The International Movement against- All Forms of Discrimination and Racism Asia Committee
South Asia Programme
1) FORUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
IMADR AC and South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) co organized a forum, titled “Future of Human Rights and Religious Freedom” at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) with the participation of 66 lawyers, and civil and political rights activists in Sri Lanka. Mr Colin Gonsalves (Director, Human Rights Law Network India) was the main facilitator of the event. During the session he explained that issues of religious nature can be addressed by public interest litigation practices and several landmark cases were identified for further exploration and action in Sri Lanka.
IMADR AC and SAHR co organized the same forum in Kandy for activists in the Central region of the country to attend. A total of 38 participants representing legal fraternity, civil society, and trade unions participated in the programme. An interactive dialogue between Mr Gonsalves and the participants pursued in the areas of human rights challenges pertaining to religious intolerance especially in the Upcountry Tea Estate sector.
2) DOCUMENTATION OF BEST PRACTICES FROM SOUTH ASIA
- Due to emerging violence trends in South Asia the partners agreed to hold a South Asian Consultation based on visits facilitated by SAHR and IMADR AC and to build on existing research and experiences to identify contemporary challenges. Hence, the activity documentation took the form of the preparation of the Consultation Report and a DVD produced with experiences of resilience of HRDs promoting minority religious rights.
IMADR-AC together with project partner South Asians for Human Rights held the dialogue titled ‘Religious extremism in the South Asian Region: Safe Guarding Minorities’ at the Berjaya Hotel, Mount Lavinia on 28th and 29th April 2017. Experts from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Nepal joined in the discussions. The objectives of the round table were to facilitate the exchange of information on the status of religious extremism, existing laws and policies to protect the minorities in the region; contribute to the exchange of experiences including threats and challenges faced by those engaged in advancing tolerance, pluralism and human rights in the region; identify broad principles for the development of national/regional policies on social cohesion and strengthen networking among groups working on similar issues and increase joint action at the regional level.
- Asma Janhangir Commemorative Convention focusing on Human Rights Challenges in South Asia
- The Asia-Europe Assembly Social Justice and Peace Cluster Convergence held in Kathmandu in April that facilitated a visit of three representatives from Sri Lanka, India and Nepal to meet official of SAARC in Kathmandu
- Dialogue with special mandate holders of religious freedom and transitional justice.
The Asia Committee was formed to strengthen networking in South Asia and promote core values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and promote compliance.