NEW DELHI: With debates and discussion over the sexual assault on minor aged girls reaching dinner tables across the country the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is embarking upon a unique initiative to start open forum discussions on issues concerning public.
The first such open forum program would be conducted on Tuesday, sexual misconduct with minor girls being the topic.
According to officials, the reason behind such move is to firstly as a human rights body it is the moral duty of the commission to provide a suitable platform for civil groups, nongovernmental groups and general public at large for discussion on issues that are of general public concern.
“The open forum program would be loosely based on similar programs conducted at various book festivals where an open forum on a certain topic goes on side by side the main event. Only in our case the open forum’s topic would be some issue that is on everybody’s mind at that time” said an NHRC official.
According to the NHRC even after changing the criminal law and which states death penalty for rapists below the age of 12, instances of such incidents has not reduced. The central government by an executive order brought in the changes, after nationwide uproar over gang rape of an eight year girl from a nomadic tribe in Kathua region of Jammu and Kashmir came to light last month.
The ‘open forum’ program is being started as a pilot project in Delhi at the NHRC’s office later on the platform would be expanded nationwide. This would also, we hope, would help in expanding the outreach of the NHRC and ensure wider participation from the common public, the official added.