New Delhi: Addressing the Human Rights Day function of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as the chief guest today, Governor of Kerala P Sathasivam said human rights protection laws should be easy to implement. Sathasivam, former Chief Justice of India, felt there was a need to strengthen the current Protection of Human Rights (PHR) Act.
Sathasivam said that the “commission should consider approaching Parliament through the government to seek an amendment in the Protection of Human Rights Act to make its recommendation effective. It should be able to execute its recommendations.”
Activist and national convener of Safai Karmachari Andolan Bezwada Wilson also spoke at the event. He said the condition of sanitation workers was bad despite several awareness campaigns his organisation had run. Wilson has worked for the protection and dignity of safai karmacharis (cleaners) for over two decades. His battle against unsafe working conditions of these workers and societal prejudices towards them brought him international recognition. He got the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2016.
Chairperson of NHRC HL Dattu said his institution was committed to the vision of justice, equality, freedom for everyone regardless of their primordial loyalties and the ideals enshrined in the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the protection and promotion of human dignity and rights.
United Nations representative Rajiv Chandran conveyed a message from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, which read:
Upholding Human Rights is in the interest of all. Respect for Human Rights advances well-being for every individual, stability for every society, and harmony for our international world.
Prizes were given on this occasion to the winners of NHRC’s short films made on the subject. These included Black & White by Anuj SR from Kerala, which was awarded the first prize of Rs 1 lakh, Tumling Street by Rimbik Das won the second prize of Rs 75,000 and Ambrosia by Somnath Chakraborty, won third prize of Rs. 50, 000.
They were also given a certificate and a trophy each.