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Importance of Human rights

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Governance


Source: PIB

Context: The Vice President stressed that human rights are quintessential for the flourishing of democracy and urged every citizen to work for the protection and promotion of the human rights of others at 30th Foundation Day celebration of the National Human Rights Commission

Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected in municipal and international law.

Promotion and protection of human rights:

  • Article 51 A (g): Every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment and have compassion for living creatures.
  • Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993(as amended in 2019) provided for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission at the Union level, which steers the State Human Rights Commission in States and Human Rights Courts.
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights: It is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It establishes the rights and freedoms of all members of the human race.
  • Human Rights Dayis celebrated on 10th December all around the world.
  • Freedom in the World 2021report released earlier this year downgraded India’s status from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free’.
  • Human Rights Council: The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights.
  • Amnesty International: An international organisation of volunteers who campaign for human rights.


Steps taken for the preservation of human rights:

  • Governance systemic reforms and affirmative initiatives: particularly in the Health and Economic sectors.
  • Inclusive growth: It is also antidotal to violation of human rights.
  • Banking network: 400 million getting into banking networks and over 200 million families benefiting out of free cooking gas connections.


Challenges to human rights:

  • Conflicting definition of what forms human rights:g. while the world has condemned Chinese persecution of the Uighur community for human rights violations, China sees it as anti-terror/ anti-separatist measures.
  • Silence: Silent and voiceless existence of the majority of our citizens
  • Corruption: Human rights get compromised in the face of corruption.


Importance of Human rights:

  • Flourishing of Democracy: Human rights are quintessential for flourishing democracy.
  • Democratic values: They are of no significance in the absence of human rights.
  • Dignity: Nurturing human rights is the nectar of dignity and dignified human existence.
  • Positive ecosystem: Flourishing human rights generates a positive ecosystem that facilitates optimal utilisation of human talent.
  • Development: It brings about holistic development.
  • Indian culture: The pro-human rights foundational spirit of Indian culture, is reflected in Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad.


National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC), is a statutory body established in 1993, under the provisions of The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. It is responsible for the protection and promotion of “rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants”.


  • The chairperson is  retired chief justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • They are appointed by the President on the recommendations of a six-member committee consisting of:
  • Prime Minister (head), Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses of Parliament and Union Home Minister.

Term and removal:

  • They hold office for a term of three years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The President can remove them from office under specific circumstances.

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Q. Critically examine the roles and responsibilities of the National Human Rights Commission. (10M)