National Human Rights Commission: Performance of the Commission

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  • Human Rights are entitled to individuals by virtue of their status as a human being and not depends on civil, political, social and economic conditions of the individual

  • Human rights have a wide scope

  • They are ideal rights and consists of all the rights of human beings for their welfare

  • Human Rights are essential for human survival and development.

  • In 1948, UNGA adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and described it as “International Magna Carta”

It was divided into:

  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

International Bill of Rights

International Bill of Rights

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Important International Conventions for Human Rights

  • Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (1966)

  • Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against women (1979)

  • Convention against torture and other cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of punishment (1984)

  • Declaration on the rights to development (1986)

  • Convention on the rights of child (1989)

Human Rights in India

The Preamble, Fundamental rights and Directive Principles of State Policy possess provisions of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Preamble of Indian Constitution upholds:

  • Justice

  • Liberty

  • Equality

  • Fraternity

Fundamental Rights in Part III of the Constitution

  • Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV of the Constitution

  • Indian Constitution and Parliament has established National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission

Establishment of National Human Rights Commission

National Human Rights watch was established in 1993 under the protection of Human rights Act of 1993 to protect Human Rights of the Indian Citizens

It was amended in 2006

Objectives

  • Strengthen institutional arrangements for human rights

  • To look into allegation cases related to human rights

  • To strengthen efforts in the direction of Human rights and

Composition

The Commission consists of a Chairman and four other members.

It has four ex Officio members, the chairman of:

  • National Commission for Minorities

  • National Commission for Schedule Castes

  • National Commission for Schedule Tribe

  • National Commission for women

The Chairman and the members are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the six-member body COMM committee constituted by the Prime Minister

  • The tenure of the chairman and member is five years or 70yr age

  • Their Salaries and Allowances are determined

Functions

  • To enquire into violation or negligence of human rights

  • To intervene in proceedings violating human rights

  • To visit jails and study their conditions

  • To review and recommend safeguards for human rights

  • To suggest remedial measures for Acts of Terrorism

  • To recommend measures for implementing International treaties

  • Promote research in Human Rights field and spread awareness for protecting human rights

  • The commission’s headquarters are at Delhi

  • The commission has a power of a civil court

  • The Commission has it its own investigation staff

  • The Commission can look into matter within one year of its occurrence

Steps taken by NHRC in investigation:

  • Recommended concerned Government to pay compensation to victim

  • Recommended concerned Government for initiation of proceeding against the guilty official

  • Recommended grant for immediate relief

  • Approach appropriate court for orders.

  • It has Recommendatory functions which are not binding in nature

  • Though commission need to be informed actions taken on it recommendations

  • It has limited role with respect to armed forces and may seek report from central government

  • The Commission submits its reports to Central or State Government

Performance of the Commission

  • Abolition of Bonded Labour

  • Functioning of Government Protective Home for Women

  • Issues concerning Right to Food

  • Preventing Employment of Children by Government

  • Abolition of Child Labour

  • Trafficking in women and children

  • Abolition of Manual Scavenging

  • Rights of the Disabled Persons

  • Issues related to health

  • District Complaints Authorities

Human Rights Amendment Act of 2006

  • Reduced members of State Human Rights Commission

  • Changing Eligibility criteria for Members of SHRC

  • Strengthening investigation machinery of Commission

  • Empower Commission to pay compensation

  • Permitted NHRC to visit jail without state Government approval

  • The commission chairman ate distinct from other members

  • To transfer complaint to States Commission

  • Chairperson of National Commission for SC and ST shall deemed to be members.