SHRCs may focus on climate change, environment degradation issues: NHRC chief

New Delhi, February 17 (PTI): NHRC chairperson justice (retired) Arun Kumar Mishra on Thursday said state human rights bodies may intervene locally in issues such as climate change and environment degradation that pose a threat to people's right to life.

He said this during a meeting of the 'Common Programme Committee' of the National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commissions or SHRCs, the NHRC said in a statement.

Mishra said strengthening of SHRCs in terms of manpower, financial and infrastructure resources is necessary and requested all SHRCs to specifically mention their issues so that the NHRC may take it up with the state governments concerned.

There are several areas concerning human rights wherein an SHRC may intervene locally. These include issues of environment degradation posing a threat to people's right to life, the NHRC chief said.

He said water, soil and river pollution and deforestation are a matter of concern for sustainable development.

The SHRCs may highlight such issues and take up with the local authorities for corrective measures to address the challenges related to climate change, right from the grassroots to help evolve, construct and strengthen a nationwide movement, the NHRC chief said.

The Common Programme Committee was constituted in the last meeting of the NHRC-SHRCs on October 13, 2021 with the aim to develop a common action programme to work in synergy for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country, the rights panel said.

Several suggestions, including creation of a mental health wing in prisons and correctional homes, starting a human rights app by all the commissions as already put in place by some, boarding HRCNet portal of the NHRC by all the SHRCs to reduce duplication of complaints and fast-tracking and processing thereof, were made in the meeting.

Highlighting the importance of such dialogues, the NHRC chairperson said all the suggestions will be further fine-tuned to finalise a common action plan for the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the country.

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Source: PTI