect on people's access to nationality.

All migrants, regardless of their migration status, are entitled to respect, protection and fulfilment of their human rights. Just 12 months ago India endorsed the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration, which commits States to respond to the needs of migrants in situations of vulnerability, avoiding arbitrary detention and collective expulsions and ensuring that all migration governance measures are human rights-based.

While the goal of protecting persecuted groups is welcome, this should be done through a robust national asylum system that is premised on the principle of equality and non-discrimination, and which applies to all people in need of protection from persecution and other human rights violations, with no distinction as to race, religion, national origin or other prohibited grounds.

We understand the new law will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of India and hope it will consider carefully the compatibility of the law with India's international human rights obligations.

In the meantime, we are concerned at reports that two people have died and many including police officers have been injured in the Indian states of Assam and Tripura as people protest against the Act. We call on the authorities to respect the right to peaceful assembly, and to abide by international norms and standards on the use of force when responding to protests. All sides should refrain from resorting to violence.

Author info

admin's picture

Add new comment

Random Stories

Forest fire inside Assam State Zoo in Guwahati

10 Mar 2012 - 4:14pm | editor
Fear psychosis grips the local residents in the Zoo area in Guwahati when they spotted a forest fire atop the hill. They have spotted smokes and fire at a huge portion inside the Assam State Zoo in...

Oil field auction: Police thrash KMSS protesters

25 Jun 2016 - 3:04pm | AT News
Many people sustained injury when security forces sprang upon a group of KMSS activists in Guwahati who opposed the process to auction a dozen of oil fields in Assam on Saturday. The incident took...

National Press day observed at Haflong

17 Nov 2011 - 2:29pm | Anup Biswas
The National Press Day was observed at Haflong in the office premises of District Information...

Normalcy back in BTAD areas

3 Aug 2012 - 10:01pm | editor
The situation in BTAD areas and Dhubri is rapidly improving. But the security forces are still patrolling in these violence-hit areas.Flag-march by army and patrolling by police and para-military was...