Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation organised a ‘planning meeting to monitor the Implementation of POA Act in Tamil Nadu and followup’ on 5 April 2019 at Chennai.
17 participants from 7 organisations, one state-level network and one national network participated. The participants shared their experience in working to end discrimination and reddress caste and ethnic based violence. Some of them had several decades of experience and many found that their experiences were similar – from the delays to dilution and eventual miscarriage of justice.
The idea of monitoring the monitoring mechanisms to implement the whole Act was discussed. The participants unanimously agreed that it would be good initiative. However, it was stressed that monitoring the monitors would be in addition to the existing work not a substitute. It would be to strengthen existing initiatives from the grassroots to the national level – and ensure that atrocities are prevented.
The following action points were decided:
- Identify Dalit and Adivasi human rights defenders (DAHRDs) in each district.
- Conduct periodic training on monitoring the mechanisms under SC ST POA Act for the DAHRDs.
- Strengthen state and district level networks/movements.
- Initiate need-based collective action (PIL, etc.,).
- Set up district and state level citizens vigilance monitoring committees (sCVMCs and dCVMCs).
HRF would conduct the training and initiate the follow-up.