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India should accept the recommendations by UN member states to address the country’s “most serious human rights problems”, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

During the September session of the UN Human Rights Council, India will submit its responses to the 169 recommendations made at its second review on May 24.

The wide-ranging recommendations call upon India to ratify multinational treaties against torture and enforced disappearances, and repeal the much-abused Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

They also seek a moratorium on the death penalty, introduce an anti-discrimination law, and protect the rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal groups, religious minorities.

The Indian government has promised a “comprehensive response” to these recommendations.

“The Indian government should make a serious effort to carry out these recommendations instead of simply pointing to existing legislation or policies,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

“What’s needed is a strong commitment to transparency and accountability to protect human rights, not more lame assertions of good intentions.”

The UPR is the mechanism to examine the human rights records of all 192 UN member states.

It provides an opportunity for each state, every four years, to explain what actions it has taken to improve respect for human rights in its own country.

Each country’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has a final document with conclusions and recommendations. India’s first review was in 2008 but only a few of the recommendations were properly carried out.


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