Human Rights are inalienable rights and inherent in all individuals. Indian Parliament has passed number of Statutes for protecting the human rights. Intellectual Property Right’s Regime is violating the human rights citizens, consumers and indigenous people to some extent. To some extent intellectual property rights and human rights are having conflicts and to some extent they are co-existing. Intellectual property rights and human rights must learn to cohabit together.The human rights standards of the United Nations that are most directly relevant to criminal justice administration find echo in number of international instruments. The adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the declaration on the Right to Development in 1986 was the culmination of a long process of re-establishing the unity of human rights. Struggle for human rights must continue with greater vigour. Although other social and economic problems like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, population growth, and law and order have surpassed the importance due to human rights, all efforts are required to be made to make the people aware of their rights.
Key Words: Human Rights, United Nations, Right to development, Violation
Human beings are rational beings. They by virtue of their being human possess certain basic and inalienable rights which are commonly known as human rights. Since these rights belong to them because of their very existence, they became operative with their birth. Human rights being the birth rights, are, therefore, inherent in all the individuals irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, sex and nationality. These are the rights which no one can be deprived without a great affront to justice.
Former Chief Justice of India J.S. Verma has rightly stated that “human dignity is the quintessence of human rights. All those rights which are essential for the protection and maintenance of dignity of the individuals and create conditions in which every individual can develop his personality to the fullest extent may be termed human rights. Human rights being essential for all round development of the personality of the individuals in the society be necessarily protected and made available to all the individuals. They must be preserved, cherished and defended if peace and prosperity are to be achieved. Human rights are very essential for a meaningful life. Because of their immense significance to human beings; human rights are also called as fundamental rights, basic rights, inherent rights, natural rights and birth rights.
‘Human Rights’ is a generic term and it embraces civil rights, civil liberties, and social, economic and cultural rights. It is therefore difficult to give a precise definition of the term ‘human rights’. However it can be said that the rights that all people have by virtue of their being human are human rights. These are the rights which no one can be deprived without a grave affront to justice. It is so because they may affect the human dignity. Thus the idea of human rights is bound up with the idea of human dignity. Dignity can no longer survive where human beings are humiliated. The World Conference on Human Rights held in 1993 in Vienna stated in the Declaration that all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person, and that the human person is the central subject of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
D.D. Basu defines human rights as those minimum rights which every individual must have against the State or other public authority by virtue of his being a member of human family, irrespective of any other consideration.
Bennett human rights as “human rights include those areas of individual or group freedom that are immune from governmental interference or that, because of their basic contribution to human dignity or welfare, are subject to governmental guarantee, protections, or promotion”
Human rights are, therefore, those rights which belong to an individual as a consequence of being human. They are based on the elementary human needs as imperatives. Some of these human needs are elemental for sheer survival and health. Others are elemental for psychic survival and health. These rights are associated with the traditional concept of natural law.
Rights being immunities denote that there is a guarantee that certain things cannot or ought not to be done to a person against his will. According to this concept, human beings, by virtue of their humanity, ought to be protected against unjust and degrading treatment. In other words, human rights are exemptions from the operation of arbitrary power. An individual can seek human rights only in an organized community, i.e., a state or in other words, where the civil social order exists. No one can imagine to invoke them in a state of anarchy where there is hardly any just power to which a citizen can appeal against the violations of rights. Thus, the principal of the protection of human rights is derived from the concept of man as a person and his relationship with an organized society which cannot be separated from universal human nature.
Evolution Of Concept Of Human Rights
The roots for the protection of the rights of man may be traced as far back as in the Babylonian laws. Babylonian King Hammurabi had issued a set of laws to his people which is called hammurabi’s codes, established fair wages, offered protection of property and required charges to be proved at trial. The codes, while often harsh in their punishments provided standards by which Babylonians could order their lives and treat one another. Assyrian laws, Hittiti laws and the Dharm of the Vedic period in India also devised different sets of standards by which obligations of one was provided to another. Jurisprudence of Lao-Tze and Confucius in China also protected human rights. Thus, the world’s all major religions have a humanist perspective that supports human rights despite the differences in the contents.
