The National Consultation on Protecting Human Rights of Street Vendors held on 7 June, 2012 at Deputy Chairman Hall, Constitution Club in New Delhi expresses its serious concern over the growing incidence of street vendors’ human rights violation and declares the Street Vendors Human Rights Charter.
The consultation strongly believes that ensuring human rights of the working poor like street vendors is one of top markers of a live democracy. Unfortunately our democracy lacks in this capacity. The human rights violation destructs livelihood and make dignified earning and living a very painful struggle.
The Charter demands of the governments, municipal bodies and law enforcing agencies to ensure that the working poor’s human rights are protected at any cost as violations of their rights badly impact the right to social dignity in employment. Moreover, the violations create ruptures in governance and lead to social, economic and political divisions.
The Charter calls upon the Government of India, State Governments and Union Territories Administrations to strictly abide by the constitutional provisions that make secured and dignified livelihood and social security the fundamental human rights.
The Charter demands of the government to honour its commitment made to various international bodies as well as international labour and human rights treaties , including Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Prevention of Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 and Employment Policy Convention, 1964, that clearly state that right to social dignity in employment is a fundamental human right and any infringement upon it violates the principles of free and open competition in addition to individual rights to work and non- discrimination.
The Charter calls upon the Government of India to make appropriate and adequate provisions in the proposed central law that it is making to protect and regulate the livelihood of street vendors. It also demands from the Union Home Ministry to write to the Director Generals of Police (DGPs) to instruct the Superintendents of Police / Police Commissioners to maintain zero tolerance over the cases of street vendors’ human rights violation.
The charter calls upon the National and State Human Rights Commissions, Courts, Bar Associations, Tribunals, Media and Civil Society to stand firm in support of protecting human rights of street vendors.