(05 Jan, 2013 Kochi – Official press release, Overseas Indians’ Legal Cell)
The mandate of UN General Assembly adoption of resolution reads as follows:-
“States shall, with respect to claims by victims, enforce domestic judgments for reparation against individuals or entities liable for the harm suffered and endeavour to enforce valid foreign legal judgments for reparation in accordance with domestic law and international legal obligations. To that end, States should provide under their domestic laws effective mechanisms for the enforcement of reparation judgments” (Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly – A/RES/60/147)
According to the Statute of the United Nations, Reparation is the right of every victim and the State to which the victim belongs to has the absolute responsibility to take up the issue on behalf of the victim, with the State where the violation of Human Right took place and obtain due reparation to the victim’.
Even though millions of Indians are working in the Gulf countries for the past many decades and there were many hundreds of persons who have been turned victims of various atrocities, an effective Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanism is yet to be introduced. The Government of India has a definite responsibility to help and protect its citizens working abroad. In the absence of an effective Reparation Mechanism, the intolerable sufferings of Indians working in the Gulf countries will continue unabated.
In this context, the ‘Overseas Indians Legal Cell’, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Kochi, is intending to submit a representation to the Government of India, incorporating the specific grievances of the victims who were put to suffer mental, physical and economic losses while working in the Gulf countries. The participants in the ensuing ‘Pravasi Bharathiya Divas’ conferences between 7th and 9th January 2013 are being contacted separately to obtain specific grievances/suggestions on the subject.
Towards this end, it is proposed to submit a representation to the government of India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) to evolve an effective compensation mechanism in order to help and support the victims of NRIs working in many parts of the world.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice V.R.KrishnaIyer, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India, has given a preface to the book to be brought for the purpose.
The following papers are proposed to be compiled in a book form, under the able guidance of eminent lawyers at Supreme Court of India.
- 1. An Introduction to Reparation Law, its scope and possible benefits to NRIs.
- 2. The need for an adequate reparation mechanisms between India and Gulf Countries where Human Rights violations so rampant.
- 3. The need for having a MOU between India and Gulf countries for the protection and welfare of NRIs and improving their working conditions, timely payment of salary, Health Insurance, Security etc.
- 4. Need to create a Sovereign Reparation Fund for affording reparations to the victims of Human Rights Violations for both, national and international level.
- 5. The case where the NRIs of Kuwait War victims were denied the reparations they were eligible for, due to the inaction of the External Affairs Ministry, Government of India, despite there being adequate fund allocation by the UN.
- 6. About the information of existing Reparation systems in Europe, Inter-America and other developed Countries for the purposes of comparison and awareness.
- 7 .A set of letters between External Ministry of India and a UAE torture survivor under the Right To Information Act (RTI).
- 8. Report on Rome Statute of the ICC as a viable working tool for International Criminal Justice, the texts of the Statute towards effective remedies to victims, including reparations.
The ‘Legal Cell’ would urge up on you to kindly give all the possible support of your popular media for persuading the Government of India for this noble cause, to help and protect our own citizens working abroad, to have a living for themselves and their families and whose remittances build up billions of dollars of the precious foreign exchange to India.
Jabir P Salim, Founder-CEO of Overseas Indians’ Legal Cell
Office Address: 5th Floor, Metro Plaza Building, Market Road, Kochi – 682 014
Phone:.+91-484-4011134/35/37 / Mob: 096053 77000 /
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