Human Rights Defenders play a very constructive role in promoting and protecting human rights in the country, says NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice Arun Mishra

16th February, 2023

Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India today said that Human Rights Defenders, HRDs play a very constructive role in promoting and protecting human rights in the country. He was chairing the first meeting of the NHRC’s re-constituted Core Group of Human Rights Defenders in the presence of Dr. D. M. Mulay, Member, and senior officers of the Commission. He said that the role of the NHRC and the HRDs is complementary to each other. The HRDs through their work on the ground can see and raise concerns, if any, on the status of the implementation of welfare schemes and human rights situation and help the Commission in the discharge of its mandate.

Justice Mishra said that with technological advancement and internet-aided connectivity, new challenges are emerging, which are impinging on the human rights of the people. The right to privacy is at stake to others in an era of the cyber regime and dark web, e-frauds, human trafficking in cyberspace, and crypto-currency for which the HRDs have to gear up themselves for the protection of human rights.

He said that there are various issues of human rights on which the Commission has issued about 24 Advisories in the recent past and the HRDs can play a pivotal role in extending support to the Commission by reaching out to the people both in the systems of governance and outside to build awareness about these guidelines ensuring the protection of human rights in the far-flung areas. He said that the Commission looks forward to receiving valuable suggestions from HRDs for ameliorating the cause of human rights.

Various human rights concerns were discussed pertaining to human trafficking, cybercrime, disposal of industrial and toxic waste and environment safety, compensation to the people displaced due to climate change, rights of marginalized and tribal communities, toxic products and consumer rights, protection of HRDs, rights of pastoral, de-notified, and semi-nomad tribes, rights of informal workers of varied social diversity; basic rights and work permits to the refugees till the settlement of their citizenship/deportation/repatriation, stopping witch branding and strengthening laws for the same, mortuary at every hospital and a help desk to ensure the rights of the dead; human rights concerns of the children of sex workers, implementation of Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act, 1996 and the protection of the rights of the Vanvasis.

The attendees among the Human Rights Defenders Core Group Members included Ms. Sunitha Krishnan, Founder, Prajwala, Dr. Jitendra Singh Shunty, President, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal, Mr. Suhas Chakma Director, Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG), Mr. Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, Action Aid Association, Mr. Ramchandra Kharadi, National President, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Mr. Satinath Sarangi, Consultant, Sambhavna Trust, Ms. Naseema Khatoon, Founder, Parcham, Ms. Pushpa Girimaji, Consumer Rights Activist and senior journalist, Ms. Aparajita Singh, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court and Mr. Shah Aamir, Advocate.