65% Indians (like most global citizens) want prevention of casualties of civilians to take precedence over country’s interest: Ipsos Human Rights Survey

MUMBAI: According to a new survey by Ipsos, in partnership with the Policy Institute at King’s College, London, titled, ‘Age of Impunity – Global Attitudes to Human Rights - 65% Indians believe that avoiding civilian casualties should take precedence over country’s interest. 

Interestingly, all markets covered in the survey display the same concern on Human Rights – of protecting civilians and following the rules of warfare, over country’s interest – Turkey (74%), Poland (66%), India (65%), Peru (63%), Hungary (63%), Russia (59%), Mexico (58%), South Africa (57%), Sweden (57%), Spain (55%), Great Britain (55%), Chile (55%), Germany (54%), Malaysia (53%), Australia (51%), the US (51%), Italy (49%) etc.  

War crimes and accountability

Two thirds of Indians (65%) feel that if a country commits war crimes, it should be held accountable and that other countries should intervene, to put an end to it, even if it infringes on the sovereignty. 66% Indians want India to intervene in such a scenario, if it takes place in other countries. 

“Indians, like most global citizens, veto for preventing civilian casualties and following the code of conduct of war. Most strife zones in India or of other nations are faced with complexities of situations, where there is no war per se, but terrorism upsetting peace and collaterally affecting civilians. And most nations are grappling with the scenario of how civilians can be unscathed and unimpacted in turmoil zones,” says Parijat Chakraborty, Country Service Line Group Leader, Ipsos Public Affairs, Corporate Reputation & Customer Experience. 

Conformance to international laws on human rights, what should be India’s stance?

The views are divided – while 39% Indians feel that international laws on human rights should be strictly adhered to; 23% are of the view that laws should be flouted only in extreme circumstances; 25% on the other hand counsel that one should know the laws but should opt for other considerations and 7% feel that laws should be ignored.

Factors that should determine ties with other nations, for leaders

Indians feel leaders should consider the following top factors when deciding relations with other countries: Economic benefits (53%); Security benefits (53%); military benefits (36%) and human rights record of the country (33%). And interestingly, priorities of Indian leaders are in sync with expectations of Indians and are in the same pecking order of economic benefits (55%), security benefits (51%), military benefits (38%) and the human rights record of the country (33%) – for forging ties with other nations.  

Trade and human rights    

Polarized views observed among Indians.  42% Indians espouse trading only with nations with good human rights record, even at the cost of hampering the economy; 40% on the contrary feel economic benefits should be the driving force for trade and not a squeaky-clean human rights record (they won’t like to link the two). 

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