'Review human rights records to assess devt'

SC former judge opens training on Women and human rights
Last Updated 19 January 2013, 19:22 IST

 Strongly propagating the need to respect human rights in the society, Supreme Court former judge and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) former member Justice Shivraj V Patil said the development of a nation should not be measured by the number of millionaires the country has produced, but it should be assessed by reviewing the human rights records.

He was delivering valedictory address at the NHRC sponsored one-day training programme on ‘Women and human rights’ organised by the Department of Political Science and Human Rights Education Cell at St Agnes College on Saturday.

Expressing concern over the violation of human rights with special reference to women and children, the former Justice said that human rights violation could be stopped in a collective effort where the civil society is ever vigilant.

The role of non-government organisations, efficient law enforcing agencies, proactive judiciary and a strong media with a urge to fight for human rights, too play an equal role in curbing the human rights violation cases to a large extent, he opined.

He pointed at the United Nations Organisation’s report of 1980, which states that 50 per cent of the world’s population comprises of women and 2/3 of the work hours are performed by women, but in contrary, 1/10 of the income and 1/100 of the property is shared by women. “Poverty and illiteracy are the major reasons for increasing human rights violation. However, an increasing number of educated girls in the country would considerably help to stop the human right violations in India,” he said.

Justice Patil also attributed the factors like social stigma attached to women, victim being victimised due to poor law enforcing bodies, lack of economic and social support for women, lengthy and expensive litigation procedures as the reasons for less number of reported human rights cases against women in India.

Dimensions of HR

Inaugurating the programme earlier on the day, Udupi-Chikmagalur MP Jayaprakash Hegde said that the concept of human rights should be seen in different dimensions. “When a man commits a heinous crime like the Delhi gang rape, should we see the incident from the perspective of the gravity of the crime committed on an innocent girl who is a victim of human right violation or should we still speak in favour of upholding human rights of the culprits,” he asked.

The MP felt the need to audio or video record the voices of complainants in all the cases while they give police statements, as several times the statements are later twisted for obvious reasons.

Efforts should be made to give value based education in schools and colleges which would also help to bring down human rights violation cases.

Responding to the recent statements made by various leaders claiming women as responsible for increased rape cases, Hegde said every person is at liberty to wear what one feels like wearing, but it should not be provocative.

(Published 19 January 2013, 19:22 IST)

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