Human rights are also rooted in ancient thought and in the philosophical concepts of ‘natural law’ and ‘natural rights’. A few Greek and Roman philosophers recognised the idea of natural rights. Plato was one of the earliest writers to advocate a universal standard of ethical conduct. The Roman jurist Ulpian stated that according to law of nature, all men are equal, and by the same law all are born free. This meant that foreigners are required to be dealt in the same way as one deals with one’s compatriots. It also implied conducting of wars in a civilizd fashion.
The Magna Carta or the Great Charter of the Liberties of England granted by King John of England to the English barons on June 15, 1215 was I response to the heavy taxation burden created by the third Crusade and the ransom of Richard I, captured by the holy Emperor Henry VI. The English barons protested the heavy taxes and were unwilling to let King John rule again without some concessions in their rights. The theme of Magna Carta was protection against arbitrary acts by the King. Land and property could no longer be seized, judges had to know and respect the laws, taxes could not be imposed without common council, there could be no imprisonment without a trial and merchants were granted the right to travel freely within England outside.
Difference Between Human Rights And Fundamental Rights
Human rights are called by different names such as birth rights, basic rights, minimum rights, natural rights, in alienable rights and fundamental rights, i.e., another name for human rights is fundamental rights. In the broader context both human rights and fundamental rights mean the same thing. But in the Indian context particularly with respect to the Indian Constitution fundamental rights means only those rights which are included in part III of the constitution but not other human rights which are not included. But in the international context fundamental rights means all basic rights (human rights) which are necessary to lead a normal life.
Need For Human Rights
Human rights are essential for all the individuals as they are consonant with their freedom and dignity and are conducive to physical, moral, social and spiritual welfare. They are also necessary as they provide suitable conditions for the material and moral uplift of the people.
Presently vast majority of legal scholars and philosophers agree that every human being is entitled to some basic rights. Thus, there is universal acceptance of human rights in principle in domestic and international plane.
The need for protection has arisen because of inevitable increase in the control over men’s action by the governments which by no means can be regarded as desirable.
Human rights being essential for all-round development of the personality of the individuals in the society, be necessarily protected and be made available to all the individuals. They must be preserved, cherished and defended if peace and prosperity are to be achieved. Human rights are the very essence of a meaningful life, and to maintain human dignity is the ultimate purpose of government. There are several States where fundamental standards of human behavior are not observed. The conscious on the part of the human beings as to their rights has also necessitated the protection by the States. It has been realized that the functions of all the laws whether they are the rules of municipal law or that of international law should be to protect them in the interest of the humanity.
One of the achievements of the contemporary international law is to recognize human dignity and honor. The individual has come of age in International Law. It has been also realized that the international protection of the individuals against the State should no longer be entrusted to the State as his guardian in litem.
Presently, there is a widespread acceptance of the importance of human rights in the international structure because it has legal, moral and political bearing. Human rights are legal because it involves implementation of rights and obligations mentioned in international treaties. It is moral because human rights are a value-based system to preserve human dignity and it is political in the larger sense of the word. They also operate to limit the power of governments over individuals. However, there is a confusion prevailing as to its precise nature and scope and the mode of international law as to the protection of these rights.
The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights has been fifty years old. The need for protection has arisen because of inevitable increase in the control over men’s action by the governments which by no means can be regarded as desirable. A moment is needed to take stock and to look at the deficits, which still exists in terms of human rights half a century later. The declaration of 1948 contains a comprehensive list of political, economic, social and cultural rights and aims at the protection of the freedom, equity, and human dignity of all human beings, irrespective of their race, gender, language or religion. Never before in history had there been such a far-reaching and solemn undertaking to protect each and every individual from all forms of oppression and deprivation. Two treaties adopted by the United nations General Assembly in 1966 translate the ideas of the Human Rights Declaration in to binding international law, and a High commissioner for Human Rights, an office created as a result of the UN Human Rights Conference in Vienna in 1993, has been put in charge of monitoring the human rights situation and coordinate UN action on it. Numerous human rights NGO’s all over the world, most important among them Amnesty International, have established themselves as additional watchdogs to guard against human rights violations.
