In a recent speech at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) foundation day celebration in New Delhi, NHRC Chairperson and former Supreme Court judge, Justice Arun Mishra, expressed his concern over the role of social media, including platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and television debates in potentially contributing to human rights violations. He emphasized that these mediums have, on numerous occasions, been involved in incidents that harm the dignity and reputation of individuals, leading to human rights violations.
Justice Mishra pointed out that the declining quality of media discussions is alarming, and it is the collective responsibility of all parties involved to ensure that their influence on younger generations promotes civil discourse and meaningful dialogue.
Addressing the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ communities, Justice Mishra emphasized the need to adopt a proactive approach instead of a passive stance. He cited an advisory issued by the Commission to enhance welfare measures for transgender individuals. These measures include treating transgender children at par with unmarried daughters, granting them access to pensions and other benefits, permitting them to inherit agricultural land, and ensuring protection in education and employment.
Justice Mishra also highlighted the struggles of migrants, particularly with regard to internal displacement, access to education, and healthcare. Vulnerable segments of society, such as beggars, transgender individuals, sex workers, orphans, and trafficked minors, often have their human rights compromised. Justice Mishra urged authorities to prioritize providing Aadhaar cards to such individuals to ensure they can access various welfare schemes.
The issue of human trafficking, specifically the victimization of women and girls through different forms of trafficking and forced prostitution, was addressed. Justice Mishra stressed the importance of ensuring that all individuals, including illatom (homeless) children, are entitled to the same protection of rights and social dignity.
Furthermore, Justice Mishra underlined the significance of education in addressing inequalities, especially discriminatory education policies that lead to unequal enjoyment of other rights. He mentioned that the new education policy aims to tackle these longstanding issues within the Indian education system.
The increasing burden on students, often resulting in depression and mental health issues, was another point of concern highlighted by Justice Mishra. He urged a reevaluation of the educational system to encourage original thinking and invention and promote literature in various Indian languages, enriching Indian culture.