Sustainable partnership - India
Democracy and rule of law
India and the Netherlands work together, both bilaterally and in international for a, to safeguard human rights as an indispensable element of democracy and rule of law. India’s membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council and the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of India in U.N. framework provide another opportunity for enhanced dialogue and cooperation.
In India, the Netherlands supports community-based projects promoting human rights, with emphasis being on gender equality- women’s rights, equal rights for LGBTI, freedom of religion and belief, freedom of expression. By supporting such projects, the Netherlands contributes to achieving SDG5 (gender equality) and SDG17 (partnerships for the sustainable development goals).
Collaboration in the field of women and women rights
The Netherlands has a long standing tradition of supporting human rights. Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic (‘shadow-pandemic’) has intensified violence against women and girls, expressed by rising cases of domestic violence, child marriages, and further exacerbating existing inequalities in terms of access to healthcare, education, food security and work.
Together with our project partners we are continuously working towards empowering women and girls by creating opportunities and maximizing impact. Recently -- together with six Indian project partners, we launched the Digital Exhibition 'Strong women of India during the crisis'.
The objective was to seek attention for the situation of women and girls in India, to show how they have been affected by the pandemic, and create visibility on their strength to look for new opportunities and directions in their lives. The portraits are an example of impact. Impact of the initiatives of the project partners, of mutual cooperation, but especially the impact that women and girls make in their community when they are given opportunities, even in times of crisis.
Freedom of religion and belief
The Netherlands stands for freedom of religion and belief in the face of religious intolerance worldwide, also in India. In the framework of the Human Rights program, the Embassy supports projects aimed at protecting the rights of religious minorities. This is of special relevance to India which is a multi-religious country with strong constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and belief, but with a troubled history of communal violence.
The Embassy, for example, supports a project in South India aimed at promoting community-level interfaith dialogue, awareness and capacity building for protecting the rights of religious minorities. We continue to expand and extend our support towards our commitment for the freedom of religion and belief.
Leave no one behind
The Netherlands is a worldwide champion of LGBTI-rights, including in India. Despite the decriminalization of homosexuality and enactment of a law for protection of rights of transgender persons, much remains to be done to combat homophobia, discrimination and marginalization
In the framework of the Human Rights program, the Embassy supports projects aimed at promoting LGBTI rights and combating discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. For example, the Embassy supports a project focusing on counseling and suicide prevention for transgender persons.
Especially in COVID-times, this project proved to be of great importance in preventing depressions and suicides by transgender persons, who are among the most marginalized groups in India.