I am writing on behalf of a coalition of human rights lawyers and activists working in their own capacity, on the ground in Assam, India. An urgent human rights crisis is underway and requires the immediate support of national and international civil society. In the state of Assam, the government, backed by the apex court of the country, has undertaken an insidious project of creating a National Register of Citizens (NRC), which would potentially exclude from citizenship approximately 5 million people and render them stateless. The deadline for the publication of this list is 31 August 2019.
Our coalition is deploying several interventions, but primarily we are building a network of lawyers to assist highly vulnerable communities in rural and urban areas in filing claims and appeals under the National Register of Citizens. As this is a time-sensitive issue, support is urgently needed to mitigate a potential large-scale humanitarian crisis. Based on the amount of support received, with the help of lawyers and activists, we will be able to effectively assist marginalised communities on the ground.
As a result of networking and work on the ground so far, we have the capacity to mobilize up to 400 lawyers and paralegals between September and January for a five-month engagement. In the event that there is an extension of time for filing Appeals, this time period will change accordingly. With your support, paralegals and lawyers will be able to reach out to and provide pro-bono legal services to approximately 208,000 families in the appeals process.
Please take a moment to read the full details of the situation and our intervention here: