“India has a thriving civil society, free media, and an independent judiciary”, the city-based rights group said in its assessment of rights abuses in India. However, it added “longstanding abusive practices, corruption, and lack of accountability for perpetrators foster human rights violations.”


In its 665-page World Report 2013, it said government initiatives, including police reform and improved access to health care and education, “languish” due to poor implementation. “Many women, children, Dalits, tribal communities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, and sexual and gender minorities remain marginalised and continue to suffer discrimination because of government failure to train public officials in stopping discriminatory behaviour,” HRW said.

The rights group was critical of India for the way it has addressed the problem of violence against women, saying that incidents of violence against women and girls continued in 2012, with increased reports of sexual assault, including against those with disabilities.