Respect for human rights has always been one of the main concerns of every democratic society. It is universally recognized that democracy cannot survive without respect for human rights & sincere efforts to protect and promote them.

In india the concept of human rights stretches back to the age of the Vedas, the puranas & the various epics.

Some of the human rights which have been proclaimed in the international covenants and have been specifically enumerated in Indian constitution are:

Right to life & liberty, Right to equality, Freedom of expression, movements, freedom to carry on any occupation, trade, right to education, rights livelihood, right to equal pay for equal work.

Some of the human rights have not been specifically enumerated but they have been recognized by the higher judiciary in india as part of the existing fundamental rights viz right to legal aid, right to speedy trial, right to shelter, right to prisoners to be treated with humanity, right to compensation for violation of human rights,etc.


India is a party to many conventions. Parliament enacted laws for fulfill their international commitments –

  • Protection of civil rights act 1955
  • Women laws:
  • The dowry prohibition act, 1961
  • The maternity benefit act, 1961
  • National commission for women act, 1990
  • Child laws:
  • Child labour protection act
  • Juvenile justice care and protection of children act
  • Prohibition of child marriage act
  • Other laws

Sc/St act, 1989

Minimum wages act

Workmen compensation act

Mental health act

In VISHAKA VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN, 1999 case, the apex court observed- “gender equality includes protection from sexual harassment & right to work with dignity, which is universally basic right. In the absence of suitable domestic legislation in this sphere international convention. So far as they are consistent with the constitutional spirit, can be relied on viz convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, article 11 and article 22-24.

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