This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Gaurav Mehta. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

UN’s First Ever Report On Kashmir: What It Says And Why It Falters

More from Gaurav Mehta

Recently, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a report on the situation of human rights in Kashmir-encompassing both Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.

The 49-page report, developed over the period of two years from June 2016 to April 2018, has not gone down well with the Indian government.

In its statement at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council, India launched a strong protest against the report and had accused it of promoting a false narrative and distorting the truth.

What does the report say?

The report has focused on the developments in the Indian-administered Kashmir (IaK) from June 2016 to April 2018 and has presented a general assessment of human rights in the Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PaK).

The report has urged India to ‘urgently’ repeal the controversial Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 and criticised the security forces for using pellet guns as a measure of the crowd control. It has insisted the Indian government amend the other contentious law, Jammu and Kashmir Public safety act, 1978 to ensure its compliance with International human rights law.

The report has also touched upon the cases of abuses committed by ‘armed groups’ against the Kashmiri Pandits which led to their exodus since the late 1980s.

In the clause 125 of the report, it has admitted that there are no confirmed specific claims of sexual violence within the time frame, but it has mentioned the decades’ old case of Kunan-Poshpara where the Indian soldiers allegedly gang-raped 23 women of these twin villages.

The OHCHR has also recommended the authorities to investigate the cases of alleged enforced disappearances and requested the government to facilitate the visit of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

What are the problems with the report?

India has already rejected the report calling it “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”. It was expected from the government to deny a report on Kashmir, considering it cogitates the matter of Jammu and Kashmir as a bilateral dispute, and claims the entire area, including PoK, as its integral part. However, the report itself has many factual errors.

For instance, the report has been titled as “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan”. But the title itself goes against the accepted terminology of calling the regions Indian-administered Kashmir (IaK) and Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).

Secondly, in clause 30 of the report agrees that “the quantity and quality of information available on Indian-Administered Kashmir contrast significantly to Pakistan-Administered Kashmir” and the situation has been reported better in the IaK than PaK. It is unfair to club both the regions in the same title of the report. Moreover, in explaining the methodology, OHCHR has primarily relied on ‘remote monitoring’ for its information and has agreed that it was not possible for it to directly verify the allegations.

The report has been surprisingly silent on the issue of cross-border terrorism, considering its role in the violence and has presented the violence as primarily between the civilians and the forces.

Shockingly, the report has called UN-designated terrorist organisations such as Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) as ‘armed groups’ multiple times, whereas the terrorists heading these organisations have been called as the “leaders”. This has been rightly pointed out by Rajiv K Chander, the permanent representative of India in UN, and has accused the report of legitimising terrorism for this departure in the nomenclature.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, will demit his office on August 31. By presenting such tendentious report and ignoring the menace of terrorism in the valley, Zeid has lost the opportunity to highlight the ground reality in the valley, and by calling terrorists as leaders of the armed groups, he has indeed legitimised terrorism. The OHCHR’s report raises more questions on the impartiality of the already defunct organisation.

You must be to comment.

More from Gaurav Mehta

Similar Posts

By Sajad Rasool

By vishal

By Shoba Prakash

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below