NHRC workshop on National Inquiries concludes

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New Delhi Nov 2 (UNI) The Sub-Regional Workshop on National Inquiries hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of India concluded here last evening.

Organised by the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions in collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, University of Lund, Sweden, the four-day workshop aimed to provide the representatives with a step-by-step understanding of the process of conducting National Inquiries.

In his concluding remarks, Chairperson, NHRC Justice S Rajendra Babu, highlighted that no one could refuse the findings of National Inquiries which were based on sound methodology, proper research, participation of senior authorities in the government at Central, regional and local level as well as the general public, civil society organisations and media.

He said public consultation was one of the tools employed to improve transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the policy.

The Chairperson said consultations would improve the quality of policy programmes, compliance thereof and reduce enforcement costs. He stressed that such consultations increase information available to the government on which policy decisions were based. He said National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) which act as bridge between the government and the civil society could identify a serious human rights issue, mobilise stakeholders, bring them on common platform and identify systemic gaps and make concrete recommendations there on.

He expressed happiness that the four-day workshop would enhance technical co-operation and assistance, sharing of information, exchange of best practices and networking of NHRIs in future.

Justice S Rajendra Babu said the Commission was willing to play the role of a facilitator either on behalf of the Asia Pacific Forum or on behalf of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights in this regard.

Prof Brian Burdekin, the lead trainer and facilitator of the workshop, said interaction between NHRC India and other NHRIs at the workshop would help to face the challenges of human rights violations.

He said when a country like India, with its diversity and complexity, was able to solve the problems of human rights violations then why not other countries learn from the experience of NHRC, India.

Prof Burdekin said India's experience would help in facing the challenges in South Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and also in Latin America.

The workshop covered a number of important topics like-National Inquiry on the Right to Food presented by NHRC India, National Inquiry on Human Rights and Mental illness presented by Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC), National Inquiry into Accessible Public Land Transport for People with Disabilities, presented by New Zealand Human Rights Commission, National Inquiry on Torture presented by National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, National Inquiry into Homeless Children presented by HREOC, examples of National Inquiries in other regions sharing the experiences and challenges from Africa and National Inquiry on the Right to Health presented by NHRC.

Representatives of NHRIs from Afghanistan, Maldives, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, RWI and APF besides the hosts NHRC attended the workshop.


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