Law & Policy


Kalpana Kannabiran has been closely involved with national and international campaigns for legal reform, equal opportunity and rights of women, sexual minorities, dalits, indigenous adivasi communities, persons with disabilities. In 2007-2008 she was member of the Expert Group on the Equal Opportunity Commission constituted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India to prepare a blueprint for a proposed statutory Equal Opportunity Commission in India. The detailed report was submitted to the Government of India in February 2008. In 2006 and 2014, when the Government of India’s compliance to CEDAW came up for review before the UN CEDAW, kalpana was part of the lobbying group of the National Alliance of Women and edited two consecutive NGO Alternative Reports on CEDAW (2nd & 3rd combined, and 4th & 5th combined) that were critical in informing the Concluding Comments issued by the Committee. In 2014, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, proposed formulation of a national tribal policy. Kalpana Kannabiran prepared a comprehensive draft of this policy for the ministry, drawing on her long experience of working with indigeous communities on rights advocacy and strategic litigation, which was submitted in September 2014. The government of India held detailed deliberations on the framework for a new legislation protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. In 2014, when the legislation was under consideration by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Persons with Disabilities Bill, she coordinated a national consultation of disability rights groups in CSD and formulated a comprehensive submission to the PSC based on the deliberations at the consultation. This was presented to the PSC chaired by Member of Parliament Ramesh Bais during its review on 3rd December 2014. She also made submissions before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act led by Member of Parliament Arjun Singh in 2004, and to the Justice Verma Committee on criminal law amendments with respect to the law on sexual assault in 2013 that led to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 bringing in far-reaching changes in the law on sexual assault in India.