statutory (and not a constitutional) he National Human Rights Commission is a body. It was established in 1993 under a legislation enacted by the Parliament, namely, the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
Features of the Commission
The commission is the watchdog of human rights in the country, that is, the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
Composition of the Commission
- NHRC is composed of a Chairman and seven other members.
- Out of the seven members, three are ex-officio members.
- The Chairman and members of NHRC are appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of a high-powered committee headed by the Prime Minister.
. Chairman- Retired Chief Justice of India
. Member 1- Retired Judge of Supreme Court of India
. Member 2- Retired Judge of any High Court of India
. 2 Members- Practical experience in the matters of human rights
. Ex-officio Members- Chairpersons of National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Women, National Commission for SC/ ST.
- The chairman and members hold office for a term of five years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
Functions of NHRC
- To inquire into any violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant, either suo motu or on a petition presented to it or on an order of a court
- To intervene in any proceeding involving allegations of violation of human rights pending before a court
- To visit jails and detention places to study the living conditions of inmates and make recommendations
- To review the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation
- To review the factors including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend remedial measures
- To study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation
- To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights
- To spread human rights literacy among the people and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights
Achievements of NHRC
- Abolition of bonded labour
- Brought out a manual for gender sensitisation for judiciary, in cases of trafficking in women and children
- Combating sexual harassment of women at workplace
- Abolition of manual scavenging
- Rights of disabled people
- The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), a UN body based in Geneva, re-accredited India’s apex rights watchdog with the ‘A’ status.
- Disposal of more than 17 lakh cases
- Payment of more than Rs 1 billion to victims of human rights violations
- Carrying out over 750 spot enquiries of human rights violations
- Conducting over 200 conferences to spread awareness of human rights across the country