In recognition of the disputed status of Jammu&Kashmir, successive UN Secretary-Generals have remained actively seized of the unfolding developments in the territory, articulated their serious concerns over the deteriorating situation and escalating violence in IIOJ&K and called for peaceful settlement of the dispute in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international law.
In wake of India’s unlawful and unilateral actions of 05th August 2019, the Secretary-General, in his Press statement of 08 August 2019, categorically stated that “the position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United nations and applicable Security Council resolutions”..He also expressed concerns “over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region”. The Secretary-General’s statement resoundingly debunks India’s self-defeating narrative of its 05th August actions being an ‘internal matter’ as well as its hollow claims of ‘normalcy’ in IIOJ&K.
During his visit to Pakistan from 16-19 February 2020, the Secretary-General reaffirmed the UN’s position that the relevant resolutions of the Security Council on the dispute should be implemented and called for full respect for human rights and freedoms of Kashmiri people. He also reiterated his offer of mediation to resolve the dispute. In his relevant reports, the Secretary-General has also been documenting and highlighting trends and developments regarding violence against children and acts of reprisal against human rights defenders in IIOJ&K.
In his 2020 REPORT ON “CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT", the Secretary-General expressed concerns over the detention of Kashmiri children, including their arrest during night raids, internment at army camps, torture in detention and detention without charge or due process, and urged India to immediately end this practice. He also expressed his concerns over child causalities, mainly caused by torture in detention and shootings from pellet guns, in the occupied territory and called on India take preventive measures to protect children, including by ending the use of pellets against them.
In his 2021 REPORT ON "CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT", the Secretary-General reiterated his concerns about the grave violations against children in IIOJ&K and called upon India to take preventive measures to protect children,
including by ending the use of pellets against children, and ensuring that children are not
associated in any way to security forces. He also expressed alarm at the continued detention and torture of Kashmiri children
and military use of schools by Indian security forces. He further urged India to ensure that
children are detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period
of time, and to prevent all forms of ill-treatment in detention.
In his 2020 ANNUAL REPORT ON REPRISALS, the Secretary-General spotlighted the systematic use of reprisals by India against Kashmiri civil society actors for their cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and human rights mechanisms. By citing specific instances, the report revealed various forms and methods of intimidation and harassment, being used by India such as online smear campaign against human right activists, death threats, international travel bans, arbitrary arrest and detention, and ‘routine verification’ of concerned human rights activists by local authorities.
In his 2021 ANNUAL REPORT ON REPRISAL, the Secretary-General reiterated his serious concerns over India's continued use of reprisal attacks against Kashmiri journalists, activists and civil society actors by invoking human rights-incompatible anti-terrorism laws and measures. He observed that the purpose of India's repressive measures is to deter Kashmiri human rights defenders from independently and impartially reporting of the evolving human rights situation in IIOJ&K.
In his 2022 ANNUAL REPORT ON REPRISAL
, the Secretary-General highlighted various cases of reprisals in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. The situation of the Central Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a union of various non-profit organizations based in Srinagar, was included in the 2020 and 2021 reports of the Secretary-General on allegations of reprisals, including for cooperation with OHCHR in the preparation of the 2019 report on the situation of human rights in Indian-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The situation of JKCCS and its chair, Mr. Khurram Parvez, and other members of the coalition were included in the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 reports of the Secretary-General. According to information received by OHCHR, as a result of increased surveillance, online and offline, and police questioning and intimidation of JKCCS staff and associated personnel, their human rights work has been impacted.