Citizens Rights and Policing

Legal literacy is commonly understood as knowing the primary level in law. When citizens, particularly marginalized or underprivileged groups, know what the law has to offer them, they can recognise and challenge injustices much more forcefully. The first step towards that knowledge of the law, which can transform people's lives, is legal literacy. CHRI firmly believes that it is essential to use this knowledge as a tool for vulnerable groups to be able to understand and critique the law, to familiarize themselves with the scope of their rights under the law, and eventually to assert their rights as a means to take action and bring in change.

With this aim in view, CHRI started its own legal literacy programme by preparing a series of pamphlets and flyers on citizen's rights, while also interacting with the police so that they know not only their rights, but also their duties. CHRI has disseminated information on the following:

Police Organisation

How to register an F.I.R.?

Citizens' rights during arrest

Citizens' rights during detention and interrogation

Rights of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes

Citizens' rights to legal aid services

Citizens' right to bail

This has been done by broadcasting information through radio programmes, distributing flyers and pamphlets, and organizing legal literacy camps for women's micro-finance enterprises and those groups who have a wide outreach. The aim has always been to educate the maximum number of people and capacity build from within communities, so that they are in a position to educate others, and more importantly, challenge violations.