BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITEE: AN OVERVIEW

BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE “It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
Preamble to the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

its obligations under international law and treaties. One such legislation is the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, (the Act) which encourages explicitly under section 12 (i) the efforts of NGOs in the field of human rights. Barak Human Rights Protection Committee is such a non-profit organization as is envisaged under the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and contemplated in the Act. BHRPC is named after the river BARAK as it is based in its valley. In Article 3 of the constitution of BHRPC the area of operation is defined as “basically entire Barak Valley and if necessary beyond this area”. Objectives: The main objectives of BHRPC are (i) to promote and protect human rights and prevent their violations, (ii) to improve socio-economic situation for full realization of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights for all and (iii) to work for promotion and establishment of democracy, secularism and world peace as these are sine qua non for full realization of all human rights. Modus Operandi: As BHRPC believes in Democracy, Rule of Law, Peace and NonViolence all its activities are within the Indian and International legal frame work. Main activities include (i) research and studies, (ii) awareness generation campaign, (iii) monitoring and documentation of human rights violations, (iv) legal intervention and (v) emergency response and urgent appeals. Programmes: BHRPC works through some specialised Programmes. These are (i) Right to Justice Programme, (ii) Right to Information Programme,

Background: BHRPC believes that every human being has certain inherent rights due only to the fact that s/he is a human being. These rights are called human rights. In 1948 United Nations’ General Assembly proclaimed the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS (UDHR) as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. Most of the rights enshrined in UDHR have also been embodied and elaborated in a number of other binding international and regional treaties and instruments. The United Nations adopted the DECLARATION ON THE RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS AND ORGANS OF SOCIETY TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS (UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders) by its General Assembly resolution 53/144 of 9 December 1998 recognising and encouraging the efforts of NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) in promoting and protecting human rights. Fundamental human rights are also guaranteed in the Constitution of India and the Supreme Court and High Courts are made the custodians of these rights. There are other laws and mechanisms in India guaranteeing human rights enacted and constituted to fulfil

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), a Human Rights Organisation of the nature as is envisaged under section 12 (i) of the protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and registered under the Societies registration Act, 1860 vide No. RS/CA/243/B/61 of 2002-03 dated 1st October 2002 based at Silchar, Assam.

(iii) Gender Justice and Child Rights Programme, (iv) Right to Livelihood Programme, (v) Disaster Risk Management Programme, (vi) Health Rights Programme and (vii) Environmental Awareness and Protection Programme. Divisions: All functions are done by 7 divisions of the organisation. These are (i) Organisation and Administration Division, (ii) Education and Training Division, (iii) Monitoring and Documentation Division, (iv) Law and Legal Affairs Division, (v) Research and Study Division, (vi) Projects and Programmes Division and (vii) Information and Publication Division

of Human Rights, (ii) Provisions of the Legal Services Authority Act, 1988, (iii) Requirements of Arrest under D K Basu Case, (iv) NHRC Guidelines Regarding Arrest, (v) Dos and Don’ts regarding Solid Waste Management and (vi) The Supreme Court Judgment on Employment of Teachers on non-teaching duties and continues to distribute them free of cost among the public.

In the Days to Come: BHRPC will expand its activities and networking both horizontally and vertically by continuing formation of Auxiliary Groups and nomination of Local Monitors of Human Rights in or out of Barak Valley and entering into networking and partnership with other similar minded organisations and institutions in points of mutual agreement and interests in and out of the valley.

The organisation of BHRPC consists of (i) Auxiliary Body, (ii) Associates Body, (III) Advisory Body, (iv) Board of Patron, (v) General Body and (vi) Executive Body. Achievements: Past achievements of the organization include: 1. The term ‘human rights’ and its significance became more familiar to the people of the valley following many seminars, symposiums, public meetings, workshops, debates, interactive sessions, demonstrations, publications etc. conducted by the organization since its establishment. A drastic increase in recent days can be seen in the numbers of complaints regarding cases of violations filed by the victims and others with the organization, Assam Human Rights Commission and National Human Rights Commission which is indicative of greater awareness of the people. BHRPC received more than 150 complaints in the last year. 2. The organization has published folders and booklets containing Bengali translation (the local language) of (i) Universal Declaration

3. The organization maintains a 24 hours mobile helpline for the victims. A victim or anyone on his behalf can call at anytime The organization has undertaken a project of translation (in on +919435989997 or +919401134314 or can e-mai l to Bengali) and publication of the International Bill of Human Rights and the organization is going to launch its own website. Besides, bhrpc.net@gmail.com or bhrpcsilchar@yahoo.co.in . the organization is contemplating to start some other important 4. The organization has got the status of district nodal NGO in programmes for working more conveniently in the area of i) Labour Disaster Risk Management Programme from the district Rights, ii) Agricultural Awareness, iii) Right to Education, iv) Health Rights and v) Rights of Persons with Disabilities. administration in 2007. 5. The Assam State Legal Services Authority has accorded Barak Human Rights Protection Committee will continue to fight approval to “Workshop cum Counselling and Conciliation for rights, justice, peace and truth with resilience and dynamism. Centre” run by the organisation in 2007. Contact: Neharul Ahmed Mazumder 6. The organisation runs its WebPages at the URL: Manindra Shankar Gupta Chairperson Secretary General http://bhrpc.net.googlepages.com and its discussion group at +919401373964 (m), +919435989997 the URL: http://groups.google.com/group/bhrpc . +913842260482 (r) 7. The organization has undertaken a research project titled “Freedom from Torture and Violence: Compatibility of Indian Law and Practice with International Human Rights Standards (Focusing on The North East)”. Waliullah Ahmed Laskar, Liaison Officer, +919401134314 Office: Barak Human Rights Protection Committee Rongpur, Silchar-9, Cachar, Assam, India Email: bhrpc.net@gmail.com, bhrpcsilchar@yahoo.co.in

8. The organization publishes a yearly journal on human rights named ‘The Human Voice’ and a monthly e-news letter named Published by Bijaya Kar Shome, Director, Information and ‘RightsNews’. Publication Division from Rongpur, Silchar-9, Cachar, Assam.