Oral Statement Delivered by Henri Tiphagne on behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) at the 36th Regular Session of the UNHRC Joint Press Release of FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights and its member organizations People’s Watch and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) - "India: Government fails to address key human rights concerns during UN review" Statement delivered by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), People's Watch, the Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN, and Human Rights Defenders' Alert-India at the 36th Regular Session of the UNHRC Oral Statement Delivered by Lara Jesani on behalf of Minority Rights Group at the 36th Regular Session of the UNHRC People’s Watch appeals to the police and citizens not to disturb Irom Sharmila in Kodaikanal. Defending in Numbers – Silencing the Voices of Asia 2015-2016. The Commission has asked the Union Home Ministry to report on the alleged "attack on the rights of human rights defenders". Strict legal restrictions on foreign funding hit India’s NGOs Largest confederation of US labor unions awards Maina Kiai its 2016 award for human rights AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA & HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH JOINT STATEMENT: India: Foreign Funding Law Used to Harass 25 Groups PRESS RELEASE: People’s Watch condemns the Chennai city police for the death of Mukesh from Kannagi Nagar PRESS RELEASE: People’s Watch condemns unlawful arrests of peaceful protesters in Karur 13.10.16 PRESS RELEASE: People's Watch Condems Srikanth Balaji police and prison torture at Manali, Chennai Tamil Press Release-People's Watch Condems attack on Srikanth Balaji at Manali, Chennai People's Watch-Press release-People's Watch call for withdrawal of the recommendations of the Madras High Court to the Advocates Act Felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphage at Madurai on 04.06.16 at Madurai organised by Citizens for Human Rights Movement (CHRM) and IPRO A felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphagne on the receipt of Amnesty International Award 2016 organised by HRCPS at Pondicherry on 28.05.2016 A felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphagne on the receipt of Amnesty International Award 2016 organised by Mr. Nizamuddin, Mr. Balki, Mr. R.Babu, Mr. Arulselvam and Activists from Cuddalore on 28.05.2016 A felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphagne on the receipt of Amnesty International Award 2016 organised by Vaanmuhil, Citizens for Human Rights Movement Tirunelveli on 22.03.2016 AP-Encounter-Letter to AP Govt. officials with interim report seeking their response AP Encounter High Level Fact Finding - Interim Report 21.04.2015 Human Rights Defenders Alert India - NHRC - Tamilnadu - Gross Violation of 'Right to Association' of HR organizations/ HRDs in TN - Plea Requesting NHRC Intervention Resource Material - Training on Human Rights to Professional College Students NCPCR's Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in schools

National Project on Preventing Torture in India

National Project on Preventing Torture in India was a unique, short-term project intended to demonstrate and combat the widespread use of torture in India, with a deliberate focus on torture practices routinely employed by police and protecting those on the margins of Indian society, such as Dalit, tribal groups, minorities, women, and children.  The Project was developed by People’s Watch and has been implemented with local partners in nine states in India. This initiative was made possible by the funding and support of Friedrich Naumann Stiftung and a grant from the European Union under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. The project was created and implemented through a two-pronged approach to decrease the prevalence of torture in India. The two stages included,

  1. Formation of nine state-wide networks to monitor instances of torture and to intervene on behalf of victims.
  2. A national campaign against torture that uses monitoring data to develop public awareness, to train professionals, to improve institutional responses to abuse, and to lobby for India’s ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UN CAT) and its Optional Protocols.

The project began in 2006 and 2008 was the final implementation year of the Project.

In the first stage of the project, People’s Watch created nine state-wide networks to monitor instances of torture and intervene on behalf of individual victims.  Volumes of incident reports were collected for the following 9 States in India: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Bihar.

People’s Watch then launched a national awareness campaign, citing the extensive monitoring data, to 1) generate public and professional condemnation of torture practices within a wider culture of rights, 2) improve enforcement of and adherence to existing constitutional guarantees, and 3) lobby for ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture and stricter domestic laws in India’s Parliament and the individual state legislative assemblies.

A major component of the national awareness campaign was a series of state-level awareness cum training programs geared towards those professions—lawyers, judges, social activists, doctors, psychiatrists, journalists, and teachers—to play a role in the elimination of torture.  Police themselves were treated as constructive partners rather than adversaries in this project, and were given awareness training. 

After India signed the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Indian Government has finally initiated steps to have a law against torture by making it a punishable offence. The Bill was drafted in the last year of the Project (2008), which undoubtedly was the result of the lobbying effort taken through the project by putting pressure on the institutions to take action to create laws to protect victims of torture and make it a punishable crime. 

The third year of the project envisaged a series of People’s Tribunals on Torture conducted in each of the 9 project States culminated with the National People’s Tribunal on Torture. The purpose was to show case the coexistence of a wide prevalence of torture and impunity not any longer as an exceptional case in this country, but as a day-to-day occurrence affecting the poorest of poor. Feeling the necessity for a participatory democratic process into action in the combat against torture requires a multi-actor response rather than individual responses. 

Subsequent to the fact finding missions and the legal interventions undertaken in the 3 year program during 2006-2008, People’s Watch extended the legal interventions to continue in seven states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) till June 2010 as many cases were in progress and it would defeat the purpose of the Project if they were dropped. For the perpetrators of torture to be prosecuted and the victims to get the justice they deserve, it was of utmost importance that the Project continued to undertake ‘meta legal interventions’ before the authorities at the district level and the Human Rights Institutions at the State and National level.


Publications in 2006

Resource Material for Lawyers and Criminal Justice Administrators

Click here to download

Resource Material for Doctors, Psychiatrists, Psychologist

Click here to download

Publication in 2007

National & International Standards Files

National & International Standards CDs

Hand Book on Torture in 8 language


Posters in 8 language









Publications in 2008

Annual Report on Torture 2007

Annual Report on Torture 2008 - Vol - I [BH, OR, RJ UP, WB]

Annual Report on Torture 2008 - Vol - II [AP, KA, KL, TN]

Torture & Impunity in IndiaI

HRE 2020



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