Concluding Observations made to the Government of India by UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights



Disseminate the concluding observations widely among all levels of society, particularly among Federal and State government officials and judicial authorities to inform the Committee on the steps that it has taken to implement the following in the next periodic report

Engage NGOs and Civil Society Groups in the process of discussion at the national level prior to the submission of the next periodic report.

India should submit its sixth periodic report by 30th June 2011 and include detailed information on the steps undertaken to implement the recommendations contained in the concluding observations

  • Review legal obligations under the Covenant to take steps towards maximum of its available resources (Under Optional Protocol of the Covenant and General Comment 13 and 14 under core obligations)

  • Review all aspects of negotiations with trade agreements, especially EU and EFTA to ensure that rights of disadvantaged and marginalized are not undermined

  • Adopt mechanisms to enhance direct applicability of the Covenant by domestic courts. Also, with judicial training, effective measures should be taken to increase awareness of the rights enshrined in the ICESCR among the public at large.

  • Enhance the effectiveness of the NHRC and the State Human Rights Commissions, in particular through increased budgetary allocations

  • States and UTs to establish their respective Human Rights Commissions and Human Rights Courts

  • India should take necessary measures to protect human rights defenders against violence, threats, retaliation, pressure or any arbitrary action as a consequence of their activities.

  • Strengthen human rights training for law enforcement officials and ensure that all allegations of human rights violations are promptly investigated and perpetrators persecuted

  • Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act

  • Provide updated annually collected disaggregated by age, sex, ethnicity, religion and by region, regarding all provisions in the Covenant, paying particular attention to disadvantaged and marginalised groups

  • Strengthen enforcement of existing legal prohibitions of discrimination and enacting comprehensive administrative,
    civil/criminal anti discriminatory legislation, guaranteeing the right to equal treatment and discrimination in the field of employment, social security, housing, health care, education, grounds of race, colour, sex, language religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

  • Enforcement of criminal justice system to strengthen procedures for prompt investigations and effective prosecution of violations under SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Also, expand throughout the State preventive programmes to curb violence against persons belonging to SCs, STs, and women

  • Provide data regarding the percentage of the GDP allotted for education, health and housing programmes in the country

  • Ensure full implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee Report without further delay

  • Strengthen efforts to raise public awareness about gender equality, including by providing support to the NCW and STW Sensitise and train medical professionals on the criminal nature of sex selection with a view to ensure stringent enforcement of Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Technique (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act

  • Enact legislation on equal pay for work of equal value in both public and private sectors.

  • Adopt affirmative actions to promote active political participation of women

  • Provide information on situation of women and the extent to which they enjoy the right to own land and property independent of their male relatives to be provided in the next report. Also, the impact of micro credit programmes for women, the difficulties they encounter and the progress achieved. Lastly, detailed information regarding street children

  • Take effective measures to ensure that violations concerning bonded labour, manual scavenging and worst forms of child labour are stringently prosecuted and employers duly sanctioned

  • Launch a national campaign to abolish manual scavenging and other degrading forms of work and provide results achieved in the next periodic report

  • India should ratify the following ILO Convention: No. 2 (Unemployment), 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining), 102 (Social Security) , 182 (Worst Forms of Child labour), 138 (Minimum age) and 174 (Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents)

  • Provide information on the measures taken within the framework of 10th and 11th Plans to achieve an adequate rate of employment growth

  • Establish an effective system of indexation and regular adjustment of minimum wage to the cost of living

  • Enact the Unorganised Sector workers Social Security Bill and entitle workers to social security benefits such as health, maternity benefit, old age benefit, labour accident insurance and dependent benefit.

  • Enact a law that criminalises trafficking in persons and commercial sexual exploitation of women

  • Provide detailed info on the extent of domestic violence, and on legislative and other measures taken to address this phenomenon, including facilities and remedies provided for victims

  • Establish specific mechanisms to monitor implementation of poverty reduction strategies and evaluate the progress achieved.

  • Provide detailed annual data on the incidence and depth of poverty, disaggregated by gender, caste, ethnicity and region

  • Ensure full implementation of planned farm debt waiver programme. Develop rural infrastructure, provide financial and other forms of assistance to families of suicide victims, and ensure existing agriculture insurance schemes are fully implemented and accessible to farmers. Review the Seed Bill and provide State subsidies to enable farmers to purchase generic seeds with a view to eliminate their dependency on MNCs

  • Develop a national strategy and a plan of action on adequate housing. India should provide detailed info on homelessness and the extent of inadequate housing, disaggregated by interalia, sex, caste, ethnicity and religion

  • Provide info on progress achieved, including disaggregated statistics, in terms of measures taken to prevent displacement and forced evictions and undertaking participatory consultations with affected families in the event of any development projects

  • India should conduct post-Tsunami rehabilitation process in affected areas and provide detailed info in next periodic report regarding the extent to which the affected groups were consulted throughout the different stages of the process

  • Significantly increase health care expenditure. Accord highest priority to reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and preventing and treating serious communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Fully implement NRHM and undertake a systematic assessment of policy measures related to mental illness with a view to improve the treatment and care of such persons

  • Ensure equitable access to safe drinking water by enforcing existing laws on water treatment and effectively monitoring compliance

  • Strengthen measures to improve sanitary and hygienic conditions in prisons to ensure the right to mental and physical health of all prisoners

  • Provide info on measures taken to rehabilitate the survivors of Bhopal Gas tragedy

  • Expand availability and accessibility of reproductive and sexual health information for everyone and ensure its incorporation in educational programmes in school curriculum

  • Provide info on the measures taken to regulate the private healthcare sector

  • Provide info on trade in human organs

  • Achieve universal primary education, compulsory and free of charge. The State should allocate more funds to public schools to ensure that teachers are fully trained and qualified

  • Intensify literacy programmes for adults, design specific strategies for women and those living in poverty

  • Provide human rights education in schools at all levels and in university to cultivate values of tolerance, social inclusion and participation

  • Preserve and promote culture and ensure that no development initiatives are carried without effective consultation with the local communities and that any potential negative impact on their rights to take part in cultural life

  • Ratify the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and also the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Download Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights