Immigration and human rights are closely related, as the human rights of immigrants and refugees are often at risk during the immigration process. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, guarantees the right to leave any country and the right to seek asylum in other countries. However, in practice, many countries have immigration policies and practices that violate these rights. This can include the detention of immigrants and refugees in inhumane conditions, denial of due process, and discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin. It is important for governments to ensure that their immigration policies and practices comply with international human rights standards and to protect the human rights of all individuals, including immigrants and refugees.
Constitutional provisions for immigrants in India.The Constitution of India does not have specific provisions regarding immigration. However, it does contain several provisions that are relevant to the rights of immigrants and their treatment in India.
Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees the right to equality before the law and prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. This applies to immigrants as well as Indian citizens.
Article 21 guarantees the right to life and personal liberty, which includes protection against arbitrary arrest and detention. This applies to immigrants as well as Indian citizens, and would require that any detention of immigrants be in accordance with due process of law.
Article 23 prohibits forced labour, which would prohibit the use of immigrants as forced labour.
Article 24 prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory, mine or other hazardous employment.
Article 39(e) & (f) directs the state to make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
And also, India is also a signatory to several international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which contain provisions that are relevant to the rights of immigrants and refugees.
Remedies for issues in case of violation of Human rights in India
If an immigrant in India believes that their human rights have been violated, they may have several avenues for seeking remedies. Some possible remedies include:
Complaint to the police: If the violation is a criminal matter, such as physical assault or theft, the immigrant can file a complaint with the police.
Complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC): The NHRC is an independent body established by the Indian government to investigate human rights violations. Immigrants can file a complaint with the NHRC if they believe that their rights have been violated by government officials or agencies.
Legal action: If the violation is a civil matter, such as employment discrimination or denial of housing, the immigrant can take legal action in a civil court.
International remedies: If the immigrant is a refugee or asylum seeker, they may be able to seek remedies through international organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Complaint to the office of State Human Rights Commission(SHRC): Each state in India have their own SHRCs to investigate human rights violation by a government official or non-government actors within the state.
They can also seek help from non-government organizations that work on immigrant rights and provide legal assistance.
Associate at Aggarwals & Associates, S.A.S Nagar Mohali.