‘Rights of Dalits, Tribals in India taken for granted,’ activist tells UN
By Matters India Reporter
New York: An Indian rights activist told UN that rights of Dalits and Tribals in India are taken for granted.
Ajaya Kumar Singh, one of the human rights activists from India, was invited to speak on the behalf of the NGO Committee for Social Development, as the interactive panel for this year’s Civil Society Forum on 2 February during the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development.
The focus of Singh’s observation was to articulate a vision of social development and social protection from an NGO’s perspective, someone who has experienced poverty and have worked with vulnerable groups such as Tribals and Dalit.
Singh is the director of Odisha Regional Forum for Social Action, social work coordinating agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Regional Council, based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Eastern India.
The fifty-sixth session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD56) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 29 January to 7 February 2018. The Commission is the advisory body responsible for the social development pillar of global development.
The theme of the conference was on “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all.”
This Civil Society Forum brings together hundreds of participants from the world over, serving to galvanize and unify civil society behind a common vision in furtherance of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We hold this Forum in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Development and Policy in the spirit of “facilitat[ing] an intensive global engagement in support of the implementation of all of the goals and targets, bringing together Governments, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizing all available resources,” said Thayvie Sinn, Co-Chair, Civil Society Forum NGO Committee for Social Development.
Following from last year, the priority theme for the Commission is Strategies for the eradication poverty to achieve sustainable development for all.
Considering the UN has stated that eradicating poverty in all its forms is the greatest global challenge, the recommendations of this Commission must be rigorously arrived at and loyally implemented. In this light, the Civil Society Forum will focus on social protection, including floors, as they are universally understood to not only eradicate poverty in all its dimensions but also to ensure that all citizens are able to contribute to the betterment of their societies.
The purpose of this Forum is to equip participants with the tools, the language, and the confidence to work constructively with the UN and the Member States to achieve the lofty Sustainable Development Goals.
Singh’s participation brought much value to the forum. He highlighted not just his experience, but from thousands of others in the region who are struggling from poverty: the challenges and opportunities faced, his ideas on how to eradicate poverty through sustainable strategies and solutions, linking with the HLPF focus on the SDGs, and most importantly, the importance of connecting with all sectors such as civil society, governments and businesses as we move forward.
On January 30, there was also UN Religious Groups around nine UNINGOs including Holy See organized a side event too, where he spoke as well.