Human Rights Office of Kandy Diocese is a catholic organization headed by Fr. Nandana Manatunga, under the jurisdictions of the Bishop of Kandy, incorporated in the parliament Act no 17 of 1983. The Human Rights office was an offshoot of the Human Rights Media Resource center and established as the “Human Rights Office” in 2008.
The HRO made its campaign to establish the Rule of Law by taking up individual cases of victims of Torture, the “Mother” of all Human Rights violations providing victims of Torture not only access to Justice but “Holistic” assistance - security, protection, legal, medical, psychological and educational assistance and journey with the Torture victims and their families until the victims are integrated to the society. By taking up individual cases of Torture victims, HRO identify the defects of the Justice system and thereby call for Judicial and Police reforms to establish the Rule of Law. Individual victims whom the HRO empowered and cases that we legally assisted have become models for the other victims to seek Justice & Redress. HRO has activated the Torture Act of Act no 22 of 1994 by assisting Torture victims and made a major breakthrough with land mark judgments in the Central Province. Although anti Torture campaign was the launching pad, Human Rights Office gradually entered the wider field of Human Rights by accepting cases of all human rights violations, specially of the families of the disappeared, cases of prisoners with fabricated charges, domestic violence, cases on destruction of the environment and cases of denial of fundamental rights.
Since our efforts need to be supported by the communities in breaking the silent suffering of the victims, a “Support Group” was created with professionals to assist the victims of Torture/ rape by engaging them in the “Victim centered activity”. Further citizen committees were set up in villages and parishes. With Urgent Appeals, street movements, poster and postcard campaigns, signature campaigns, Audio/ visuals, radio programmes, media conferences, HRO educate the civil society on Human Rights and relevant provisions to safe guards the Rights.
The HRO campaign and lobby locally and internationally with submissions to the Special Rapporteurs on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment and to the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers - Judicial accountability and to Economic Social Cultural Rights.
Along with “Holistic” assistance, the HRO journey with victims of Torture, rape and serious human rights violations for 12-15 years. At present the Human Rights office handles more than 100 cases of custodial torture child abuse, rape and extra-judicial killings. HRO stand by the victims of all communities to get Justice & redress and mobilize the civil society to call for reforms and activate the justice system to punished the perpetrators through a fair trial. By taking up such cases the office campaigns for the reform of the collapsed Justice System and establishment of the Rule of Law in the country.
A society that respect the
dignity of the Human person,
created in the image and
likeness of God
irrespective of the caste,
creed and ethnicity.
Accompany the Survivors of Rape and Torture,
Families of the Disappeared,
Prisoners with fabricated charges and their families,
to seek Justice and campaign to
Establish the Rule of Law.