A.  Mission


The mission of GOPIO’s Human Rights Commission shall be to actively monitor all aspects of human rights conditions and treatment of persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and non-resident Indians (NRIs) living outside of India, and to seek prompt and full remedy and redress from the respective governments, the United Nations, the Government of India, human rights agencies operating locally and globally, and forums of local and international jurisprudence, using “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948 and all subsequent amendments and changes as the basis for fair and equitable treatment for all peoples.


Human rights conditions to be actively monitored and addressed include, but are not limited to, physical, social, economic, cultural, political, religious, and artistic conditions affecting PIOs and NRIs in the respective countries.


The GOPIO Human Rights Commission would engage the participation and support efforts of any and all local Indian and non-Indian organizations and groups, where possible without compromising their safety and well-being, to compile and report all human rights abuses perpetrated against PIOs and NRIs.



B.  Historical Context


The voluntary and indentured migration of Indians to many countries has resulted in a population of over 22 million persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) living outside of India. This migration started early in the nineteenth century when the British moved large numbers of Indians to work on plantations in then British colonies of the Caribbean, Africa, Oceania and other regions. It also includes large numbers of Indians who migrated earlier and comprise a significant portion of a few country’s population. The migration also includes those who went voluntarily to other countries and have since settled there.


Whether an NRI, first generation or PIO of several generations, Indians account for less than 50% of the population of all the countries in which they settled, with the exception of Mauritius. In the majority of these countries, Indians comprise a very small percentage of the total population. That fact precludes assumption of controlling political position, although it must be stated that Indians contribute very heavily to the sustenance of the local economies.


While Indians in some countries have experienced good human rights treatment from the host populations, past and recent history have shown that Indians in most of these countries have been the targets of very harsh human rights conditions. These include targeted killings, rapes, physical harm, robberies, the confiscation of property, unfair and unjust treatment, deprivation of legitimate political rights and the other basic rights of citizens of the country in which they were born. A prime and current example of human rights abuse is Fiji where the legitimate political rights of Indians have been continuously usurped and deprived.


It is under these past and current circumstances of treatment of Indians in countries outside of Indian that the GOPIO Human Rights Commission would seek to work closely with all local GOPIO chapters and global agencies for relief of human rights abuses perpetrated against Indians living outside of India.




C.  Council Structure & Organization


The GOPIO Human Rights Commission would be organized as a structured entity within GOPIO International as shown in the organization chart below. The coordinators of the five (5) designated regions could be expanded to smaller regions based on activity and need.


¨       Reporting to the President of GOPIO Int’l.

¨       Chairman of HRC

¨       Deputy Chairman of HRC

¨       Secretary of HRC

¨       Regional Coordinators of HRC:

o        North America

o        Caribbean & South America

o        UK & Europe

o        Africa & Middle East

o        Asia & Oceania


































D.  Monitoring & Reports


In order to obtain current and valid information on human rights conditions in the designated countries and regions, monitoring would be done simultaneously with several parallel efforts wherever possible:


¨       Local GOPIO HRC coordinator


¨       Regional GOPIO HRC coordinator


¨       Global GOPIO HRC Chairman & Deputy Chairman


¨       United Nations Human Rights Agency


¨       Other Local HR Organizations (Ex: GIHA)


¨       Other Global HR Agencies (Ex: WMI, HRW)


Accumulated information would be used to develop the quarterly reports that would be reviewed by GOPIO Int’l President and approve or request modifications before final approval is granted.


Quarterly reports would be filed as follows:


¨       Government of respective countries


¨       United Nations


¨       International HR Agencies


¨       Local HR Agencies


¨       Government of India


¨       GOPIO Officers


¨       GOPIO Website


It is also planned that an annual report would be compiled and promptly distributed to all entities and agencies shown on the list above.


From time to time as it becomes necessary, GOPIO Human Rights Commission would plan, organize, convene and support local, regional and international symposia, seminars and conferences on human rights of PIOs and NRIs,  and other ethnic groups as well.






E.       Liaison To:


GOPIO Human Rights Commission would establish an structured level of contacts within GOPIO and its coordinators so that relevant information and requests can be easily channelled in a timely and efficient manner.


