Since 2010, the National Human Rights Commission of India has set up a Focal Point for Human Rights Defenders to deal with “complaints alleging harassment of human rights defenders by or at the instance of public authorities*. The Focal Point ensures that the complaints of HRDs are placed before the
Commission on priority, directions of the Commission in every case of alleged harassment of human rights defenders are complied with on priority and also conveyed to the concerned human right defender. The website of the Commission also publishes updates about the complaints of alleged harassment of human rights defenders and action taken on. A separate chapter on HRDs is also included in the Annual Report of the Commission which is submitted to the parliament and which details of cases relates to HRDs as well as recommendation or action are taken made by Commission.
The Commission believes that the HRDs should act in a peaceful manner and in consonance with the extant laws. In case they feel intimidated or violation of their human rights, they should approach the forums like NHRC, Courts etc. Mechanisms like Focal point on HRDs etc also act as a deterrent for the State functionaries in committing act of human rights violations” (see
In December 2018, in the Indian Parliament, the MP Shri A.P. Jithender Reddy introduced to the House of Peoples or Lok Sabha the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (Bill No. 222 of 2018) (pending update)

*See “NHRC of India response to questionnaire: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRD” (undated)

Updated: 02/2020

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