New Delhi: The NHRC on Tuesday said there was
need to build adequate mechanism for "sustainable" protection
of human rights in the country.
"Protecting the rights directly from violation might not
require any use of resources and involved (only) what the
states were not supposed to do. But, if that protection had to
be sustainable, adequate steps needed to be taken to build up
mechanisms to safeguard these rights, to promote them and
prevent them from being violated by other non-state actors,"
NHRC chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan said.
He was addressing a function organised here by the NHRC
to celebrate its 17th foundation day. The National Human
Rights Commission came into existence on October 12, 1993.
The NHRC chief noted that 18 state governments have so
far set up state human rights commissions and said the
Commission has been suggesting to the rest of the states to
set up their rights panels.
Balakrishnan noted that complaints relating to human
rights violations have increased over the years due to rise in
awareness level of the people of the country.
The number of complaints has "steadily" grown from 496
in 1993-94 to 82,021 in the 2009-10 financial year, he said.
"This is a clear indication of the trust reposed in the
Commission by the citizens of the country and an equally clear
indication of the yearning for an accessible mechanism to
redress their grievances," he added.
The NHRC chairperson maintained that Commission has
worked "vigorously" to create awareness about human rights and
to sensitise public authorities in promoting and protecting
rights of the people.
The Commission has taken "important" initiatives on the
issues like right to health, right to education. It has also
taken initiatives to protect rights of women, children,
persons with disabilities and displaced persons, he said.
"The Commission has endeavoured to promote a culture of
human rights in the country by pressing for the introduction
of human rights education in the curricula upto university
level from schools," he added.
Balakrishnan said that the goal of the NHRC is to create
a "human rights culture" in the country and empower the masses
with the knowledge and skill so that they can take the control
of their lives and decisions that affect them.