Human Rights Day 2021

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    • Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10 

    About Human Rights Day 2021 

    • It is obeerved to honour the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
    • This year’s theme for Human Rights Day is: Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.
    • Article 1 of the UDHR: The theme is related to Article 1 of the UDHR which states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

    About the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

    • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. 
    • Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. 
    • It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages. 
    • The UDHR is widely recognized as having inspired, and paved the way for, the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties, applied today on a permanent basis at global and regional levels (all containing references to it in their preambles). 

    Human Rights

    • The United Nations defined Human rights as rights inherent to all human beings.
      • They are universal and are available regardless of any race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or another status
    • Section 2(1)(d) of the PHRA defines Human Rights as 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.
    • Features : 
      • Human rights are the rights that people simply have and are not granted by any state.
      • These rights are inherent to all irrespective of any of the above statuses.
      • Human rights range from right to life, right to food, right to education, right to health etc.

    Safeguards to protect Human Rights 

    Globally 

    • UN  Human Rights Council
      • It is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them. 
    • It replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
    • It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. 
    • It was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006.
    • It meets at the UN Office in Geneva.
    • Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, GANHRI
    • It accesses the NHRIs through a rigorous process of review across the world for 5 years before giving ‘A’ grade accreditation.
    • UN Human Rights acts as secretariat for the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)
    • The Accreditation confers international recognition and protection of the NHRI. 
    • ‘A’ status accreditation grants participation in the work and decision-making of
    • the GANHRI, as well as  the work of the Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms

    Indian Context 

    National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India

    • It is a statutory public body constituted in 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance.
    • It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (PHRA)
    • The NHRC is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, defined by the act as “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.
    • Functions of NHRC:
      • Proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights by government of India or negligence of such violation by a public servant
      • The protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation
      • Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures
    • Composition
      • A Chairperson, who has been a Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court.
      • One member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India or one member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court.
      • Three Members, out of which at least one shall be a woman to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.

    Paris Principles

    • The Paris Principles set out six main criteria that NHRIs require to meet. These are: 
    • Mandate and competence, 
      • Autonomy from Government, 
      • Independence guaranteed by a Statute or Constitution, 
      • Pluralism,
      • Adequate resources; and 
      • Adequate powers of investigation.. 
    • These principles were adopted at the 1st international workshop on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights held in Paris in October 1991.
    • It was also endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations by its Regulations 48/134 of 20 December 1993.
    • The Paris Principles provide international benchmarks against which NHRIs can be accredited by the GANHRI.

    Source:HT