New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC) India in connection with its silver jubilee celebrations organized the lectures of three eminent persons, who have worked tirelessly in the field of human rights, on September 10, 2018. They included Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate, Dr Ajay Mathur, DG, TERI, and  Prakash Singh, former DGP, UP.

Kailash Sathyarthi, founder of ‘Bachchpan Bachao Aandolan’, addressing the gathering as the Chief Guest said that when the space for inconvenient truths and dissenting voices is sinking, the country needs independent institutions like NHRC India and state human rights commissions.He lauded the role of the commission right since its inception in 1993 towards the promotion and protection of human rights. He recalled his long association with NHRC India and how its interventions gave support to his fight for the protection of the child rights in the country on several occasions including saving his life.

Satyarthi also recalled how the personal intervention of the former Chairperson of the NHRC Justice Rangnath Mishra and Member Justice V S Malimath ensured that the Government banned the employment of children as domestic help by the government servants. This later helped him take up the matter before the Supreme Court for banning the child labour in the country.We have to create a culture of human rights to live with human values which begin by respecting and tolerating each other and also respecting the plurality in our country, he said. He said that despite legislations, the challenges in the field of child rights have not ended in the country. The child trafficking and child labour still persist.

Satyarthi expressed concern over the recently reported incidents of mob lynching on suspicion of child lifting and cow vigilantism.

Prakash Singh, former DGP,  UP, said that India followed the concept of human rights since ancient times, which reflect in our Constitution and a number of special enactments to preserve and safeguard the basic human rights to life and liberty of every individual. He said that Government of India has been laying great stress on the observance of human rights by the security forces. But there have been controversies from time to time in this context. Be it over 2,500 writ petitions filed in the Supreme Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court against Punjab Police force after the defeat of terrorism in Punjab resulting in huge demoralisation of officers and men or the recent controversy in the backdrop of July, 2016, Supreme Court Judgment against the Arm Forces in the matter of extra judicial executions in Manipur.

Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), said there is an immediate need to develop consensus on a corpus of knowledge that would be agreed to as actions which result in the lack of a clean environment hampering human rights. He urged the NHRC India to initiate a dialogue on the issue of right to clean environment as human rights to help build a common understanding on the right to clean environment as a human rights as well as the limits of these rights.


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