Primary tabs

On December 7, 2011, The Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN  released the report it has submitted to the United Nations (UN) titled "Human Rights in India: An Overview." Click here for more information and a copy of the report.

A new "In Focus" feature launched by the B-HRD Project details the tactics pursued by "Big Pharma" to frustrate access to essential medicines in India and Brazil, and showcases the strategies of human rights defenders to challenge abusive business practices and counterbalance patent safeguards with strong human rights protections

On June 17, 2011 ESCR-Net sent a letter calling on the Government of India to put an end to actions aimed at forcibly entering and seizing lands in and around the village of Govindpur to make way for an integrated steel plant. The letter also requested that India desist from all acts of intimidation and the filing of baseless criminal charges against human rights defenders and undertake to respect the human rights of the affected community.

This case was brought on behalf of Shanti Devi, a women living in poverty from a Scheduled Caste, after she died as the result of being refused adequate maternal healthcare despite the fact that she qualified for the free services under existing state-sponsored schemes. In 2008, Shanti Devi was forced to carry a dead fetus in her womb for five days after being denied medical treatment at several hospitals because her husband was unable to show a valid ration card for medical services, despite being qualified for one as they lived below the poverty line.

The Naz Foundation India, a non-governmental organization committed to HIV/AIDS intervention and prevention, filed a public interest litigation in the Delhi High Court challenging the constitutionality of Section 377 of the India Penal Code, which makes it illegal to engage in any "unnatural" sexual act, defined as sex other than heterosexual intercourse. The Delhi High Court dismissed the original writ of petition in 2004 for lack of a cause of action.

The IIM Lucknow National Leadership Award - 2008 for Community Service and Social Upliftment was presented to Ravi Rebbapragada of the NGO Samata, under the Young Leaders category. The award was given away by the honourable Vice President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari at Vignan Bhavan, New Delhi on 10th June 2009.

This petition was brought to challenge the constitutionality of imposing a "capitation fee" (a fee based on the number of persons to whom a service is provided, rather than the actual cost of providing a service) on those people who wanted to enter a private medical school and were not admitted to the "government seats". These seats are reserved by the Government of India for members of communities that are explicitly recognized by the Indian Constitution as requiring support to overcome historic discrimination, or other groups designated by the government.

The state of Punjab enacted a law to prevent rickshaw pullers from being exploited by middlemen. It created a program whereby rickshaw pullers would be given an interest-free loan to buy their own rickshaws, and the state issued licenses to the owners to make sure the law was enforced.  Only the owners could pull the newly purchased rickshaws, and licenses would not be issued or would be revoked if the state learned that someone else was pulling the rickshaw.

Working Group(s) / Area(s) of Work: 
Strategic Litigation