(i) Definition of Human Rights:
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action focus on massive violations of human rights, especially genocide, ethnic, cleansing and systematic rape, on self-determination, referring for the first time to “a government representing the whole people belonging to a territory without distinction of any kind,” on the environmental needs of present and future generations.
(ii) Composition of the National Human Rights commission:
National Human Rights commic5ion was constituted in October 1993 under Human Rights Ordinance of 28th September, 1993 which was soon after enacted as the protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
The Act envisages that the commission shall consist of:
(a) A chairperson who has been a chief justice of the Supreme Court.
(b) One member who is or has been, a judge of the Supreme Court.
(c) One member who is or has been chief justice of a High Court.
(d) Two members to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of or practical experience in, matter relating to human rights.
(iii) Functions of the commission:
(a) Inquire, on its own initiative or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any persons on his behalf, into complaints at: (i) Violation of human rights or abetment thereof, or (2) negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant.
(b) Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court.
(c) Review the safeguards provided by or under the constitution of any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.
(iv) What suggestions have been made for amending the Act for making the role of the NHRC more effective?
In order to make the NHRC more effective and keeping in mind the country’s obligation under international conventions, the Government has been sending information and replies to specific questions received from various Rapporteur of the UN High Commission for Human Rights. Prompt replies sent to allegations of alleged human rights violations has strengthened the position of the Government and countered the biased propaganda launched by vested interest.