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2 Yazidi women Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar win 2016 Sakharov Human Right Prize

Two Yazidi women Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar have been selected for European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Human Rights for year 2016.

Both of them were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women who were abducted by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and forced into sexual slavery in 2014. But both survived and had escaped sexual enslavement. Now they campaign for the Yazidi community.

They also have become figureheads for effort to protect Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion with more than half a million believers concentrated in northern Iraq.

About Sakharov Prize

  • The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is annual award given by the European Parliament.
  • It is bestowed on individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought.
  • It was established in December 1988 and is named after Soviet scientist (physicist) and dissident Andrei Sakharov.
  • The first prize was jointly awarded to Nelson Mandela and Russian human rights campaigner Anatoly Marchenko.
  • It is awarded annually on or around December 10 (also celebrated as Human Rights Day), day on which UN General Assembly ratified Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

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March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Every year 25th March is being observed as International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Significance of the day: It honours and remembers those who suffered and died as a consequence of the transatlantic slave trade. It also aims at raising awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice

Transatlantic slave trade which had taken place over the span 400 years is considered as the worst violation of human rights in history in which more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims.

2016 Theme: Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots”. It draws attention to the rich African traditions and culture that have impacted life in countries which were involved in the slave trade. It also marks the major contributions African diaspora in all aspects of life in these countries. It also highlights the cultural linkages that exist among people of African descent throughout the world.

Background

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had declared 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade by adopting a resolution in 2007.
  • It was first observed in 2008 with the theme “Breaking the Silence, Lest We Forget”. Since then it is observed every year.

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Former CJI HL Dattu takes over as Chairman of NHRC

Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) HL Dattu took charge as the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

With this, he becomes the seventh Chairman of the NHRC, highest government institution protecting human rights of citizens.

About H L Dattu

  • Born as Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu on 3 December 1950 in Chikmagalur in then Mysore State.
  • He had started his legal career in 1975 after enrolling as an advocate in Bangalore and dealt with all types of matters like criminal, civil, tax and Constitutional cases.
  • 1983 onwards he had appeared in various capacities before the Karnataka High Court including as government pleader for sales tax department etc.
  • He was designated as a senior standing counsel for I-T department. Later in 1995, he was elevated as a judge of the Karnataka High Court.
  • In 2007, he was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court and later was shifted in the same capacity to the Kerala High Court.
  • He was 42nd Chief Justice of India from September 28, 2014 to December 2, 2015. He has several landmark judgments to his credit dealing with protection of Fundamental Rights of citizens and principles of law.

About National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

  • NHRC is apex statutory watchdog of human rights in the country, i.e. the rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the international convents.
  • Formed as per the statutory provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. It is multimember body consisting of Chairman and four members.
  • President appoints the Chairman and members of the NHRC on the recommendation of the high-powered committee headed by the Prime Minister.
  • The committee includes Prime Minister (Head), Lok Sabha Speaker, Union Home Minister, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

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