UN, human rights groups examine India’s “democratic” claims and oppressive reality

UN to scrutinize Indian progress on rights

Groups say government must make significant improvements

Rita Joseph, ucanews.com, New Delhi, India
May 23, 2012
Homeless people share a makeshift shelter with their cattle

[Photo:  Homeless people share a makeshift shelter with their cattle]

Rights groups have said that India is to face “enormous human rights challenges” ahead of a UN review in Geneva tomorrow.

With the Human Rights Council set to conduct its second periodic review, Miloon Kothari, convener of the Working Group on Human Rights in India, said yesterday that the world’s second most populous country must improve on everything from poverty and housing to abuse against women and child trafficking.

“Given the enormous human rights challenges faced by India, the second Universal Periodic Review offers India an opportunity to admit its shortcomings and offer to work with the UN, civil society and independent institutions in India toward implementation of national and international human rights commitments,” Kothari, who is also a former UN special rapporteur on adequate housing in India, said at a Commonwealth Human Rights meeting in New Delhi.

More than 40 percent of children under five are under weight, he said, while India still has the highest number of malnourished people in the world at 21 percent of the population.

“While the average growth rate [in India] between 2007 and 2011 was 8.2 percent, poverty declined by only 0.8 percent,” said Kothari, adding that if India applied globally accepted standards of measurement the nationwide poverty rate would be close to 55 percent. Continue reading

Growing Poverty and Homelessness in the U.S.

By Stephen Lendman

22 September, 2010,  Countercurrents.org

The newly released US Census report on “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009” way understates a growing problem as do most other government data. Unemployment for one, the Labor Department’s headlined (U-3) 9.6% masks the true 22% based on 1980 calculations.

With America in economic crisis, the new Census report portends much worse ahead under a president and Congress doing little to address it, the Brookings Institution Isabel Sawhill expecting the problem to “get much worse long before it gets better.” More on the new data below. First, some other confirmations of economic trouble.

Poverty

On September 16, the Census Bureau reported that US poverty rose to 43.6 million in 2009, an increase of 3.8 million in the past year – the largest total since the first 1959 estimates. It shows one in seven Americans are impoverished, the official 14.3% rate the highest since 1994, by the Bureau’s conservative measures. Black and Hispanic Americans fared much worse at 25.8% and 25.3% respectively.

Child poverty also rose, those under 18 to 20.7% – at least one in five children, but according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), it’s one in four at yearend 2009. For Blacks it’s well over one in three and for Hispanics nearly the same. Continue reading