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India: Commission to focus on business and human rights

Graphic: Indian men working

National Human Rights Commission of India to focus on business and human rights issues amid rapid industrialisation and increased economic activity.

The National Human Rights Commission of India will grapple with issues such as displacement, unhealthy environment and violation of labour laws by businesses as it seeks to sharpen its focus amid rapid industrialisation and increased economic activity.

The Economic Times also reported that the Commission plans to critically examine government policies framed for promoting business to ensure that they are not in conflict with human rights.

This will be one of its major focus areas in the next five years, during which it will conduct studies and provide suggestions to relevant government agencies.

"Human rights violations due to business would be our prime focus in the coming years and the Commission has already started studying the subject," said Rajesh Kishore, the Commission's Secretary General.

The Commission has recently conducted a series of consultations with the industry representatives in this regard, he added.

The Commission has traditionally acted on a case-by-case basis, without a broad framework for dealing with business-related human rights violations.

Now it will examine the impact of government policies on public health, business practices, industrial processes and products, according to a report titled NHRC India on Business and Human Rights, submitted to the International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions, an international association of national human rights institutions across the world.

"NHRC would emphasis the state's duty to protect and ensure that those who are victimised have access to remedies," the report adds.

The Commission receives many complaints every year which show government officials often fail in their duty to protect people's rights.

Date: 4 September 2014

Source: The Economic Times

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  1. Indian men working - kenjisama, Flickr Creative Commons