The National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC ) that turns 30 on Thursday has resolved more than 22 lakh cases and recommended payment of monetary relief worth more than Rs 230 crore to victims of human rights violations since its inception, officials said.
The NHRC on October 12 is hosting a function to mark its 30th anniversary and it will be graced by former president Ram Nath Kovind as the chief guest, they said.
On the occasion, the chief guest will address several national and international dignitaries in the presence of NHRC chairperson justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra , panel members D M Mulay and Rajiv Jain , and Secretary General Bharat Lal .
The foundation day celebrations are a reminder of the commission’s commitment to the cause of protection and promotion of human rights, the NHRC said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The NHRC was established on October 12, 1993 under the statute of the Protection of Human Rights Act ( PHRA ), 1993, as amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006.
”During 30 years of its journey, the commission has resolved more than 22 lakh cases and recommended the payment of monetary relief of more than Rs 230 crore to the victims of human rights violations,” the statement said.
It said the commission has conducted numerous spot investigations, open hearings and camp sittings. Reviews of innumerable bills and laws, conferences and research projects, 28 advisories as well as more than 100 publications, including monthly newsletters and thousands of media reports, and engagements in international forums bear testimony to the work of the commission towards the promotion and protection of human rights, the statement said.
The NHRC has issued advisories on issues such as right to food, right to health and mental health, rights of informal workers, upholding the dignity of the dead, rights of truck drivers, environmental pollution and degradation, and ensuring welfare of transgender persons. During the last one year, from October 1, 2022, to September 30, the commission disposed of more than 89,000 cases and recommended worth more than Rs 16 crore monetary relief to victims of human rights violations. It also registered 123 cases suo motu during this period, it said.
The commission is actively caring for all 47 government mental health hospitals across the country, rights of destitute widows, the criminal justice system, disability, seafarers and LGBTQI , according to the statement. In cases of the ethnic violence in Manipur , the commission has directed compensation to be paid further to rehabilitate victims, offer compensatory employment to the next of kin of the deceased, promote harmony, prevent communities from resorting to violence and maintain peace, it added.
The commission has issued notices to various sports bodies to establish cells to deal with cases of harassment of women in workplace, the statement said. The NHRC constantly endeavours to rehabilitate persons displaced due to natural disasters, land acquisition and other causes. In cases of suicide by debt-ridden farmers, the rights panel has successfully intervened, it added.
Some of the other important interventions of the commission include recommending amendments in 97 laws, which are discriminatory to the person with Hansen ‘s disease, the statement said. It highlighted that the government has enhanced compensation for bonded labour on the basis of NHRC advisory at the pre-trial stage.
The commission has also been playing an active role at international human rights forums including Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) and UN Human Rights Council . It has also proactively engaged with NGOs, and human rights defenders. Twelve thematic core groups involving various experts have helped the commission to formulate mechanisms to evaluate the schemes initiated by the government and make recommendations thereof.
The special monitors and special rapporteurs who are the eyes and ears of the commission are adding value to its mandate, the statement said.
The foundation day function will be followed by a day-long conference of state human rights commissions, special rapportuers and special monitors on October 13 on various issues concerning human rights, the NHRC said.