Indian civil society organise nationwide screenings of UPR adoption

On 21 September 2017, the Working Group On Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR) facilitated the largest ever live webcast of the adoption of India’s third-cycle UPR. 

At least 245 screenings took place in nearly all states of India, including Chennai, Madurai, Puducherry, Bangalore, Trivandrum to Sonepat, Almora, Patiala, Sri Nagar, New Delhi, and many others. Nearly eleven thousand people comprising of civil society organisations, college students, lawyers, diplomats, professors, policy makers, and journalists gathered together to watch the Indian Government’s response to its international human rights evaluation. Reaction to the responses was varied. While the participants welcomed India’s acceptance of 152 UPR recommendations - mostly on socio-economic issues - they were also concerned about the remaining 98 recommendations which were noted, predominantly relating to civil and political rights, religious minorities, dalit rights, and human rights defenders.

By facilitating the inclusive and widespread viewings, Indian civil society succeeded in popularising the UPR amongst individual rights holders, underlining the principal of universality of the UPR. The extensive screening is the largest civil society-led initiative of its type, serving as a best practice to other national NGOs looking to increase awareness of the UPR.