Satyarthi among leading Indians at CHOGM events

Kailash Satyarthi will launch a report by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) on April 13 and journalist P Sainath will join a session on “Just Economies”.

world Updated: Apr 10, 2018 23:36 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Kailash Satyarthi,Nobel Peace,P Sainath
File photo of Kailash Satyarthi.(AP)

Nobel Peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and journalist P Sainath are among leading Indians participating in a series of events linked to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and Windsor during April 16-20.

The event, which will see Britain take over as chairman of the grouping for the next two years, will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 52 heads of government. Modi will have a day of bilateral meetings with British leaders on April 18.

Satyarthi will launch a report by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) on April 13 that focusses on the grouping’s sustainable development goal 8.7, which commits members to taking “immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms”.

Speakers at the report's launch include Tariq Ahmad, minister for Commonwealth in Britain’s Foreign Office, and Sanjoy Hazarika, CHRI’s international director. CHRI events include sessions on small states and pretrial detention issues in the Commonwealth.

Hazarika said: “We also have a unique programme - the first-ever festival of Commonwealth films on human rights...It is not just about speaking truth to power and compassion for the vulnerable but working intensely to ensure the rights of the latter.”

Before the sessions involving heads of government on April 19 and 20, CHOGM’s theme of “Towards a common future” is explored through four umbrella forums: people, youth, women and business, in which India and Indian speakers will feature prominently.

Shobha Das, project manager of the people’s forum, said: “All debates...amplify less heard voices. Narratives of people in the margins from around the world will be spoken, shown, seen and heard.Action will be demanded to address marginalisation, and delegates will remember that they do not walk alone in their struggles to create a better world.”

Sainath will join a session on “Just Economies”, whose brief is: “There is today an unquestioning global focus on economic ‘growth’, often at the expense of social protection and welfare. What are the consequences of this economic paradigm? What governance approaches could make the global economy more just?”

Psychiatrist Soumitra Pathare will participate in the session on legislative reform, focusing on laws related to sexual offences and mental health, while educationist Asha Kanwar will join a session on inclusive education. Pragna Patel, founder of Southall Black Sisters, will focuson dissent as a core aspect of democratic values and principles.

Killings and attacks on journalists in the Commonwealth is the focus of a session on “In defence of free media: What can the Commonwealth do?”. A working group of the Commonwealth Journalists Association and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies will present its proposals in a document titled “Commonwealth principles on the role of the media in good governance”.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 23:36 IST