Indian law does not define the term ‘refugee’ but interestingly, the World Refugee Survey 2009, conducted by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, revealed that there are nearly 411,000 refugees in India. Most of these refugees fled from their own countries due to the fear of persecution. The largest number of asylum seekers in India, are from Tibet. They constitute over 100, 000 of total number of refugees in India. The second largest group comprises of Sri Lankan Tamils.
The practice of corporal punishment is often adopted by teachers, to implement discipline, among students. Corporal punishment is an extreme breach of children’s right to protection, besides being a form of physical/mental violence. As per Indian law, corporal punishment amounts to human rights violations too. According to the official report of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, conducted in 2007, on child abuse, two out of every three students are physically abused. Further, 73% of boys face physical punishment as compared to 65% of girls. All of this makes children fear teachers and become miserable in class. However, most of the students choose to suffer silently, rather than reporting the matter to parents or to others.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Protection has reaffirmed that ‘all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ However, protection of gay rights and those who practice homosexuality still remains elusive. They are often abused, discriminated and subjected to extreme social isolation and negativity.
The reporting of a horrific incident in South Mumbai alerts us to how the Dalits are treated in the country despite all our grand talk of treating them as equals. In this incident, a 22-year old Dalit woman was paraded semi-naked on street. The incident took place after a group of upper-caste men and women attacked her house and beat her, and later stripped her. The girl alleged caste-hatred behind the attack. Well, such incidents no longer shock us anymore because we have learned to accept that these incidents are prevalent in India. As educated citizens look at these incidents with disinterest, the issues pertaining to the practice of untouchability or social discrimination on the basis of caste will continue to increase.
Across the world, teachers have a special place in society. They are given respect not just by their students or colleagues but by people at large. For the same reason, the news of Pakistan police exercising brutal force on teachers comes across as a clear violation of human rights. True, human rights violations are not rare in South Asian countries. However, in this case, it was grossly unfair and unjust that the Pakistan police used excessive force against the peacefully protesting teaching community that had gathered in front of the Governor’s House in Karachi and Khairpur, which is also the hometown of chief minister of Sindh.
On 22nd March, 2010, Turkey’s ruling party announced its constitutional amendments package. The proposed changes are poised to trigger radical changes in the country’s judicial system and change the procedure for party closures.
Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is permissible as per the Indian constitution. PIL enables protection of fundamental rights of citizens who are poor, ignorant or in a socially disadvantaged position.
A public litigation is dissimilar to an ordinary litigation; wherein the latter is filed by an individual against another for enforcement of an individual right. A PIL, however, can only be filed when a 'public interest' is disregarded or dishonored, such as a public wrong or injury caused by a wrongful act by an official or public authority.
The climate of violence against transgender women continues with report of two murders in Turkey recently. In a letter to Turkish authorities in February 2010, four Turkish and international human rights organizations have demanded urgent actions to combat these killings.
The groups have asked authorities to enact anti-discrimination protection and revoke laws leading to harassment of stigmatized groups by the police.
The separation wall built by Israel at the West Bank has become a widespread issue of controversy. This is because the wall does not adhere to the border determined between Israel and the West Bank in 1967. Apparently built to ward off suicide bombers, 85% of the wall goes through the West Bank rather than on the Border Line. This has restricted movement of Palestinian residents, separating them from their lands; thereby violating international humanitarian law.
Hundreds Killed by Mobs in Villages in Central Nigeria
The strictly drawn ethnic and religious lines contribute to Nigeria’s poor human rights record. Since termination of military rule in 1999, there have been reports of over 13,500 killings in ethnic or religious clashes in Nigeria. There are scores of incidents involving violence, inter-communal clashes and unlawful killings by security forces members. Jos and Plateau State, in particular, are plagued with such crimes. The perpetrators are living without any fear of prosecution.