In Africa millions of girls are circumcised (female genital mutilation) with grave consequences for their physical and psychological well being – a serious violation of their human rights although defended by African males as cultural practice. In India, “the world’s largest democracy”, millions of dalits suffer from discrimination and exclusion because they do not belong to the caste system. Tens of millions of children are forced to work under harsh conditions, ruining their health and missing opportunities for education; bonded labours are toiling for rich landowners in rural areas; and girls and women are suppressed by customs which still grant all the economic power to men. There are good laws in India, which forbid all these practices, but the laws are not enforced in the absence of strong institutions which reach down to the village level. This is the situation in many countries. The existing legal frame work guarantees the protection of human rights as enshrined in the UN Declaration. But the reality is quite different.
All these are accounts of the daily violations of human rights which are going on in many countries and which through a long and dark shadow over the human rights. Most of those oppressed and stripped of their rights are poor people, those on the lowest range of the scale. Because they are poor, they find it almost impossible to assert their rights, which they may hold under the constitution and the laws of the country in which they live.
They are often illiterate and do not even know their rights, and when they do, they have no money to pay a lawyer and to go to court. For many of the more than 1 billion people living in abject poverty, human rights therefore do not exist in reality. They are far from being able to live a life in dignity as demanded by the UN Declaration.
Human rights, therefore, cannot be protected in isolation from economic and social factors. If we manage to reduce poverty, we will also help to improve the human rights situation. Development policy thus becomes a key to the problem without the enforcement of political human rights, social human rights cannot permanently be secured. On the other hand, the realization of political human rights depends to a large extent on favourable economic, social and cultural conditions.
Human rights, when denied to people, can be a source of internal or external conflict – just think of the millions of refugees who had to leave their homes due to ethnic and religious strife. The world therefore be a safer place if full human rights were granted to all individuals in the world as proclaimed in the UN Declaration fifty years ago. Peace and progress would be the reward if we achieve this noble goal.
Indian Legislations Concerning Human Rights
Indian Parliament has passed number of Statutes for protecting the human rights among those important are; The Human Rights Protection Act 1993, The national Commission for Backward Classes Act 1993, he National Commission for Women Act 1990, the National Commission for Minority Act, the national Commission for Children Act, the national Commission for Scheduled Caste Act, the national Commission for scheduled Tribes Act and the Consumer Protection Act 1986. The minimum Wages Act 1948, the Equal Remuneration Act 1976, the Maternity Benefit Act 1961, the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act 1961, The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 etc to mention a few.
The parliament of India for the purpose of constituting a National Commission for human Rights passed the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. This Act provided for the establishment of National Commission for Human Rights at the National level, State Human Rights Commissions in States and Human Rights Courts for better protection of human rights. Under this Act the duties
of these Commissions are to inquire in to the complaints of human rights violations either su-moto or on a complaint filed by victim or his relative or friend or NGO’s and there after report to the concerned authorities to take appropriate decision.
The parliament of India for constituting a National Commission for Backward Classes other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes passed the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993. According to Sec. 3 of this Act the Central Govt. constituted the National Commission for Backward Classes for protecting the human rights of backward classes.
The parliament of India for the purpose of constituting a National Commission for Women passed the National Commission for Women Act, 199. According to Sec. 3 of this Act the Central Govt. constituted the National Commission for Women for protecting the human rights of women and thereby safeguards the interests of women.
Procedure for Filing a Complaint before Human Rights Commissions and Courts:
The protection of human Rights Act was enacted in 1993 to provide for the constitution of the NHRC, states Human Rights Commissions and the human Rights Courts in districts with the object of ‘better protection of human rights’.
The most important function of NHRC is to inquire/investigate the complaints of human rights violations. While sec13 deals with powers relating to inquiries, Sec14 deals with investigation. All complaints in whatever form received by the Commission are registered and assigned a number and placed for admission as per the special or general directions of the Chairperson before a Single Member Bench constituted for the purpose, not later than one week of receipt thereof. If the Single-Member Bench dealing with the case, either for admission or for final disposal, having regard to the importance of the issues involved is of the opinion that the case should be heard by a Bench of not less than two Members, he/she may refer the case to a Bench of two members. On receipt of reference, the case shall be assigned to a bench of two or more members, as may be constituted by the Chairperson. The Commission may in its discretion, accept telegraphic complaints conveyed through Fax. No fee is chargeable on complaints.
