South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has backed the Verma Committee report saying that she strongly supported the fact that the report “eschews” death penalty and any lowering of the age of juvenile perpetrators.

“And that, instead, it recommends suitably heavy prison sentences ranging from seven years to life,” said Pillay in a statement.

“The Committee’s recommendations are grounded in a framework of rights, equality and non-discrimination, and represent a paradigm shift towards recognition of women as holders of rights, not just objects of protection,” she added.

Pillay said that the report should serve as a beacon for many other countries struggling to respect the rights of women more comprehensively by addressing sexual violence through legislation, policies and programmes. She mentioned steps already taken by the government like the establishment of fast track courts and exhorted all political parties to ensure speedy implementation of the report.

“I salute Justice Verma and his Committee on producing such a thorough report so quickly, and for involving women’s groups and civil society so fully in the process,” the High Commissioner said. “This report and its far-reaching recommendations are not only a tribute to the brave young woman who was raped and murdered five weeks ago, but to all victims of sexual violence and assault in India,” she said. “It is also a testament to the power of the young women and men of India, and the broader civil society, who have joined hands across the nation to say enough is enough,” she added.

Source: Times of India – 26/01/2013 (