7th Session of the National Conference on Human Rights – “Adivasis & Fight For Living Space”, “Rights Of Refugees & Stateless People”.
Welcome Address : Ansar Indori – Exco Member, NCHRO.
Chair : Fr. Savio Fernandes – State President, NCHRO, Goa.
Key Note Address : Madhuri Krishnaswamy, Bhopal – Leader of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (Key Note on “Adivasis and Fight for Living Space”).
Speech : Ashoka Kumari – Vice Chairperson, NCHRO. (Rights of Refugees and Stateless People)
“Adivasis and Fight for Living Space”
Adivasis are among the most marginalised and vulnerable peoples; India’s original inhabitants have suffered a lot. They are almost isolated from mainstream populations & politics and have been disgracefully treated, neglected for several years.
‘Development and Progress’ in the areas where Adivasi people live leaves them deprived. The discovery and exploitation of rich minerals on their ancestral lands have led to the destruction of Adivasi culture, values and traditions. Their lands have been taken away by the likes of Corporates and the big projects like huge dams which submerged thousands of Adivasi villages has challenged their very existence and livelihood. Forced eviction and Land alienation implies that displacement can be allowed in the name of “public interest.”
Adivasi societies consider themselves distinct from the majority Hindu population, as well as from most other organized forms of religion. They don’t have Varna and Caste system. Adivasi’s have been traditionally treated as outside the caste structure and are seen as entirely impure from within the Brahminic caste order.
There has been very little media coverage of the Adivasi’s plight. Tribal population has the lowest human development index (HDI) in comparison to other sections. Their children suffer from high dropout rates and low female literacy and their overall literacy rate far below the national literacy rate.
Pride in being one of the largest democratic countries in the world but we miserably failed in understanding the relationship that the Adivasis have with land, water and forest. The problems of Adivasi communities are about access to basic needs. These include, but are not restricted to elementary education, community healthcare, high infant mortality rate, malnutrition, sustainable livelihood support, access to appropriate administrative and judicial mechanism etc.
“Rights of Refugees and Stateless People”
Every year thousands of migrants and refugees try to reach different countries, seeking refuge from violence and persecution. Some are driven by the need to escape from poverty and economic disruption. Violence being understood in its broad sense (torture, armed conflict, summary executions, disappearances, discrimination, repression, insecurity etc.). State sponsored violence against civilians is worst among.
Refugees leave their homes and their country because they have no other choice, they fear for their own life or safety like anybody else. Gender, ethnic and religious stereotypes often make it even more difficult for certain groups to find safety. Put ourselves in the refugee’s position. Anybody wants to uproot their lives and face an uncertain future? Their stateless journey always fraught with danger and continued to risk their lives. Migrants and refugees are being expelled unlawfully without access to asylum procedures. They are ill-treated by border guards and coastguards. Some countries are using the threat of lengthy detention as a deterrent to block their entry.
One of the key factor that driving large numbers of people to leave their communities is violence, Being denied refugee status or being deported can be a death sentence for them. Very few can safely return to their country of origin. The countries where from refugees coming from plagued by endemic levels of crime and violence. The lack of long-term solutions for those trapped as ‘refugees’ deny them freedom of thought and of movement as well as economic and social rights such as access to medical care, to education and to work etc.
The issue of Human Rights is central to refugee status. People only become refugees because one or more of their basic human rights are abused. Many are victims of war, political, religious and other forms of persecution. In the chaos and confusion of fleeing their homes to try and find safety in another country, most refugees lose virtually all their rights as well as their material possessions. Many also lose their families and friends.
This session highlighted the continued importance of efforts to promote human rights that will help to uphold and protect rights of marginalised communities.
YouTube Videos uploaded by Delegates:-
1) Prof. Nivedita Menon, JNU on Universities and Academic Freedom :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifv633-H_WM
2) Umar Khaild, JNU on Universities and Academic Freedom :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhwpC0BqRMc
3) Vasantha Kumari Wife of Prof. Saibaba :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYtm_gNOrKQ
4) Shadaf Mushraf (Sister of missing JNU scholar Najeeb) :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2-4OtJsyYY
5) Cultural Program by Sangwari Group :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTC_rjwu4h8