Curious to know what does Human Rights Day mean and what is the significance of observing Human Rights Day? Why do people celebrate Human Rights Day across the world?
Curious to know what does Human Rights Day mean and what is the significance of observing Human Rights Day? Why do people celebrate Human Rights Day across the world? Presiding over a session to observe Human Rights Day on 10th December 2019, Justice RM Lodha, former Chief Justice of India and President, International Institute of Human Rights Society shared significant points about human dignity, the use of artificial intelligence in the administration of judicial functions and the problematic areas that impact the protection of human rights laws in India. Where does the dignity of an individual come from? Let’s find out! Speaking at the India International Centre in New Delhi on Tuesday evening, Justice R.M.Lodha stated, “Human dignity is the respect that a person needs to accord to another person including choice of food, religion, faith and all sorts of choices which keeps his personal autonomy intact. There are 4 pillars of human dignity – freedom, capacity to make individual choices, peaceful coexistence, cooperative labour. Without dignity, none of the protections of the various legal human rights mechanisms can have real meaning, which is why the concept of dignity holds a central place in the international human rights framework.”
Human Rights and Artificial Intelligence: Weighing the Pros and Cons
Justice R.M.Lodha added, “There is an interest in using artificial intelligence in the administration of justice. The idea is good and may help significantly in management of cases in the courts and to some extent, in discharging judicial functions. But like technological innovations, such use may have potential negative implications on human rights. Even helpful uses may turn out to be harmful. Since AI provides the capacity to process and analyse multiple data in real time, it may facilitate mass surveillance and assist the spread of disinformation. Thereby, the use of AI may create new forms of oppression and violation of human rights. It has thrown a new challenge to human rights as these AI models are designed to sort and filter, whether by ranking search visits or categorising people into buckets. This discrimination can interfere with human rights when it treats different groups of people differently. All pros and cons should be weighed carefully before use of AI in administration of justice.”
Human Rights Day 2019: How to ensure the protection of human rights?
“While we celebrate Human Rights Day, the fact of the matter is that we are struggling in the protection of human rights. Are we heading to a society of lawlessness? Has the rule of law run its course? What has happened to constitutional rights and procedural safeguards? How will human rights survive? It is essential that we work for fundamental actions in the nature of fair trial and the procedure of due process,” Justice R.M. Lodha explained.
On Human Rights Day 2019, these are indeed pertinent points.
Sharing his perspective on Human Rights Day, Justice R.M.Lodha highlighted in detail some of the key areas that require urgent improvement for the protection of human rights.
He further added, “We cannot expect our criminal justice system to improve when government spends 0.08 per cent of the GDP on the judiciary. Poor budgeting has led to capacity constraints in the judicial system. Then judicial vacancies are not filled in time. At any point of time, 30% to 40% vacancies in subordinate and high courts always remain. It is a sad state of affairs.”
Concluding his statements on Human Rights Day 2019, Justice R.M. Lodha summed up as follows, “The blame game should stop. Human Rights Day should not be a one day affair in a year but an everyday affair for everyone of us.”
Why do people celebrate Human Rights Day?
“I am happy to know that the International Human Rights Society, New Delhi, is celebrating the Human Rights Day on December 10, 2019. Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are protected as natural and legal rights. They are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone, irrespective of caste, creed, gender or religion. International Human Rights Day is celebrated every year to honour the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly,” Vice President Venkaiah Naidu stated in his message to the International Human Rights Society on the occasion.
The International Institute of Human Rights Society celebrates Human Rights Day on 10th December every year. Mr. Soli Sorabjee, Senior Advocate, is the Vice President of the International Institute of Human Rights Society and Mr. Pravin H. Parekh, Senior Advocate, is Secretary General.
This year, Dr. Justice D.Y.Chandrachud delivered the theme address, “Adding Nuance to the Human Rights Discourse.” Justice R.M. Lodha, former Chief Justice of India presided over the function. Mr. Pravin H. Parekh, Secretary General, International Institute of Human Rights Society wrapped up the occasion with his closing remarks on Human Rights Day.
The date – December 10 – was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s Adoption and proclamation on 10 December 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the United Nations.