The Commission does not consider all the complaints received by it. Ordinarily, the complaints which fall under the categories listed in Regulation No.8 Para 1 of the Regulations are
not entertained by the Commission. Under the above Regulation, the Commission does not entertain cases (a) in regard to events which happened more than one year before making the complaints. This ban on the powers of the Commission was interpreted by the Commission differently by invoking the principle of continuing wrong and recurring cause of action. The Supreme Court in N.C. Dhoundial v. Union of India and others, did not accept this view observing that if the above view is accepted it would make Section 36(2) a dead letter. The court held that it is a jurisdictional bar and there was no provision in the Act to extend the said period of limitation. The Commission does not have unlimited jurisdiction nor does it exercise plenary power in derogation of the statutory limitations. The Commission which is the creature of a Statute, is bound by its provisions. The Court further held that the discretion reserved to the Commission under Regulation 8(1)(a) of the Procedural Regulations framed by the Commission may be invoked in extraordinary circumstances. (b) with regard to matters which are sub-judice; (c) which are vague, anonymous or pseudonymous; (d) which are of frivolous nature; or (e) those which are outside the purview of the commission.
The Commission has a power to dismiss a complaint in limine. Upon admission of a complaint, the Chairperson/Commission shall direct whether the matter shall be set down for inquiry by it or should be investigated into. On every complaint on which a decision is taken by the Chairperson/Commission to either hold an enquiry or investigation, the secretariat shall call for reports/comments from the concerned government/authority giving the latter a reasonable time thereof. On receipt of the comments of the concerned authority, a detailed note on the merits of the case is prepared for consideration of the Commission. The directions and recommendations of the Commission are communicated to the concerned Government/authority and the petitioner as provided for in Sections 18 and 19 of the Act. In last few years large number of complaints filed and number of complaints are pending. Therefore with a view to expedite the disposal of complaints, the regulations were amended empowering a single member to deal with the complaints.
The NHRC investigates the complaints on reports of serious violations of human rights. Sec. 14 of the Act lays down that the Commission may for the purpose of conducting any investigation pertaining to the inquiry; utilize the services of any officer or investigation agency of the Central Government or any State Government with the concurrence of the Central Government or the State Government. The Act does not provide for the investigation team of the Commission of its own. However, regulation No. 18 lays down that the Commission shall have its own team of investigation to be headed by a person not below the rank of a Director General of Police, two Superintendents of Police, six Deputy Superintendents of Police and 24 Inspectors of Police and such other categories of officers as the commission from time to time decides. The Commission may in any given case appoint an appropriate number of outsiders to be associated with the investigation either as investigators or observers.
The Commission is empowered to take the following steps during or upon the completion of an inquiry;
The Commission may recommend to the concerned Government or authority: (i) to make payment of compensation or damages to the complainant or to the victim or the members of his family as the Commission may consider fit; (ii) to initiate proceedings for prosecution or such other suitable action as the commission may deem fit against the concerned person; (iii) to take further action as it may think fit where the inquiry disclose the commission of violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of violation of human rights or abatement thereof by a public servant.
The Commission may approach the Supreme Court or the high Court concerned for such directions or orders or writs as that Court may deem necessary.
The Commission may recommend to the concerned Government or authority at any stage of the inquiry for the grant of such interim relief to the victim or the members of the family.
The Commission may provide a copy of the inquiry report to the petitioner or his representatives.
The commission shall send a copy of its inquiry report together with its recommendations to the concerned Government or authority. The concerned Government or authority shall, within a period of one month, forward its comment on the report, including the action taken or proposed to be taken, to the Commission. The Commission shall publish its inquiry report together with the
comments of the concerned Government or authority, if any and the action taken or proposed to be taken by the concerned government or authority on the recommendations of the commission. Annual Reports of the NHRC are submitted to the central Government.
Procedure for filing a complaint before State Human Rights Commission:
The Act also provided under Chapter V for the setting up of the State human Rights Commission in States consisting of Chairperson who has been a Chief Justice of a High Court; one member who is or has been, a District Judge in that State and two members to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of practical experience in matters relating to human rights.
