Institute of Human Rights

The Institute of Human Rights is a special programme of Vigil India Movement for Human Rights Education and Training. The programme is designed to provide formal education, training and research opportunities to human rights activists, practitioners and academics from India and other countries. The Institute of Human Rights tries to establish links with national and international institutes, research centers and governmental and non-governmental organisations in India and abroad.

National Advisory Council was constituted in 1998 and Dr. Mathews George Chunakara served as the Honorary Director of the Institute. Justice Nittoor Srinivasa Rau was the first Chairperson of the Council. Prof. M. Basheer Hussain served as the Dean of the Institute of Human Rights. The Institute of Human Rights was formally inaugurated by Mr. Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India and former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission on July 12, 1998 in Bangalore.

The following are the aims and objectives of the Institute of Human Rights.:

To provide formal training in the field of human rights for activists and other interested persons, to help them undertake human rights training and education at the grass roots level in their respective places.

To contribute to the ongoing scholarly and general debate on the relevance of internationally guaranteed rights.

To enhance awareness of the universal concept, meaning and values of human rightsq To help educational institution and academic bodies to develop human rights education curriculum.

To co-operate with the National Human Rights Commission and other such bodies on human rights research and education and promote new methodologies and mechanisms to enhance human rights awareness at all levels of the society.

The first international training course was conducted from July 13th to July 23rd 1998. Forty participants from six Asian countries participated in the 11 day intensive training course designed to provide practical skills to human rights defenders of the developing countries.

Excerpts of some of the National Programmes:

A joint consultation on Human Rights and Police Reform was organized in association with Asian Human Rights Commission in April 1999 at Bangalore. Eminent police officers, lawyers and Human Rights activists from India including Justice Sri V.R. Krishna Iyer and Basil Fernando were able to interact with each other on this issue. 35 people participated in the programme.

Consultation on Socio-Economic Rights was organized in association with National Law School of India University in April 1999 at Bangalore. q Vigil India Movement together with Asian Human Rights Commission organized a seminar in February 2000 at Bangalore on “Ways the religious groups can promote the UN Convention against torture and other forms of inhuman degrading treatment or punishment”

National Consultation on the theme “Human Rights in the Face of Rising Communalism in India” was organized in August 2002 at Bangalore. More than 100 delegates attended the consultation from different parts of India.
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