NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the human rights protection Bill that is aimed at strengthening human rights institutions in the country, such as the National Human Rights Commission and the state human rights commissions.
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018, was cleared in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A statement from the government said that the Bill had been given approval for “better protection and promotion of human rights in the country”.
The Bill proposes enlarging the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission as well as the state human rights commissions. These amendments would “strengthen” the human rights institutions “for effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities”, the statement said. It also proposes incorporating a mechanism to look into cases of human rights violation in Union Territories, to amend the term of office of the chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRCs to bring them in consonance with the terms of the chairpersons and members of other commissions.
The salient features of the proposed amendments include making the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights a deemed member of the NHRC, and adding a woman member in the composition of the commission.The statement said that the amended Act would be in line with agreed global standards and benchmarks towards ensuring rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual in the country. The amendment to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 will make the NHRC and state human rights commissions more compliant with the Paris Principle concerning their autonomy.
Enlarging the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission as well as the state human rights commissions.
Making National Commission for Protection of Child Rights a deemed member of NHRC