The Human Rights Law Network defines rights to include civil and political rights as well as economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. These rights are universal and indivisible. With this in mind, HRLN’s Initiatives address a multitude of issues, ranging from women, children, Dalit and Adivasi rights, to the fundamental rights to food, water, health, housing and livelihood. We work with refugees, HIV positive persons, and people with disabilities. We addresses environmental concerns as well as concerns in criminal justice. We work towards establishing secularism and peace as essential components for any just, democratic society.
The Indian legal system has established a number of rights through judge-made law in India, in many cases through public interest litigation. An activist civil society simultaneously wages large-scale struggles against human rights violations. HRLN recognizes that while fundamental social change often comes from social movements, the legal system can play a critical supportive role in these struggles. Therefore, bridging the gap between social activism and the legal system, HRLN’s Initiatives engage both lawyers and social activists inside and outside the courtroom, to advance legal rights and ensure their implementation across the country.
Demonstrating the Indivisibility of Human Rights:
The Poor: Availability of 35 Kgs per month of good quality foodgrains to the below poverty line, destitute, and marginalized, at a subsidized rate. Potential impact: Approx. 150 million people.
Children: Proper operation of Integrated Child Development Centers. Impacted: 83 million children. Ensuring mid-day meals to children between 0-6 years. Potential impact: approximately 100 million children.
Women: Extension of the National Maternity Benefits Scheme (NMBS), providing payment of Rs. 500 for every poor pregnant woman to supplement nutrition. Potential impact: Approx. 20 million women.
Setting up 400,000 government sponsored child-care and mother-care centers for the implementation of a supplementary nutrition scheme for pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescent girls. Potential impact: Approx. 10 million women.
The Elderly and Disabled: Introducing all elderly and disabled people below the poverty line under the cash assistance programme and directing that all be entitled to AAY cards (providing them with access to the government’s food security schemes).
Dalits/ Adivasis: Preference given to Dalits, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the appointment of cooks and helpers. All households falling under category of Primitive Tribal Groups ensured Antodaya cards (entitling them to subsidized foodgrain). Potential impact: Approx. 90 million people.