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India must end racial discrimination against Rohingya, cease forced deportation and arbitrary detention, urges UN Committee

July 2nd, 2024  •  Author:   UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination  •  2 minute read
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The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on Tuesday  called on India to end the arbitrary detention of Rohingya who fled Myanmar to India and refrain from forcible deportation and returns to Myanmar, where they would risk being subjected to serious human rights violations and abuses.

In a statement issued today under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the Committee also said that it was alarmed by reports of widespread racist hate speech and harmful stereotypes against Rohingya, including by politicians and public figures. It urged the State party to firmly condemn such heinous acts and ensure they are investigated and adequately punished, in compliance with its international obligations arising from the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The Committee said it was “concerned about reports of arbitrary mass detention of the Rohingya, including children, in inadequate conditions and in some cases without due process or access to legal representation.” It is also alarmed about reports of “several cases of forcible deportation and returns to Myanmar between 2018 and 2022 as well as the ongoing risk of deportation of the remaining Rohingya in India, in violation of the principle of non-refoulement.”

It urged India to end the arbitrary mass detention of the Rohingya, and only apply immigration detention as a measure of last resort – for the shortest possible period – and to provide detained Rohingya with legal safeguards and access to legal counsel. It also called on India to ensure that living conditions in places of detention are adequate and in accordance with international standards. The Committee  further called on the State party to “end racial discrimination against Rohingya and to remove restrictions preventing them from enjoying their rights without discrimination, in particular with regard to access to employment, health and education, especially by ensuring the issuance of long term visas and other identity document.”

The Committee called on the State party to continue to collaborate with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, including by facilitating a country visit to India.

CERD’s early warning and urgent action procedure primarily aims to consider situations that might escalate into conflicts, in order to take appropriate preventive actions to avoid full-scale violations of human rights under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.


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