Statement by India on Agenda Item 3 (Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to Food and the Independent Expert on Foreign Debt) in the 40th Session of Human Rights Council, (25 February – 22 March 2019), delivered by Mr. Animesh Choudhury, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India [28 February 2019, Geneva]

Statement by India on Agenda Item 3 (Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to Food and the Independent Expert on Foreign Debt) in the 40th Session of Human Rights Council, (25 February – 22 March 2019), delivered by Mr. Animesh Choudhury, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India [28 February 2019, Geneva]

Thank you Mr. President,

India would like to confine its comments to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. We thank the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food for her efforts in the preparation of the report.

2. The report which focuses on rights of fishery workers provides a fair background on the essential role of fishery workers in the contribution to the food security and nutrition of others. It also delves into the barriers that the fishery workers face to the enjoyment of their own human rights. It also brings out the concerns facing the vulnerable groups of fishery workers namely women, children, migrants and indigenous communities. We take note of the conclusion and the set of recommendations in the report.

3. India is one of the largest producers of fish in the world contributing to around 6% of global fish production. India is also a major producer of fish through aquaculture. Fisheries sector occupies a very important place in the socio-economic development of the country. It has been recognized as a powerful income and employment generator which stimulates growth of a number of subsidiary industries, and is a source of cost-effective and nutritious food. Most importantly, it is the source of livelihood for a large section of the economically constrained population of the country.

4. With a view to ensuring an integrated development of the fisheries sector in India, a revolutionary step, known as the ‘Blue Revolution’ has been launched in India. The focus is on the development and management of fisheries, covering inland fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries including deep sea fishing, mariculture and all activities undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board.

Mr. President,

5. India has taken several steps to ensure the safety and rights of workers in the fisheries sector. This has been done with the enactment of several national and state legislations, and guidelines. This has also been coupled with efforts made at incentivizing aquaculture by treating it at par with agriculture. Efforts towards welfare of fisheries workers have included development of model fishermen villages, group accident insurance schemes, savings cum relief insurance schemes and execution of various training programmes through a network of institutes.

Mr. President,

6. India remains committed to ensuring the right to food for fishery workers and looks forward to the deliberations under this agenda item.

Thank you.

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