UN “CAA is fundamentally discriminatory”

Source: Sabrangindia.in

International body raises concerns over new law undermining commitment to equality before law

In a press briefing issued in December 2019, Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has raised several concerns about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), calling it “fundamentally discriminatory.”

The brief reads, “We are concerned that India’s new Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 is fundamentally discriminatory in nature.” It goes on enumerate the various international statutes that could be violated if India continues to back the CAA. It says, “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.”

The brief reminds India of its own prior commitment to upholding rights of migrants saying, “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.”

Concerns have also been raised about violence leading to deaths and injuries at anti-CAA protests. The brief says, “… 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.”

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