The unit was established in 2001 and is based at Chandigarh. It was set up in the political backdrop of cases of disappearance of thousands of persons between 1984 and 1994 as part of a brutal police crackdown.
The unit addresses a variety of issues with focus on providing pro bono or low cost legal aid in cases concerning Punjab disappearances, women’s justice, Dalit rights, disability rights, child rights, labour rights and HIV/AIDS related issues. It also engages in filing PILs, conducting trainings/workshops, and publishing human rights reports and books on issues that plague the state of Punjab. The unit has been an integral part of healing process for the thousands of families who lost loved ones in the decade–long saga of disappearances.