Forum to discuss human rights of Indian migrants

New Delhi is hosting an international conference on human rights concerns of Indian Diaspora on 24 and 25 February.

Hosted by Human Rights Defence India (HRDI), a New Delhi-based organisation, the conference on ‘Human Rights Concerns of Indian Diaspora’, will be inaugurated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of Art of Living Foundation.  He has also co-founded the International Association for Human Values which has worked in conflict-prone countries across the world fostering interfaith harmony.

There are cases where Indian migrants are denied the basic human right of equality, social justice and human dignity, says a statement by the organisers.

“They are being constantly discriminated in Caribbean and Gulf countries and various Western nations among others. Their rights to follow religion and language, which are the essential carriers of our culture, have often been denied.

HRDI Secretary General Rajesh Gogna says there is a need to formulate a comprehensive policy on human rights concerns of the Diasporic community members and cultivate an informed interest in it.

“There is also a pressing need for the creation of an effective coordinating mechanism for addressing the routine Diaspora affairs and to achieve international consensus on a more rational approach to migration and migrants.

Gogna says the conference hopes to provide an opportunity to sit for some hot debates, and to reach each other to discover new identities, deeper connectivity, and explore synergies.

Gouri Shankar Gupta, an educationist and social reformer, will be the chief guest for the conference. Additional Solicitor General of India A S Chandhiok, Bangladeshi human rights lawyer Ravinder Ghosh, Dr. Richard Benkin of Harvard University, P Waytha Moorthy of HINDRAF and Datuk Vithilingam of Malaysia are among some of the speakers for the conference.

Conferred with the prestigious ‘Sikh of the Year 2010’ Award, Chandhiok, a humanitarian, has worked for the betterment of the society and has arranged special treatments for the lower strata of the society by providing means to run charitable clinics.

Ravinder Ghosh, a well-known human rights activist and lawyer in Bangladesh has worked to bring before the UN stories of human rights violation in Bangladesh. He is also the president of Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM).

Dr. Benkin is an independent human rights activist who has worked towards the correction of injustices worldwide.  Waytha Moorthy is a Malaysian lawyer of Tamil origin who has fought for the human rights concerns of Malaysian Hindus. Datuk Vithilingam is the president of Malaysia Hindu Sangam Association.

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