The State HR Commission is empowered to perform all those functions which have been entrusted to National Human Rights Commission. However Para C of Section 29 excludes the study of treaties and other international instruments on human rights from the purview of SHRC as the study of such treaties and the eligibility to make recommendations for their effective implementation has been made as the exclusive domain of the NHRC. The state Commission may inquire into violations of human rights only in respect of matters related to any of the matters enumerated in List II and III in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. Section 36(1) of the Act, however states that the National Human Rights Commission shall not enquire into any matter which is pending before the State Commission or any other Statutory Commission duly constituted under any law in force. It implies that the act gives priority to the State Commission dealing with a problem if the matter is filed before it on the National Human Rights Commission.
Human Rights Courts:
Chapter VI of the Act comprising Sections 30 and 31 makes the provisions relating to the creation of Human Rights Courts in each district. A question arises as to what cases shall be decided by such Courts. Will these Courts decide the cases involving human rights violations which are referred to Supreme Court U/A 32 or the High Courts U/A 226 of the Constitution? The ambiguity exists as to the precise nature of the offences that should be tried in such Courts and other details regarding the conduct of their business in view of the fact that section 30 of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 does not lay down the jurisdiction and procedures to be followed by such Courts. Provisions relating to the creation of Human Rights Courts in Districts are therefore
inadequate and defective and require modification without which human Rights Courts at the district level, even formed, cannot function effectively.
New Trends Of Human Rights And Challenges
Intellectual Property Rights and Human Rights:
Intellectual property rights and human rights remained strangers for a long time. What was the reason for this isolation of human rights and intellectual property rights? WTO’s WIPO regime of Intellectual property rights seeks to balance the moral and economic rights of creators and inventors with the wider interests and needs of the society. At the same time this Intellectual Property Right’s Regime is violating the human rights citizens, consumers and indigenous people to some extent. To some extent intellectual property rights and human rights are having conflicts and to some extent they are co-existing. Intellectual property rights and human rights must learn to cohabit together.
The Intellectual Property Right’s Regime is violating the rights of the citizens, consumers and indigenous people to some extent. Intellectual property laws are violating the ‘right to food’ and ‘right to health’ of the citizens. By patenting of seeds, plants, food grains (Yellow bean patenting, Basmati rice patenting) and other biological substances the price of the food items is increasing day by day. So Intellectual Property Rights Regime violates the right to food – a human right- of every citizen. By patenting of medicinal drugs and treatment processes human right to life is violated. By patenting, every commodity is available at higher prices than it would have been available if it is not patented. So it is violating the rights of consumers to get the commodities at fair prices. In this way intellectual property laws are violating the human rights. By taking undue advantage of existing IPR laws multinational companies are patenting traditional knowledge of indigenous people. By this piracy, property rights of indigenous people are violated over their intellectual creations, culture and folklore. These are the main reasons for conflict between human rights and intellectual property rights regime. At the same time human rights and intellectual property rights are co-existing mutually. According to human rights, every person who created a new thing, substance or product by his intellectual efforts he is having property rights over that thing. He can sell or lease it to anyone.
This is recognized and allowed by the intellectual property rights regime. This is one instance where both intellectual property rights regime and human rights are co-existing. Right to development is a human right. WIPO’s regime of intellectual property rights seeks to balance the moral and economic rights of creators and inventors with the wider interests and needs of the society. When a person invents a new thing, machinery or product he is going to patent it to get monetary rewards. As the inventors are allowed to get monetary rewards, more and more inventions will takes place and the society will develop in a short time. Thus intellectual property rights regime allows fulfilling the human right to development.
According to Paul Torremans traditionally there are two dominant views about ‘cohabitation’, of intellectual property and human rights namely a conflict view, which emphasizes the negative impacts of intellectual property on rights such as freedom of expression or the right to health and security, and a compatibility model, which emphasizes that both sets of rights strive towards the same fundamental equilibrium.
Right to development:
The human rights discourse and the development discourse emerged simultaneously after the Second World War, there was little in common between the two. The adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the declaration on the Right to Development in 1986 was the culmination of a long process of re-establishing the unity of human rights.
