UPR Submission – India

Date: March 30, 2022

Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), Minority Rights Group International, and NFA in close association with Indian partner organizations made a joint submission to the Human Rights Council as part of the Fourth Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India on March 30, 2022. The submission highlighted four different issues related to statelessness in India – citizenship determination and deprivation in Assam; arbitrary detention of stateless persons; stateless refugees; and denial of rights of non-citizens and made the following recommendations:

  1. Protect everyone’s right to a nationality, and ensure that national laws comply with international obligations as consolidated in the Principles on Deprivation of Nationality, which prohibits the arbitrary and discriminatory deprivation of nationality, require the avoidance of statelessness and adherence to procedural safeguards and fair trial rights. 
  2. Immediately stop the national registration of citizens process, the detention of those declared ‘foreigners’, and burdensome police reporting procedures for released detainees and, take steps to remove barriers to their inclusion in social welfare and relief programs.
  3. Ensure that its treatment of stateless persons, including those in immigration detention fully complies with its international obligations, that alternatives to detention are implemented to protect against arbitrary detention in all circumstances, and that those arbitrarily detained are immediately released and compensated. 
  4. Amend the Citizenship Act, of 1955 to abolish all provisions that are discriminatory based on ethnicity and religion, to remove barriers for Indian-born children of alleged foreigners to be citizens by birth, and to enable children of doubtful voters and declared foreigners to be registered as citizens of India. 
  5. Repeal the Foreigner Tribunals and replace them with a judicial mechanism that meets basic procedural and fair trial standards, provide an effective and timely appeal system against the ‘opinions’ of the Foreigner Tribunals, and immediately reinstate citizenship and provide reparations to those who have wrongly been excluded from the NRC or declared foreigners. 
  6. Ensure free and equal access to covid-19 vaccinations to all people on the territory, including stateless people and refugees, without requiring a national id card. 
  7. Identify and reach stateless people and other vulnerable and overlooked groups, through all state and humanitarian responses to covid-19, to provide them with critical information, healthcare, and relief, while ensuring that access to socioeconomic rights is not linked to nationality or legal status. 
  8. Immediately cease efforts to deport refugees and stateless people, including Declared Foreigners and Rohingya refugees. 
  9. Identify and protect refugees and stateless people in India, particularly children, by providing them with a secure legal status and associated rights, and by acceding to and fully implementing the UN statelessness and refugee conventions. 

You can read the full document here. Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council at the 41st Session of the Universal Periodic Review, India



Reflection Workshop with NFA Partners

Date: March 14, 2022

NFA organized an online reflection workshop to lay the foundation of a partnership with the CESF project partners. Ravi Hemadri from DAJI, Khalid Hussain from Council of Minorities, Bina Rahmanand and Melinda Anne Sharlini from Family Frontiers, Deepti Gurung and Ratnapriya Sinha from CAPN Nepal attended the workshop facilitated by NFA’s Executive Director, Subin Mulmi.

The attendees participated in a trust building exercise where they were asked to engage in a guided meditation practice and reflect upon their motivations, aspirations and interests that drives to do their work. The participants were then asked to reflect on their individual and then the organizational needs and interests, and how partnership with NFA can provide them the necessary to fulfill those needs and interests.



Incubation Agreement between NFA and CAPN

Date: February 10, 2022

NFA and CAPN agreed to enter into an incubation arrangement on February 10, 2022, where NFA will incubate CAPN for one year to implement the ongoing projects, raise new funds, and undertake the operations of CAPN. 

Under this arrangement, NFA will provide the aforementioned services and also mentor and guide the leadership team. NFA will also manage the emotional labor of the affected persons leading CAPN. Consequently, CAPN will share their office space with NFA in Kathmandu, Nepal, and also share admin resources for this period.