Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is a collective of lawyers and social activists dedicated to using the legal system to advance human rights in India and the sub-continent. HRLN collaborates with human rights groups and grassroots development and social movements to enforce the rights of poor, marginalized people. It challenges oppression, exploitation and discrimination against any group or individual, whether on the grounds of caste, gender, disability, age, religion, language, ethnic group, sexual orientation or health, economic or social status. The HRLN provides pro bono legal services, conducts public interest litigation, engages in advocacy, conducts legal awareness programmes, investigates violations, publishes ‘Know Your Rights’ materials and participates in campaigns.
HRLN provides quality legal assistance and works to redress the grievance, rather than dispensing the bare requirements of law.
• To protect fundamental human rights, increase access to basic resources for marginalized communities and eliminate discrimination.
• To create a justice delivery system that is accessible, accountable, transparent, efficient and affordable, and works for the underprivileged.
• To raise the level of pro bono legal expertise for the poor to make the work uniformly competent as well as compassionate.
• To equip, through professional training, a new generation of public interest lawyers and paralegals who are comfortable in both the world of law and social movements, and who can learn from social movements in order to refine legal concepts and strategies.
• To work towards an increased awareness that rights are universal and indivisible, and their realization as an immediate goal.
Although India has a large number of laws to protect and promote the rights of children, children’s concerns are viewed primarily as a welfare issue, rather a rights issue. By developing a legal, rights-based approach for children, the Child Rights Initiative combats the violation of children’s rights and increases their ability to get access to the legal system.
The CRI’s major activity is to defend Public Interest Cases on issues affecting children in the Supreme Court of India and various other High Courts. The CRI provides pro bono legal services to children in conflict with the law and those who need care and protection in cases referred to Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees all over the country. The CRI assists trial prosecutions by representing children who have been the victims of sexual abuse or bonded labour during the proceedings in trial courts.
The CRI is a premier national agency for providing training sessions to the police, labour departments, civil society organizations, judiciary and government officials on the various legislation and policies made for children.
The CRI has been instrumental in providing assistance in the drafting of new laws, rules and policies affecting children. The CRI conducts fact-finding missions and information campaigns, publishes books and posters, organizes consultations, meetings and Judicial Colloquia for increasing awareness about child rights among duty bearers and right holders.
The CRI is part of the Special Taskforce for the rescue and rehabilitation of child labourers, and it responds to crisis situations through raid and rescue operations. The Crisis Intervention Centers that it set up in the Northwest and Central Districts of Delhi are now also being replicated in other States. The CRI also monitors the implementation of various schemes and policies related to children; it functions in close collaboration with other grassroots organizations across the country.
Issues of Concern
• Child labour
• Child trafficking
• Right to education
• Child health and nutrition
• Child marriage
• Juvenile justice
• Child sexual abuse
• Torture and abuse of children