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QUESTION NO.284 INDIAN WOMEN FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABROAD

March 19, 2020

RAJYA SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO.284
TO BE ANSWERED ON 19.03.2020

INDIAN WOMEN FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABROAD

*284. SHRI VIJAY GOEL:

Will the Minister for External Affairs be pleased to state:

(a) whether Government has received distress complaints from married women of Indian citizenship facing domestic violence and harassment abroad;

(b) if so, the details of such complaints received in last three years; and

(c) the details of steps Government has taken to address the concerns of these women?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[DR. SUBRAHMANYAM JAISHANKAR]

(a) to (c) A statement is laid on the table of the House.

***

STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) to (c) OF THE RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO.*284 REGARDING "INDIAN WOMEN FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABROAD” FOR ANSWER ON 19.03.2020

(a) & (b) Yes Sir. This Ministry, including our Missions and Posts abroad, have received 3,955 complaints during the last three years, from 2017 to 2019, related to matrimonial disputes from married women of Indian citizenship. Year-wise data of complaints received is as follows:

Year

Number of complaints received

2017

1498

2018

1299

2019

1158

Total

3955


(c) The Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to address the issues of domestic violence, harassment and other matrimonial disputes faced by Indian women abroad. Complaints can be received directly by Missions and Posts and the Ministry through letters or calls or grievance portals or in social media. On receipt of a complaint, the Ministry provides counseling and guidance to the complainant. The Ministry provides information about legal rights and procedures to be followed to file a criminal complaint in any court in India. Missions and Posts utilize various mechanisms for serving judicial summons to the overseas Indian spouse, while the Ministry issues Look Out Circulars and processes impounding and revocation of passports, etc. Complainants are also guided to seek legal assistance from National Commission of Women, Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) and NGOs, which are working in the field of assisting women in distress. The Integrated Nodal Agency, under MWCD, has been set up as an inter-Ministerial body to provide timely solutions to Indian women facing harassment abroad.

Indian Missions and Posts abroad provide online consular assistance to Indian nationals in distress, including Indian women, through its portal called MADAD (MEA in Aid of Diaspora in Distress), launched in 2015. It has a module on "Marital Disputes” which is used by Indian women in distress. The Ministry’s grievance redressal mechanism was strengthened with the launch of CPGRAMS Version 7.0 in February 2020. Ministry has been part of the CPGRAMS portal since its inception in 2006.

A Consular Helpline is being run in 11 Indian languages, including Hindi and English. Further, Missions and Posts also maintain Helpline for emergency situations.Twitter Sewa @MEAMADAD was launched in March 2017 to monitor and respond to grievances received on Twitter.

The Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) is used to provide financial and legal assistance to women in distress. An amount of upto US $4,000/- per case is offered under ICWF for legal counselling to prepare their legal defence. Missions also facilitate assistance from Indian community associations or women organizations or NGOs.

Taking into account the growing instances of marital disputes and to provide a more effective solution, a Bill titled "The Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019” was introduced in Rajya Sabha on 11 February, 2019. This Bill is under the consideration of the Standing Committee on External Affairs.

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