The bill, which has now become law, makes undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India before December 31, 2014, eligible for Indian citizenship. It also eased citizenship criteria for documented migrants belonging to certain groups, specifically excluding Muslims.
“Although India’s broader naturalization laws remain in place, these amendments will have a discriminatory effect on people’s access to nationality,” the statement read. “All migrants, regardless of their migration status, are entitled to respect, protection and fulfilment of their human rights.”
The world body said that the aim of the legislation to protect persecuted communities was welcome, but it should done through a “robust national asylum system” that is based on the principle of equality and non-discrimination. It also recalled India’s endorsement of the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration that committed to migrants’ needs in trying situations.