SICHREM condemns the move by the Central Government to launch The Central Monitoring System and demands its withdrawal
The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) strongly condemns, the New Central Monitoring System (CMS), a see–all surveillance programme launched by the Central Government. It is a blatant attack on the right to life which is enshrined as a fundamental right in the Constitution and right to privacy is an integral part of right to life.
The right to privacy is guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the United Nations adopted in the year 1948 10 December and to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which India is a state party in the year 1975. Article 17 of the ICCPR provides that, “(1) no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation; (2) everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”
The term “correspondence” has been broadly recognized to cover all forms of communication, including via the Internet. The right to private correspondence thus gives rise to a comprehensive obligation on the part of the government to ensure that text messages, emails, and other forms of electronic communication are actually delivered to the desired recipient without arbitrary or unlawful interference or inspection by the government or by third parties.
The proposed manner of “snooping” by the Central Government is a direct attack on the constitutional rights of the citizens. In order to uphold its democratic principles and to prevent the formation of an authoritarian image, India needs to be transparent about who will be authorised to collect data, what data will be collected, how it will be used and such details.
The new proposed CMS system will be a violation of article 19(1) of the constitution which guarantees the freedom of speech and expression. There is also a threat that in the name of “society welfare”, this new system might actually be misused by public authorities.
While SICHREM firmly condemns any sort of violence by non-state actors as well as state actors, but in the name of curbing and preventing attacks and violence there are other measures that the government needs to take and SICHREM acknowledges the constitutional duty and responsibility cast on the Governments to protect the life of all people it equally stresses that whatever be the situation, the state must act within the confines of constitution.
SICHREM asserts that any counter strategies devised by the Government should adhere strictly to the rule of law, constitution and specific standards and obligations of international human rights law.
SICHREM demands from the government that they need to keep all the above constitutional, fundamental human rights and principles of international law in mind while laws are being brought, which if not followed will be a blatant violation of all basic democratic principles.
The CMS is created without the parliament’s approval too, SICHREM demands that the government convene a full public debate about the intended use of the system before proceeding.
SICHREM joins in appeal with all other democratic and rights loving citizens for the immediate withdrawal of The Central Monitoring System.
A discussion held by the Alternative Law Forum will Be held this Friday, 16th July.
Venue: ALF (122/4 Infantry Road, opposite Infantry Wedding Hall)
The discussion will focus on the topic “Feminist Horizons on Questions of Sexual Violence and Impunity in India”. There will be a talk by Delhi based historian, democratic rights activist and women’s rights activist, Professor Uma Chakravarty.
Professor Chakravarty will talk about both formal and informal mechanisms that allow for impunity, including obstructions in the legal system. She will touch upon aspects of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, draft Communal Violence Bill and the proposed Sexual Assault Bill. The talk will be followed by a discussion.
The importance of Human Rights Education became evident on 10th December 2004 when the United Nations’ General Assembly proclaimed the World Programme for Human Rights Education to advance the implementation of Human Rights Education in all sectors.
With this UN goal in mind SICHREM in collaboration with the Institute of Human Rights Education (IHRE) have had a Human Rights Education programme in Kerela schools for the past 5 years. What started as a pilot project in 55 schools is now extended to over 200 schools in Kerela. It covers a total number of 27,842 students, and there are 284 trained teachers involved.
The NHRC have recognised the need to train teachers in understanding human rights issues and they have drafted a module for teacher training. There is, however, a need to contextualise teacher training in Kerela so as to incorporate a Kerela specific socio-economic and political context.
It is with this in mind that SICHREM along with the Department of Law of Kerela University and IHRE have organised a 2-day consultation.
Date: 15th and 16th of July 2010 – The programme will begin at 10:00am on 15th July 2010.
Venue: Hotel Chaitram, Thiruvananthapuram.
To read about the objectives of the consultation: Invitation for State level Consultation for Drafting TTM on HRE on 15th July 2010 at TVM
Schedule for the 2 day consultation State level consultation Programme Schedule
Training Course on “Using International Mechanisms for Human Rights – Scope and limitations for Indian NGO’s”.June 25, 2010
A training course on “Using International Mechanisms for Human Rights-Scope and Limitation for Indian NGO’s” will be held in Bangalore on August 6 and 7.
The course will provide an overview and introduction to the UN human rights system. It will introduce the core human rights standards and discuss their universality.
The course is designed to provide participants with the necessary skills to understand the UN human rights system and its standards, institutions and mechanisms. We will also explore its limitations and in particular its limitations with regards to Indian NGO’s.
This will provide an invaluable opportunity for those with an interest in human rights and the UN to learn more.
To apply fill in the for attached:Application form
SICHREM would like to draw your attention to the 10 year aniversary of the Alternative Law Forum (ALF). The ALF was created to engage in an alternative practice of law and since its inception has grown to cover a range of activities. Currentlt the ALF integrates alternative lawyering with inter-disciplinary research, alternative dispute resolution, pedagogic interventions and more generally sustains legal interventions in various social issues.
To mark the anniversary the ALF are hosting a discussion entitled: Courage, Craft and Contention: Human Rights and the Judicial Imagination.
It will take place on June 12 at, 5pm, at the United Theological College, 63 Millers Road, Benson Town. The speakers will be:
C.J. Ajit Prakash Shah- his decisions during his tenure as judge of the Bombay High Court , Chief Justice of Chennai and Delhi High Court furthered the cause of minorities and discriminated against groups considerably.
Dr. Upendra Baxi- is the Emeritus Professor of Law in Development, University of Warwick. He was the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University (1990-94) and taught at many universities around the world.Baxi has combined the role of a human rights activist, legal academic as well as a teacher of law in his prolific career.