Posted by: lexilachal | February 14, 2011

Final Week in Mumbai

By Lexi Lachal

I am very quickly coming to the end of my 3 months in Mumbai working with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. I am rather glad to have been here during the very pleasant (albeit still very warm) ‘winter’ months, as the temperature seems to be rising daily and is certain to become unpleasantly hot after I leave. We have been working busily on the Rapporteur’s first thematic report for the year due at the end of this month. Recently, I have been also involved in helping to prepare an amicus brief for a matter in the Kenyan Constitutional Court concerning access to medicines, as well as contributing to a paper on the Global Fund.

January in Mumbai also saw the Queer Azadi Mumbai (QAM) Pride Week get underway for the fourth year running. Anand Grover (the Special Rapporteur who I am interning with) inaugurated the festival as an acknowledgement of the role he played in getting homosexuality decriminalised in India. Since 2001, Anand and his firm Lawyer’s Collective have represented the Naaz India Foundation, the group that filed the petition that led to the successful ‘reading down’ of section 377 IPC to exclude consensual sex between adult men from the ambit of the clause. In July 2009, the Delhi High Court ruled that consensual sex between adult men should no longer come under the ambit of the section. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work within an organisation and with a lawyer who has contributed so significantly to human rights causes in India.


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