NVCO, law college observe International Human Rights Day
‘Stand Up for Human Rights’
Dimapur, Dec. 10 (EMN): Nagaland still has not constituted the State Human Rights Commission, which itself is a violation of Human Rights, says a consumer organisation. In fact, the policymakers give ‘more importance to Hornbill festival’ than on issues of Human Rights, the Nagaland Voluntary Consumer’s Organisation (NVCO) states.
The NVCO and the Kohima Law College jointly observed International Human Rights Day on December 10 in the state’s capital town Kohima. The NVCO issued a press release to the media on Tuesday informing about the event.
The president of the NVCO Kezhokhoto Savi was the guest speaker of the event, the updates stated. Savi said observing the Day is to bring the attention of the people of the world to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the common standard of achievement of rights for all people and all nations.
“This year the Human Rights Day is celebrating with the theme ‘Stand up for Human Rights,’ which is very much relevant to our country and our Naga society as well. Today marks the 71st anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human Rights are fundamental to our every existence without which we cannot live as human beings,” Savi said.
“To protect human rights is to ensure that people receive some degree of decent, human treatment.”
Here, the NVCO leader stated that the government of Nagaland is yet to constitute the State Human Rights Commission which itself amounts to serious Human Rights violation. Even today, the NVCO stated, the state government does not pay any attention to observe Human Rights Day “rather our politicians and bureaucrats gives more importance to Hornbill festival.”
The NVCO stated further that poverty, slavery, physical torture, destruction of property, killing, hunger, sex exploitation, forced labour, child labour; commercial sex exploitation, illiteracy etc are against Human Rights.
“As indigenous people of the land, Article 371A of the Constitution of India provides a special provision giving the Naga people rights to protect their own way of life, its land and resources. A major theme of the human rights discourse is the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act widely seen in the state as draconian,” Savi stated. The law comes into force in any part of India that is declared to be disturbed by the state.
The NVCO leaders talked also about the Right to life declared in the Constitution of India and guaranteed by Article 21: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”
Here, Savi stated that Article 21 is the heart of all other Fundamental Rights, without which all other fundamental rights are meaningless. Right to life includes Right to Live with human dignity, Right to Livelihood, Right to Economic Equality, Right to be Protected by the state when there is threat or danger to life; Right to get water, right to shelter etc., he said.
“Are the citizens of Nagaland literate enough on human rights and are they able to stand for their own rights and give due respect to the rights of others? We need to programme a vigorous defense and promotion of human rights,” Savi stated further, according to the press release.
The churches, educational institutions and colleges are to play an active role in promoting peace, justice and social transformation, Savi said. The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was a great Human Rights activist who strongly believed and practiced non-violence.
“One of the great American President Abraham Lincoln was a man who had sacrificed his life for the abolition of slavery. Nelson Mandela was one of the great symbols of human rights of our time whose life was committed to human dignity, equality, freedom and justice,” he said.
On International Human Rights Day, the NVCO honoured the great leaders who sacrificed their lives for Human Rights to build a world of all human right for all, the press release stated.
St John College
St John College in Dimapur also observed Human Rights Day on December 10 by conducting a training programme on Human Rights, updates stated. A press release that was received here stated that the training programme was partially sponsored by the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC).
In the morning session, Dr. Hitoka H. Sumi from the Dimapur Publishing House gave an introduction about Human Rights followed by a talk on Human Rights Institutions in India by Temjensoba, panel lawyer from the Dimapur District Legal Services, the updates stated.
‘Each highlighted a number of successes in the history of the NHRC and explained why they and others are so vital, but also raised the point that Nagaland is one of the few states not having a State Human Rights Commission,’ the updates stated.
Further, the 30 articles covered by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights were highlighted though seminar booklet given to all attendees, and through the showing of a short video.
The third session was led by Limasenla Longkumer from the Child Welfare Committee of Dimapur, who highlighted the rights of women and children.
Further, Dr. Watinaro Longkumer, of Psychology and Counselling at St. Joseph University in Dimapur, spoke about the rights of other vulnerable groups,’ drawing attention to groups other than women and children who are often forgotten, the press release stated.
The training programme had in attendance members of the faculty and around 125 students of St. John College, the press release stated adding that the program was informative.