Minority Rights

INTRODUCTION

CSJ’s work on advancing rights of minorities has been its most significant contribution in the realm of access to justice, so much so that,work with minority rights is associated with our identity.

The geographical location of the head office being in Gujarat, the law centres worked extensively to ameliorate the conditions of the people affected in the 2002 communal violence that broke out across the state.

Additionally, we started Rehnuma centres, which worked to ensure entitlements under the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme for minorities.

In its training and capacity building initiatives,the Centre has worked consistently to sensitise lawyers and paralegals on the rights of the minorities by designing well-contextualized training material.

Strengthening Institutional Mechanisms

 Rehnuma Facilitation Centres

Along with our partner organisations which are spread across the country, CSJrunsfacilitation centres for the implementation of Prime Minister’s 15-Point Programme for minorities. This ensuresthat 15 per cent entitlements under the various government schemes are reserved for members of minority communities.

Resource:

Rehnuma Strategy Paper
Rehnuma MIS learning document

 ADVOCACY EFFORTS

CSJ’s recommendations mentioned in AMA report

CSJ’s recommendations with regard to the implementation of social welfare programmes took mention in the reports of Annual Monitoring and Assessment Reports, drawing from the experience of running law centres, it proposed running facilitation centres for the implementation of the Prime Minister’s 15 point programme.

Resource:

AMA report Vol I
AMA report Vol II

Recommendations included in Planning Commission 12th Plan 

CSJ was part of many consultative processes since January2011 for the formulation of the 12thPlanning Commission. CSJ’s recommendations for concerns towards minorities were included in the approach paper within the 12th Plan, affecting policy at the centre.

Resource : Recommendations: CSJ’s approach paper for 12thPlan

Review of Communal Violence Bill, 2005

CSJ reviewed ‘The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2005 andgave pertinent inputs to the Bill.

Resource : Critique of CV Bill

Research And Knowledge Creation

Survey on Internally Displaced People

In many states, like Gujarat and Assam, several people have been displaced due to various conflicts. CSJ led a survey on these people, documenting the situation of riot victims and status of conflict. Our focus was advocating for the formulation of a new policy to enable their rehabilitation and reparation.

Resources:

Report on IDP
Toolkit

Baseline Survey Report

Part of Rehnuma’s work, CSJ carried out an assessment of the PM’s 15-point programme for minorities with assistance from partner organisations.

Resource : Baseline Survey Report

Report on status of Muslims post-2002 violence in Gujarat

CSJ prepared a report on status of Muslims in Gujarat after 2002 riots, in addition to providing the affected with legal support.

Resource : Report on Post 2002 Status of Muslims in GJ

Muslims and Adoption

CSJ also pieced together a research note on the legal entanglements involved in the adoption process for Muslims.

Resource : Learning Document on Muslims and Adoption

Note on Cultural Rights of Minorities

We also wrote a research article outlining the legal provisions and their understanding on the cultural rights enjoyed by minorities.

Resource: Research Article

Note on Cow Slaughter

CSJ authored an explanatory note on the Uttar Pradesh Cow Slaughter Act discussing the provisions and their impact on the lives of the minority communities.

Resource:Learning Document on Cow Slaughter Laws

Awareness, Training And Capacity Building

Training on Minority Rights

Part of its capacity building efforts, CSJ conducted training for lawyers and paralegals working at the grassroots on issues related to minority rights. The training combines skills, information and perspective, a pedagogy CSJ endorses and has found to be effective.

Training Tools:

Training Manuals
Training Design

Targeted Interventions

Riot-affected in Gujarat

CSJ along with its law centres responded to the situation after the horrific carnage across Gujarat in 2002. CSJ provided legal support to both: victims as well as NGOs in filing FIRs and affidavits. We also conducted and published a legal survey titled Hard Facts after collecting3000 forms from 17 relief camps in Ahmedabad.

Later, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sought CSJ’s support in facilitating its visit, categorizing complaints, and conducting two surveys, to look at the extent of compliance of its directives.

Resource:

The Rights of Muslims of Gujarat
Case Studies

In the Courtroom

A writ petition was filed in Court, demanding payment of adequate compensation to riot victims, whose commercial/residential properties were looted and destroyed by mobs. In October 2010, after a protracted legal battle, the HC orderedthat victims be paid compensation equivalent to the one paid by the government to families affected by the riots in 2002.

Resource:

Velacha Riot Compensation Case “Usmanmiya G Sheikh v/s State of Gujarat” (Case No. 2262/2007 in Gujarat High Court)

We also filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court to highlight the non-implementation of the compensation package announced by central government for victims of the 2002 riots. The Court ruled in the favour of CSJ and the Gujarat Government was forced to release Rs. 300 crores to victims as compensation for loss to residential property.

Resource:

Mr. Gagan S Sethi and Mr. Yusuf Shaikhv/s State of Gujarat and Others (Case No.  14664/2008 in Gujarat High Court)

Intervention in Assam

CSJ’s work in Assam started as a response to assist flood affected families in April 2012, with the objective to formulate a national strategy to respond to disaster situations.During this time, Assam experienced one of the worst riots in its history.

In 2012, clashes broke out between the Bodoand Muslim communities in three districts –Chirang, Kokrajhar and Dhubri–that led to a displacement of close to four lakhpeople from, almost double the number during the Gujarat violence. Responding to the situation and providing assistance to the victims has become one of our core tasks since.

Resource:

Assam Strategy Paper
Assam Report