Authored by United States Department of State
India is a multi-party, federal, parliamentary democracy with a bicameral parliament. The president, elected by an electoral college, is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of the government. Under the constitution the 28 states and seven union territories have a high degree of autonomy and have primary responsibility for problems of law and order. President Pranab Mukherjee was elected in 2012 to a five-year term, and Manmohan Singh became prime minister for a second term following the victory of the coalition led by the Congress Party in the 2009 general elections, which were considered free and fair, despite scattered instances of violence. Authorities failed at times to maintain effective control over the security forces. Security forces at times committed human rights abuses.
The most significant human rights problems were police and security force abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and rape; widespread corruption at all levels of government, leading to denial of justice; and separatist, insurgent, and societal violence.
Other human rights problems included disappearances, poor prison conditions that were frequently life threatening, arbitrary arrest and detention, and lengthy pretrial detention. The judiciary remained overburdened, and court backlogs led to lengthy delays or the denial of justice. Authorities continued to infringe on citizens’ privacy rights. The law in some states restricts religious conversion, and there were reports of arrests but no reports of convictions under those laws. Some limits on the freedom of movement continued. Corruption was widespread. Rape, domestic violence, dowry-related deaths, honor killings, sexual harassment, and discrimination against women remained serious problems. Child abuse and forced and early marriage were problems. Trafficking in persons, including widespread bonded and forced labor of children and adults, and sex trafficking of children and adults for prostitution were serious problems. Caste-based discrimination and violence continued, as did discrimination against persons with disabilities and indigenous persons. Discrimination and violence based on gender identity and discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS continued. Religiously based societal violence remained a problem. Forced labor and bonded labor were widespread. Child labor, including forced child labor, also was a serious problem.
Oct 16 2014
1502852861 / 9781502852861
US Trade Paper
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights