NHRC, NGOs, government, suggest ways to improve human rights

Having a uniform civil code from women’s perspective and providing clean potable water were some of the important recommendations

GN Bureau | August 16, 2016


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Assessing human rights situation in the country, NGOs, officials from various ministries and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have made several suggestions to bring improvements in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of citizens.

During the two-day national consultation organised by NHRC on August 12-13, suggestions were placed from different states. The report will be prepared and submitted to the Human Rights Council mandated by the United Nations to hold the third Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights situations in all 193 member countries.

During the discussions it was recognised that various new laws have been enacted and amendments been made in the existing ones, though, a little more is required to be done to cut short on the inherent contradictions or amendments in the available provisions. It was also felt that training, awareness and sensitisation programmes about legal provisions for common people as well as for those working at various levels in government machinery need to be organised on a regular basis.

Some of the significant suggestions were as follows:

1. Do away with separate age limits for children to extend them entitlements under child rights and their trial for criminal offences.
2. Do away with provisions under Section 377 and 375 IPC, which are contradictory to each other as acts that are non-criminal under Section 375 IPC remain criminal under Section 377 IPC.
3. Work towards having a uniform civil code from women's perspective to enable them to have equal rights irrespective of their religion to ensure a secular justice system.
4. Work towards providing clean potable water to all the people in the wake of the serious challenges arising out of water contamination and the presence of fluoride and arsenic in it.
5. Increase expenditure on health up to three percent of the GDP.
6. Review National Food Security Act to make it more effective and inclusive in conformity with international convention and supreme court directions.
7. Amend rules under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, to ensure that all disputes concerning their maintenance are settled within a period of 90 days.
8. Each scheduled tribes community should be brought to the centre of socio economic development.
9. Clarify the plan of action or providing 25 million houses by 2022.
10. Work towards time bound implementation of Right to Education Act with regulation to check private schools and to bring the new education policy within the frame work of RTE Act.
11. Two schemes – ‘Operation Smile’ and ‘Operation Muskan’ launched by the union home ministry to find missing children have produced good results and need to be replicated in different parts of the country with a focused team.
12. Ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance signed by the Government of India in 2007.
13. Introduce expeditiously a new Prevention of Torture Bill as the old bill lapsed on dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
14. Strengthen criminal justice system machinery to clear pending cases, over-crowding of jails.
15. Strengthen anti human trafficking units by setting them up in all districts.
16. Work on the portability of identity certifying mechanism to ensure the migrants labourers are not excluded from the benefits of welfare schemes.
 

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