Special Rapporteur on the causes and consequences of violence against women Rashida Manjoo drew connections between the existence of laws such as AFPSA and violence on women in militarized regions such as Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states. In her 2014 report she states that ‘specific legal framework that governs those areas, namely, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and its variations, allows for the overriding of due process rights and nurtures a climate of impunity and a culture of both fear and resistance by citizens.’
In its concluding observations on the combined 4th and 5th periodic reports on India, 2014, the CEDAW Committee sought the repeal or amend the continuance of AFSPA and related legal protocols in accordance with recommendation of Justice Verma Committee Report (live link), to bring sexual violence perpetrated by armed forces under purview of criminal law, remove requirement of sanction for prosecution in pending cases, confer power on the National Human Rights Commission to investigate cases against armed forces, and to provide systematic training on women’s rights to the Armed forces and other military personnel.
In 2012, after due consideration of testimonies of human rights defenders (including Irom Sharmila via a letter), the Special Rapporteur recommended that “The National Security Act, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, the Unlawful Activities Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act and the Chhattisgarh Public Safety Act should be repealed. Other security legislations should be reviewed in the light of international human rights standards.”
On its 55th anniversary in 2013, the WGHR, a coalition of Indian civil society organisations and independent experts called for an immediate repeal of the AFSPA 1958. “Enough has been said about the negative impact of AFSPA nationally and internationally. It is time for the Government to Act and halt any further erosion of democratic space in the country”.