V Year, B. A.LL.B.
New Law College,
Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune
“It is the obligation of the State to ensure everyone the right to adequate food, education and enjoyment of highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. These rights have to be respected and made available to the citizens by the State”.
– Justice Anand, Former Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission
Human rights violation have become very common now-a-days. The Newspapers and T.V. tell us that every day and at every moment, somewhat in the world, Human Rights are being violated. Broadly speaking “Human Right” means the right to life, liberty, equality, and the dignity of an individual irrespective of caste, creed or sex. These human rights are natural rights, required to be protected for peaceful existence of a provisions, the violation of these rights is very frequently taking place. The protection and preservation of Human Rights is a great challenge to every country in the world. Cases of violence, murder, torture, rape, child abuse, death due to starvation, death due to dowry, sexual harassment, custodial death have become rampant in the society.
The Human Rights of the people have been protected by “The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993”. It has been amended by Protection of Human Rights (Amendment Act, 2006. The Act is passed for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), State Human Rights Commission in States and Human Rights Courts for the better protection of human rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been able to touch the tip of iceberg of the problem of Human Rights violation. But NHRC can’t be blamed, when the entire society is culpable in respect of Human Rights violations in one way when the entire society is culpable in respect of Human Rights violations in one way or the other. It is not possible NHRC to keep vigil on every human being in the country.
The Former Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Justice A.S. Anand has emphasized that it is the obligation of the State to ensure everyone the right to adequate food, education and enjoyment of highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. These rights have to be respected and made available to the citizens by the State, said Justice Anand while inaugurating the two-day Capacity Building Workshop on “Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” jointly organized by the National Human Rights Commission and the Indian Institute of Public Administration.
“India being a signatory to Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other international instruments, is legally as well as morally committed to ensure basic human rights to all its citizens and enact laws accordingly”.
With every passing year, conviction has grown in the Commission that for right to live with human dignity, it is essential to focus in equal measures on economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights. The indivisibility and interrelated nature of these rights is a reality and there is a symbiosis between them. Those in the field must, therefore, ensure that the concern and anxiety, which they show for political and social rights, are also manifested in economic, social and cultural rights as we he said.
The abject poverty prevailed in the country, denies basic Human Rights to millions of poor in our country. Poverty is the major cause of various Human Rights violation. Child labour, Bonded labour and Illiteracy are various vulnerable points of Human Rights violation. The Human Rights of women are violated from birth to death. Even the female’s right to born is taken away by Sex determination tests, with termination of female foetus. Female infanticide is common in many parts of the country even as on date. Sexual abuse of female children, dowry deaths, flourishing flesh trade, rape case, pitiable conditions of windows living in Vrindawan and Varanasi are some flagrant examples of violations of the fair sex. Ours is male dominated society, where women are being treated as their subordinates. Most of the women in real terms, do not enjoy any rights at all, they are just living first as per wish of their parents and after marriage as per whims of their husband and in the old age, as per convenience of their sons and daughters in-law.
The NHRC has tried to check the human rights violations in wide range of spheres. The Commission has asked the States and Union Territories in April 2000, to compulsorily video film the post-mortem examination in all cases of custodial deaths. The Commission has asked the State governments to sensitize the police and jail officials. The NHRC also taken up the cases of victimized women in all perspective. It has also recommended that the maintenance allowance for divorced women be increased from Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000 per month. Cases of violation of children’s right, like trafficking in children, imprisonment of juveniles, child marriage, have also taken up by the NHRC. NHRC also taken up cases of rape, death and detention without trials, vehemently.
The Founding Fathers of the Indian Constitution had a vision of the Indian society, which they wanted to realize through the Constitution. That vision was primarily reflected in the Preamble, the chapters on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy is the product of human rights movement in the country. It is the duty of the State to guarantee what is said in the Constitution. But the shocking evidence that the State is itself the culprit, according to Mr. J.S. Verma, the former chairman of the NHRC. According to a statement made by him on Jan. 15, 2003, just a few days before his demitting the office: “It is often the State which is violator of Human Rights in maximum cases in the country. But the maximum responsibility to protect and safeguard the rights of its citizens also lies with the State”.
The former Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Justice A.S. Anand stressed the need for making human rights the focal point of good governance. He called for greater role for National Human Rights Commission in the work of United Nations, its treaty bodies and specialized agencies, stressing the need to further develop cooperation between them. He made these observations while delivering a Statement to the 60th Session of the Commission on Human Rights at Geneva on 14th April 2004.
He emphasized the protection of human rights not only requires vigilance by various agencies but sustained cooperation at regional and international levels.
No commission or no Police station can police every nook and corner of the country. No NGO, no any other agency can be present everywhere to protect the Human Rights. It is the we people; it is the duty of every civilized person to rise to the occasion. This can be brought about only through general awakening which make everyone understand the eternal values of life and dignity of an individual irrespective of caste, creed or sex. In the words of Swami Vivekananda that the “Self in you is the Self everywhere.”
“It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings.”
– Mahatma Gandhi