¨       Local GOPIO HRC Coordinator

¨       Local GOPIO Chapter

¨       Regional GOPIO HRC Coordinator

¨       Regional GOPIO VP or Coordinator

¨       GOPIO HRC Deputy Chairman

¨       GOPIO HRC Chairman

¨       GOPIO Int’l President


1.    PIO & NRI Countries


The GOPIO Human Rights Commission would establish a well coordinated liaison with

the governments of all countries where PIOs and NRIs reside so that there can be prompt contact when a situation occurs or when a meeting is requested by GOPIO HRC to discuss such matters or for preventative discussions as well. The primary levels of contacts would be as follows:


¨       Appropriate Government Ministry

¨       Minister of Appropriate Government Ministry

¨       Attorney General of the Government

¨       Head of State of the Government


2.    International Agencies


The GOPIO Human Rights Commission would establish a close working relationship

with all human rights agencies and organizations on a local and international level so

that the mission of GOPIO’s HRC can be achieved with maximum coordination and

support from those agencies:


¨       United Nations Human Rights Agency

¨       Amnesty International

¨       Human Rights Watch

¨       International Commission of Jurists

¨       The Carter Commission

¨       United States Dept of State


3.    Government of India


GOPIO International has just established its GOPIO – GOI Liaison Committee which

would be the coordinating entity on behalf of GOPIO Human Rights Commission on

matters of contact and reports to the Government of India.




F.  GOPIO Web Page


          The primary composition of the ”Human Rights Corner” would include the following:


¨          Mission Statement

¨          HRC Organization

¨          HRC Quarterly Reports

§         Per region

§         Per Country

¨          News Items, Current

¨          Photo Gallery

¨          New Items, Previous

¨          Press Releases

¨          Letters & Commentary

¨          Calendar of Events

¨          Links

¨          Contacts


The Chairman of the GOPIO Human Rights Commission would have decision making responsibilities on content of letters, commentaries and news items to be posted, consistent the mission, objectives and due consideration to current sensitive issues which could be aggravated. In the absence of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman would assume the responsibilities.


GOPIO Human Rights Commission would develop a set of instructions and policy guidelines as part of the information and news gathering process from all the regional representatives and others so designated.


G.  Budgets & Financing


A comprehensive proposal of actions and related budgets would be developed that would reflect actions based on the approved mission and the necessary costs to achieve the objectives defined. Suffice it to say, there would be travel and related costs that would be incurred by the Chairman of GOPIO Human Rights Commission and other members of the commission for meetings away from home, with human rights agencies and among members of the commission on a semi-annual basis. It is also understood that there is not paid salaries within this organization structure.


Funding would be determined by the GOPIO Human Rights Commission’s annual budget and likely sources of funding in order to sustain the organization and allow it to fulfil its obligations.



H.  Links


Important and useful web links and referral information would be provided as part of the HRC’s effort to inform, educate and assist. These links include GOPIO itself, the various governments of countries with significant PIO and NRI populations, the government of India, the United Nations, international human rights agencies, and other local human rights organizations and associations.


¨       GOPIO                                                    

¨       GOPIO Human Rights Council               

¨       Government of the United States

¨       Government of Canada

¨       Government of United Kingdom

¨       Government of Germany

¨       Government of Netherlands

¨       Government of Other European Countries

¨       The European Union (EU)

¨       Government of South Africa

¨       Government of Tanzania

¨       Government of Other African Countries

¨       Confederation of African States (CAS)

¨       Government of Trinidad

¨       Government of Guyana

¨       Government of Suriname

¨       Government of Other Caribbean Countries

¨       Organization of American States (AOS)

¨       Government of Australia

¨       Government of Bahrain

¨       Government of Yemen

¨       Government of Fiji

¨       Government of Mauritius

¨       Government of Malaysia

¨       Government of Singapore

¨       Government of Hong Kong

¨       Government of Bangladesh

¨       Government of Myanmar

¨       Secretariat of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

¨       The United Nations

¨       Human Rights Watch

¨       Amnesty International

¨       International Commission of Jurists

¨       The Carter Commission

¨       American Civil Liberties Union

¨       GIHA

¨       UHRC

¨       International Media Outlets: AP, UPI, CNN et al