New Login   

Recognizing Rights

K.S. Mohammed Hussain

Edited by Anindyo J. Mazumdar and Omprakash Mishra
Lancers Books, New Delhi, 2003, pp. 290, Rs. 580.00


Protection of human life and human dignity is a fundamental human right recognized by international human rights instruments and several national constitutions. It is the primary responsibility of nation states to guarantee the above-mentioned right. However, when the state fails to protect this right or itself becomes a machinery of oppression, the affected citizens are forced to leave their state. The progressive realization of the socio-economic rights is a requirement on the part of the state to ensure a dignified human life. Any denial of the socio-economic rights compels people to leave their beloved country in search of greener pastures or remain in the state as internally displaced people.      South Asia, particularly India, has always been faced with refugee crises. In 1971, refugees from the then East Pakistan numbering around one crore crossed over to India, fearing persecution. India is home to refugees from Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, not to forget the refugee flow during the Partition in 1947. A large number of Afghans took refuge in Pakistan during the civil war and they still continue to live in Pakistan.      It is to be noted that none of the SAARC member countries have ratified the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol. Prominent SAARC countries including India have not enacted any legislation to provide protection for refugees. In India, refugee situations are dealt with purely on the basis of executive and administrative discretions and decisions. The Supreme Court of India and the National Human Rights Commission have made some significant contributions to refugee protection jurisprudence.       The Elsewhere People, a collection of fifteen well researched articles edited by Omprakash Mishra and Anindyo J. Majumdar of the Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, is an outstanding research work by two Indian experts on the select area of study.  The book throws light on almost every refugee situation in South Asia. It also deals with the tragedy of the Vietnamese boat people and includes an overview of the African refugee situation and the regional response to it.       In the introductory chapter, ‘International Refugee Regime: The Challenge of Protection’, the editors have given a brief overview of the international legal regime relating to the protection of refugees, the role of the UNHCR and the refugee situation in various parts of the globe, including India. The authors have put the refugee question in the right perspective and it gives a good ...

Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.