Mr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Member, International Court of Justice to address a day-long NHRC-SHRCs meeting in New Delhi tomorrow (16.02.2017)

CURTAIN RAISER



New Delhi, 16th February, 2017

Mr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Member, International Court of Justice will address, as a Chief Guest, a meeting of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) with the State Human Rights Commissions (SHRCs) at Seminar Hall, Kamladevi Block, India International Centre (IIC), Max Muller Marg, New Delhi tomorrow on the 17th February, 2017.

The meeting is divided into four sessions, to be chaired Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu, Chairperson, NHRC. These are: Amendment to PHR Act, 1993, Functional and Financial Autonomy, Issues regarding Human Rights Defenders, Training and Awareness Programmes, Complaint Management System and some other issues of common concern for the NHRC and SHRCs.

Objective

The aim of the meeting, being organised by the NHRC, is to discuss the ways and means to make the NHRC and the SHRCs stronger and effective for the promotion and protection of human rights, to explore the areas of cooperation and coordination between them and to assess the assistance by the Governments to them. One of the major concerns has been how to make the Human Rights Commissions more effective in terms of implementation of their recommendations by effecting amendments in the Protection of Human Rights Act, (PHR Act) 1993.

SHRCs

The SHRCs are autonomous bodies set up by the respective State Governments as per the provisions of the PHR Act, 1993 passed by Parliament. The SHRCs are independent of the NHRC, which was set up by the Government of India as per the PHR Act, 1993 on the 12th October, 1993.

There are 26 States which have SHRCs in the country so far. Among them, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana have a common SHRC. The States where Human Rights Commissions have been set up are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

NHRC's advocacy for SHRCs

The NHRC, in tune with its mandate to promote and protect human rights, has been consistently impressing upon the State Governments for not only setting up SHRCs but also making them fully functional with infrastructural, financial and manpower resources to deal with human rights issues in accordance with the PHR Act, 1993 and the 'Paris Principles'. It has been holding meetings, periodically, with the SHRCs since the year 2004.

The Commission has also proposed to the Government of India for an amendment in the PHR Act, 1993 for constitution of Human Rights Commissions in the Union Territories.

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