Human safaris: Rights group appeals UN panel to take up issue

The group renews its call to close a key Andaman Trunk Road to stop 'human safaris' in the islands.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: February 16, 2012 4:42:46 pm

Amidst concern and inquiries in India,a London-based tribal rights group today appealed to a UN committee to renew its call to close the key Andaman Trunk Road to stop “human safaris” in the islands.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) had sought the closure of the road in 2007.

After recent exposures in the UK media and inquiries instituted by the Indian government,Survival International (SI) has asked CERD in a letter to take up the issue again with India.

In 2007,CERD had urged India to “implement the 2002 order of the Indian Supreme Court to close sections of the Andaman Trunk Road”.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “All eyes are on India and what it will do next. Closing the road is not about isolating the Jarawa,but upholding their right to control their own land and choose if,and how,they interact with outsiders.”

He added: “Far from meddling in India’s affairs,Britain,Europe and the UN’s concern shows the gravity of the situation,and the need to respect human rights by closing the road.”

Earlier this month,MPs tabled an early motion in the House of Commons on the issue,while MEPs in the European Parliament are also raising the issue with the EU’s Foreign Affairs Representative,SI said.

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