India: NHRCI Measures on Civil Society Space

In 2016, the National Human Rights Commission of India has responded to Resolution 32/31 published by the UN Human Rights Council by creating a focal point for human rights defenders (HRDs or defenders) and taking measures to strengthen the working environment of human rights defenders in India. The Human Rights Council’s resolution 32/31 of 2016 reminded states of their obligation to protection civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of all individuals, especially in relation to civil society.

The National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRCI) is an organisation created through the Protection of Human Rights Act in 1993. The commission has a broad mandate that includes inquiring into and contributing to addressing cases concerning the violations of human rights and provide recommendations for the implementation of international treaties and mechanisms for the protection of human rights.

In their comments concerning Resolution 32/31, the NHRCI set up a focal point for human rights defenders. This focal point is a person within the commission who is appointed specifically to treat complaints and cases concerning human rights defenders. Click here to see the current focal points of the commission.

NHRCI also proposed several measures to strengthen the working environment of human rights defenders in India. These include sending a strong message to the State not to victimize defenders, recommending prosecution and compensation, and displaying cases concerning defenders on their website (see here), covering human rights defenders in their annual report, organising a workshop on human rights defenders and providing recommendations based on this workshop, and other measures.

Find the original document here in English (OHCHR).