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India must lead to make South Asia human rights commission: Justice Ganguly

Ganguly (left) calls for SAARC HRC
Ganguly (left) calls for SAARC HRC

Justice AK Ganguly said that a South Asian human rights commission should be created with India taking the lead, in his keynote speech at the OP Jindal Global University workshop on knowledge sharing on sub-regional human rights mechanisms.

Ganguly said that India should take initiatives to forge a SAARC convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, adding that “the necessary safeguards for the betterment of individual nations and that of the SAARC forum be incorporated in the permeating articles, unilateral, bilateral and multilateral agreements among the constituents, protocols” without prejudice to our growth and for that of the cohesive nations.

He noted: “A positive and a more practical approach for India would be to persuade and urge SAARC for the setting up of a convention and a Court exclusively dealing with human rights issues in the SAARC countries. The proposed South Asian Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) would go a long way.”

India had the responsibility because it is the largest and most populated of the SAARC nations and therefore, the most affected by human rights violations, he said.

OP Jindal Global University vice chancellor professor Raj Kumar said: “After the development of sub-regional human rights mechanism in the ASEAN region, South Asia is the only region in the world which does not have a regional human rights machinery. Human rights ought to become the focal point of promoting shared valued in South Asia.

“The establishment of a South Asian Human Rights Commission will help countries in South Asia develop stronger legal and institutional mechanisms for protecting and promotion human rights which forms the core responsibilities of all countries in South Asia.”

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