This commission was founded in Florence 2003.
There has been increasing concern and interest with reference to human rights. Till now, human rights have been examined mostly by political scientists or persons with a law background. Social activists and human rights activists have contributed much to stop human rights violation. But in the changing global environment, with increasing identity problem and ethnic conflict all over the world, economic exploitation and intolerance, the process of militarisation has witnessed increasing suffering of human being and instances of human rights violation. Anthropology with its unique research tools and holistic approach is very competent to understand the problem of human rights. In fact, anthropologists have shown an increasing interest and concern about the problem of migrant/stateless populations and refugees, women, indigenous people, children and other disadvantaged people who are more prone to human rights violation. A number of sessions were organised in the past in the Main Congresses or Inter-Congresses on many of these issues. I organised a session on Human Rights and Multi-ethnic Societies in the Beijing Inter Congress. There were participants from twelve different countries and all strongly suggested that efforts should be made to have an Anthropological Commission on Human Rights. A core group has already been formed with the following members and a formal committee can be constituted and interested persons from other countries may be included. :
- Prof. S. Sanders, University of British Columbia, Canada (also one of the four members of the UN Committee of Indigenous Affairs);
- Mr. Sushil Pyakurel, Nepal, Member National Human Rights Commission, Nepal;
- Mr. M.A.Sabur, Thailand, Executive Director, Asian Resource Foundation;
- Prof. Anwarullah Chowdhury, Vice Chancellor University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and Former Professor Department of Anthropology, Dhaka University, Bangladesh;
- Prof. T.J. Huttege, Colombo University, Sri Lanka;
- Prof. Buddhadeb Chaudhuri, Dr. Ambedkar Chair Professor in Anthropology, Calcutta University, Calcutta, India;
- Ms. Mucha Shim, Anthropologist, Philippines;
- Dr. Basil Fernando, Chairman Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong;
- Professor Keiichi Omoto, Japan.