Human Rights Issues

NHRC Notice to Centre on Worker Rights Violation in Haryana


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NHRC, Various labour reform initiatives

Why in the News?

  • The National Human Right Commission (NHRC) issued notice to the Centre over reports from a Amazon company’s warehouse in Haryana’s Manesar.
    • Employees were allegedly forced to pledge not to take toilet or water breaks until unloading six trucks post 30-minute tea break.

NHRC’s Observations and Actions

  • NHRC views this as a serious human rights violation, potentially breaching labour laws and Ministry guidelines.
  • Notice was issued to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment for a detailed report within a week.

About National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

  • A Statutory Body;
  • Established under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
  • Inquire into any violation of human rights
  • Recommend immediate interim relief to victims or their families
  • Intervene in court proceedings involving human rights violations
  • Review constitutional and legal safeguards for human rights
  • Study international instruments on human rights
  • Promote human rights literacy
  • Support the efforts of NGOs working in the field of human rights
  • Regulate its own procedure
  • Possess all the powers of a civil court
  • Proceedings have a judicial character
  • Must be a former Justice of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Appointed by the President of India
Members Four full-time members;

  • Chairperson: former Supreme Court Justice or Chief Justice;
  • Other Member: former Judge of the Supreme Court;
  • Other Member: former Chief Justice of a High Court;
  • Three Members: with knowledge or experience in human rights, including at least one woman –

Seven ex-officio members:  Chairpersons of National Commissions viz., National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women , National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Backward Classes, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights; and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.

  • Appointed by the President, based on a committee recommendation including the Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Home Minister, Leaders of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and others
  • Consultation with the Chief Justice of India for judicial appointments
  • Removal by order of the President of India
  • Consultation with the Supreme Court before removal
Terms of Office
  • Hold office for a term of three years or until the age of 70
  • Ineligibility for further government employment after office
  • Eligible for reappointment
Salaries Determined by the Central government
  • Submits annual or special reports to the Central government and the concerned State government
  • Reports laid before the respective legislatures, along with a memorandum of action taken on the recommendations and reasons for non-acceptance of any recommendations
  • The commission is not empowered to inquire into any matter after the expiry of one year from the date on which the act constituting the violation of human rights is alleged to have been committed
  • Functions are recommendatory in nature, with no power to punish or award relief to violators
  • Limited role concerning armed forces violations

Government Initiatives for Worker Welfare in India:

Constitutional Framework Labour falls under the Concurrent List, allowing both Central and State governments to enact laws.

Articles 14, 16, and 39(c) ensure equality and welfare principles.

Judicial Interpretation under Randhir Singh vs Union of India (1982) Upholds ‘Equal pay for Equal work’ through constitutional articles, promoting fairness in employment.
Legislative Framework Introduction of 4 labour codes:

  • Code of Wages, 2019: Standardizes wage payments across sectors.
  • Industrial Relations Code, 2020: Consolidates laws related to industrial disputes and trade unions.
  • Social Security Code, 2020: Expands social security benefits coverage for workers.
  • Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020:  Ensures safety and welfare standards in workplaces.
“Shramev Jayate” Initiative Launched in 2014 to maximize benefits for workers through enhanced welfare initiatives.
Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017 Increases paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks, supporting maternal health and childcare.


[2015] “Success of ‘Make in India’ programme depends on the success of ‘Skill India’ programme and radical labour reforms.” Discuss with logical arguments.

[2011] Consider the following:

  1. Right to education.
  2. Right to equal access to public service.
  3. Right to food.

Which of the above is/are Human Right/Rights under “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

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