Article 1, paragraph 1 of the RTD Declaration states, “the right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized”.
This definition establishes RTD as a ‘human right’ that is inalienable, i.e., it cannot be bargained away. It also establishes the unity of rights by talking of development in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized. It further declared the entitlement of all persons and peoples to participate in as well as to enjoy the process of development.
Although the word ‘process’ is not mentioned in Article 1, paragraph 1, the definition of development as a process is derivable from the preamble to the RTD Declaration, which defines development as a ‘comprehensive economic, social, cultural, and political process, which aims at the constant improvement of the well being of the entire population and of all individuals, on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of benefits resulting therefrom’. As per this specification, a situation where there is a sharp increase in GDP or rapid industrialization or an impressive expansion of exports with a large increase in capital inflows does not in itself signify development. If these outcomes are not accompanied with an improvement of the well being of people, if people do not meaningfully participate in the process or if the distribution of benefits is iniquitous and unfair, they will not be regarded as development.
The RTD approach focuses not only on the ends of development but also on the means of development. The goals and outcomes of development as the realization of rights are the ends. The process by which such goals are actually achieved, in a progressive manner, consists also of the ‘means’ of programmes and policies and instrumental changes needed for realizing the rights.
RTD is the right to a process of development where all human rights – Civil and Political rights and Economic, Social and Cultural rights – are realized.
The realization of RTD has to proceed step by step, in tandem with the changing world economy and the strength of the human rights movement. Since all rights and corresponding freedoms cannot be realized immediately and simultaneously, it might be useful to concentrate initially on a few areas that may be regarded as basic to all other rights. These may also be taken as the minimum indicators of RTD that have to be satisfied and that would claim priority in the use of the States’ financial and administrative resources.
Poverty is the most abject violation of human rights, denying as it does practically all the freedoms to the people affected. The eradication of poverty would, therefore, be a first step towards the ‘progressive realization’ of the right to development. Countries must adopt their own programmes for achieving rights based economic growth and eradicating poverty in a sequential manner within a specific target period as a method of realizing RTD.
Unlike the simple ‘trickle-down approach’ that views poverty reduction in terms of increased GDP, the RTD framework addresses poverty in the light of equity and justice. If the poor
have to be empowered through development policy, the structure of the production has to be adjusted. The development policy must focus on the poorest regions and the most vulnerable groups. A social protection system must guarantee a minimum level of income for all concerned. Though the objective of growth is important, if a trade of between growth and equity (or other human rights standards) becomes inevitable, a rate of growth less than the feasible maximum will have to be accepted in order to satisfy the concern for equity and human rights.
Besides the income dimension, poverty has also a capability dimension, signifying an unacceptable level of growth deprivation of well being, a level that a civilized society considers incompatible with human dignity. The capability dimension of poverty has a direct bearing on the income dimension since a lack of capability prevents people from having the capacity to earn more and rise above the poverty line. The provision of food, primary health care and primary education in a rights based manner is the most effective method of alleviating capability poverty and of making any programme for the eradication of income poverty sustainable.
Human Rights and Administration of Criminal Justice:
There exists a reciprocal relationship between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the guiding principles of criminal justice administration. This relationship underlines the fact that effective employment of human rights is a decisive factor in the removal of conditions promoting criminal behavior, as well as, for positive effects on the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders – the central pursuit of criminal justice administration. This substantive relationship between the protection of human rights on the one hand and the prevention of crime and treatment of the offender on the other, has been increasingly recognized important in the organizational and procedural arrangement with the United Nations.
The human rights standards of the United Nations that are most directly relevant to criminal justice administration find echo in number of international instruments. Majority of the international instruments make provisions for the following:
The right of equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals;
The rights concerning the arrest and detention pending trial and without trial;
The right of arrested person in connection with trial in court;
The rights of convicted persons against degrading treatment or punishment;
The rights of all detainees to be protected against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
The protection of community against crime;
The standards of conduct for judges, lawyers, the police and other persons in law enforcement process; and
The principles of non-discrimination in matters pertaining to administration of justice.
