Based in Gangtok, HRLN Sikkim Unit started in 2004 with a mission to use law against discrimination of poor and marginalised sections of society. We empower the poor with access to justice through pro bono or low cost legal aid and intervention. The unit works tirelessly on issues such as children, women, farmers, labourers, the displaced, HIV+ people and those who are victims of trafficking – a critical and common issue in this border state.
HRLN is only the independent organisation in the State unlike other NGOs in the State which work under the guidance of the government.
1. Women’s justice with focus on the rights of women from marginalized communities
2. Disability rights
3. HIV+ and Positive living rights
5. Right to food
6. Prisoner rights
• The Sikkim unit was able to secure relief in a case of sexual harassment of women with regard to Supreme Court guidelines for prohibition of sexual harassment of women in workplace made in the Vishakaha vs UOI. The Sikkim High Court had disposed the case believing the verbal assurances of the state lawyer. In a major step forward the Sikkim unit moved the Supreme Court which directed the state to publicize the prohibition of sexual harassment in the mass media so that public awareness of the provision of this law is increased.
• The Sikkim High Court directed the State Legal Service Authority to conduct the sensitisation programme on sexual harassment of women at workplace for the employees as well as for the ICC (Internal Complaint Committee)
• For the rights of children, a PIL was filed before the High Court of Sikkim praying for the proper implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000
• The unit has filed a PIL for implementation of National Rural Health Mission. This has resulted in the government providing free medicines to all in the state.
• The unit have been fighting a case against dams on River Teesta. The Sikkim High Court was not giving reliefs as desired by the villagers As such an appeal was made in the Supreme Court which has been admitted and the court has directed the state of Sikkim to response.
• That the unit is fighting for the Rights of married women in the state of Sikkim. That in Sikkim as per the old law if local women marry a non-local man then their rights in the property will be seized automatically which is unconstitutional as State Government has been depriving their basic right under article 21 of the Constitution, they are denied to choose a partner of their own choice, so unit is helping them to fight for the justice.
• Persons with Disability now get a reservation in the Government employment after Unit has filed PIL on this issues, economically poor individual have access to the justice till Supreme Court due to the HRLN.