Who We Are
The Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is collective of lawyers and social activists dedicated to the use of the legal system to advance human rights, struggle against violations, and ensure access to justice for all. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, HRLN started out in 1989 as a small group of concerned lawyers and social activists from tiny premises in Bombay. Today, the Human Rights Law Network has evolved into a nationwide network of more than 200 lawyers, paralegals, and social activists spread across 26 states/union territories. Our work has directly impacted millions of people across the country and has fundamentally influenced the legal discourse on human rights in India and the sub-continent.
[HRLN is a project of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and education organization]
What We Do
HRLN provides pro-bono legal services to those with little or no access to the justice system, conducts litigation in the public interest, engages in advocacy, runs helplines, conducts legal awareness programmes, sensitizes the judiciary, investigates violations and deploys crisis-intervention teams, plans People’s Tribunals, publishes 'know your rights' materials, participates in campaigns, and proposes solutions to some of India’s foremost social problems. Click here to learn more about our work.
Through its involvement in grassroots movements, HRLN seeks to inculcate a human rights based approach to the legal system in India. We believe that large scale struggles against human rights violations have to be waged by social and political movements, and that the legal system can play a significant supportive role in these struggles. Therefore, we work in solidarity with like-minded organizations and individuals, using the legal system to bring about social change, as well as campaigning to bring about wide-ranging reforms in the legal system itself.
HRLN works on bringing human rights law education in India into the mainstream by developing an understanding of human rights amongst students and young lawyers. We build alliances between the judiciary and rights based initiatives to sensitize the judicial system to a more inclusive understanding of human rights. We build close links between legal networks in India and human rights law groups abroad. All of our work reflects our belief that human rights are universal and indivisible, and that their realization is an immediate goal.
- To protect fundamental human rights, increase access to basic resources for marginalised communities, and eliminate discrimination.
- To create a justice delivery system that is accessible, accountable, transparent, efficient and affordable, and works for the underprivileged.
- To raise the level of pro bono legal expertise for the poor to make the work uniformly competent as well as compassionate.
- To equip through professional training a new generation of public interest lawyers and para-legals who are comfortable both in the world of law as well as in social movements, and who learn from the social movements to refine legal concepts and strategies.
- To work towards an increased awareness of rights as universal and indivisible, and their realization as an immediate goal.