ADVOCACY FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT & LEGAL REFORM 

Justice requires just laws to begin with – laws which focus on the protection of the fundamental human rights of all, particularly the disadvantaged and the marginalized. Statutory law must comply with the recognized standards of human rights law. Effective safeguards must be available to prevent discrimination and uphold fundamental freedoms and equality. This is true not only for new or proposed statutes, rules and policies, but also for existing ones. MARG engages with policy makers in providing inputs for new legislations and assessing existing ones.

Since its inception, MARG has been strongly involved in various campaigns and advocacy activities. Our focus has been on a wide set of issues ranging from securing rights for displaced people, improving implementation of MNREGA, strengthening women’s participation in Panchayats, and resisting violence against women. MARG has been actively involved in providing inputs to the proposed bills on torture, rights of domestic workers, rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the 12thFive Year Plan.

Assisting in the Capacity Building of Stakeholders in Implementation of Sabla in Selected Districts in Chhattisgarh

The Ministry of Woman and Child Development, Government of India, has launched a comprehensive scheme for adolescent girls which is called ‘Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls’ or SABLA. This scheme will be implemented in 5 districts in Chhattisgarh: Surguja, Bastar, Raipur, Rajgarh and Rajnandgaon. read more…

Towards a Legislation on the Rights of Domestic Workers

MARG has prepared a draft Bill on the rights of domestic workers in collaboration with Vigyan Foundation, Lucknow. Called the Protection of Rights of Domestic Workers Bill, the document was prepared after a series of consultations with activists working on the issue as well as domestic workers. The draft deals with a variety of issues like definition of domestic worker (full time worker, part time worker), working conditions, wages and social security, protection from exploitation and abuse,  penalties, implementation authorities and redress mechanisms.

Right to Information Convention

The Right to Information (RTI) national convention was held between the 10th- 12th March, 2011. The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) has chosen to locate this Convention in Shillong to provide all the participants a great opportunity to learn from the significant experiences of the North East in the use of the RTI.

The Third NCPRI RTI Convention came after 5 years of use of the RTI. This interaction provided an important opportunity for all of us to share our rich experiences in the use of this law for varied rights of people in a democracy, and plan the way forward.

For more information about the work of the NCPRI, please check their

website: The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI)

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011

On October 13, 2011, MARG presented its views on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011, before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development which was examining the Bill at the time.

NRI/Overseas Marriages

MARG is on the Sub – Committee constituted by the National Commission for Women to consider amendments to existing legislations/fresh legislation in respect of NRI/overseas marriages.

South Asia Conference on Legal Empowerment of the Poor

MARG in collaboration with Open Society Justice Initiative, BRAC and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative hosted the South Asian Consultation on Legal Empowerment of the Poor in New Delhi on the 25th and 26th of February 2011. The conference brought together a community of practitioners in South Asian Region to share and discuss a mixed strategy of judicial and administrative reform, improving rights awareness and legal education, ensuring poor and disadvantaged people’s cultural, physical and financial access to justice and promoting participatory, inclusive governance. This initiative has helped to create a platform for NGOs and civil society bodies engaged in similar work to build networks and partnerships, foster synergies and strategically mobilize communities in legal empowerment activities.

Around 70 practitioners from South Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and India)  shared and discussed the challenges related to this issue and their efforts to overcome them. At the end of these two days of intensive interaction, the participants highlighted the need to build a South Asian platform to share their experiences, challenges and best practices on a more regular basis.

Towards India’s Second Universal Periodic Riview(UPR)

MARG in association with the Working Group on Human Rights in India (WGHR)  organised a two day Regional Consultation Towards India’s Second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on the 15th and16th of September in New Delhi. The consultation brought together participants from Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a four yearly review of the human rights record of all the 192 members of the United Nations (UN) by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on rotational basis.  The main engagement of civil society actors in the UPR process is through submission of stakeholders’ reports to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).