Articles 14, 20, 21 and 22 provide number of safeguards to arrested detained and convicted persons.
Successory of National Human Rights Commission:
The Protection of Human Rights Act was enacted in 1993 to provide for the constitution of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the State Human Rights Commissions and Human Rights Courts in districts with a specific purpose i.e., for ‘better protection of Human Rights’. A question arises: has the NHRC been able to protect human rights, or to say, has it achieved the purpose for which it was created? No doubt, the NHRC has made an enquiry into thousands of complaints of the violations of human rights; it has also invested a number of serious cases of human rights violations, and it has submitted reports to the Government wherein it has made a number of recommendations suggesting measures to be taken to curb the human rights violations, but the Commission has been least effective to protect human rights. It is so because the Commission is simply an investigative and recommendatory body. After making enquiry, it recommends to the appropriate authorities to take action against the person who has violated the human rights or it may recommend to the Government or to the appropriate authorities to provide interim relief to the victim of the human rights violations. The above makes it clear that the Commission does not have powers of prosecution. The National Human Rights Commission therefore does not have teeth. It does not provide any remedy other than what has already been provided under the Constitution by way of fundamental rights. The only benefit which the victim gets is that after the investigation by the Commission, if it is established that the violation of human rights has taken place, it can recommend to the Courts to initiate proceedings.
The above method provides relief to the victim or to the activist in the sense that in such cases they do not require the intervention of the courts to initiate investigation. Further, the Courts are more likely to look seriously at cases sent by the Commission in comparison to victim or activist approaching directly. The above process does not provide any extra benefit to the victim of the violation of the human rights. Further, the inquiry made by the Commission is not always impartial in view of the fact that the Commission is not equipped with an independent investigative agency. Its own investigative wing is not at all effective in size to make investigations of numerous cases of human rights violations.
Even after the amendment of the Protection of human Rights Act 1993 the protection of human rights is not likely to be improved. If the denial of human rights are analyzed, one would find that the complex political, economic, social, psychological and moral factors are responsible to a large extent. The factors along with many other deep rooted customs and superstitions may be regarded as fundamental causes for the denial of human rights. Therefore, the first and the primary task in furthering the human rights is the study of real situations, practical problems and actual obstacles.
In India the full realization of human rights is a distant dream. It cannot be easily or quickly achieved. Although recent years have seen remarkable efforts of the Government to promote human rights like many other developing countries, much has to be done for the better protection of human rights. Struggle for human rights must continue with greater vigour. Although other social and economic problems like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, population growth, and law and order have surpassed the importance due to human rights, all efforts are required to be made to make the people aware of their rights. The strong will and determination for the promotion of human dignity and worth will certainly make the human rights movement a great success.
No doubt the debate between the WTO and WIPO regarding human rights is contentious. Trade and intellectual property negotiators should encourage human rights influence over these bodies instead of discouraging. Giving greater opportunities for considering intellectual property issues from human rights perspective will enhance the morale of national and international law makers and NGOs. Consideration of intellectual property issues from human rights perspective will lead to integration of legal rules concerning both the subject matters. That integration will further allow national and international lawmakers and NGOs to consider the most urgent need of defining the human rights and intellectual property coexistence with coherent, consistent, and balanced legal norms that enhance both individual rights and global economic welfare.
It is true that no national institution or human rights commission, howsoever effective it might be, can provide food, shelter, clothing, education and health facilities to the wanting millions. It is the duty of the Government to provide these basic rights which are essential for the promotion of human dignity. What the Commission required to do is to develop a culture of human rights. A culture of human rights can be achieved by making people aware of their rights. This can be done by a variety of means which include;
to ensure access to free primary education for all children, boys and girls without discrimination, about what human rights are;
to organize and facilitate training activities, including courses or seminars on international domestic law, as well as on their international human rights obligations for prosecutors, members of the judiciary and other public officials;
to strengthen the human rights training and awareness-raising activities designed for personnel of the armed forces, para-military forces and administrative officers;
to ensure initial training and during service from time to time to the police and jail authorities to improve their quality as protection of human rights depends much upon their awareness;
to ensure that the human rights education being a distinct subject of study is made compulsory in the pre-university and the graduate courses of the universities.