Design for an Educational Programme on Sustainability Rights
To develop an educational programme for training and awareness of existing rights available to marginalised communities in particular and others in general in the context of globalisation process.
The neo-liberal model of globalisation vigorously promotes the rights of free trade and capital which brings it in direct conflict with basic tenets of universal human rights. There is a constant tension between the ‘social’ standing for democratic values and ‘economic’ for unhindered profit, trade and movement of capital at the peril of social. Although globalisation is a contested concept, it is nonetheless a process that affects everyone at many different levels. The process of globalisation in India commonly believed to have started in early 90s has witnessed a range of popular struggles against the process, which have contributed to the question of securing sustainability of socio-economic rights for marginalised communities. These struggles operate at various levels and involve almost all sections of civil society. However, young students, activists, researchers, and other professionals especially in cities somehow remain critically unconnected from these struggles and there is a need to forge linkages between them. These linkages would help broaden the base of these struggles and also raise awareness and thinking levels of these groups. The enhanced understanding amongst them of the globalisation processes and anti-globalisation struggles would strengthen the struggle for basic human rights for all. Failing to understand these dimensions may result in alienation, apathy which would impact the rights of marginalised communities in particular and society in general.
It is to address these concerns that Calcutta Research Group (CRG) is to conduct a 4-5 days non-residential course on globalisation and sustainability of rights to be held in Kolkata during August 2005. The course is an outcome of ongoing work on study of state policies and practices with regard to globalisation process and sustainability of rights of marginalised communities in collaboration with human rights organisations working with the marginalised groups in India and across South Asia, activists, policy analysts, and individuals working on these themes. The course would be an opportunity to discuss the interpretation of rights prescribed and the antecedents found in international instruments, methodology for analysis of the rights and their status in the country including advocacy strategies, globalisation and the question of sustainability of rights and most importantly, transfer of knowledge which empower groups and people to define, plan and forge their development. The enhanced understanding amongst participants of the globalisation processes, strategies of anti-globalisation peoples struggles, key concepts of rights, justice, gender, peace, and development would strengthen the struggle for basic human rights for all. We believe that understanding the roots and implications of these processes is fundamental for individuals if they are to effectively shape their own lives and play a role in democratic processes to influence local and global agendas.
The course intends to serve these objectives:
To enhance the understanding of globalisation process and its relationship with different worlds of participants on the model of transnational literacy based on the methodology of participatory and decentralised educational processes to facilitate the process of building bridges between popular struggles and civil society.
To facilitate critical engagement with the key concepts of rights, justice, gender, and development available in national and international law.
To enable participants to learn and question their own understanding and believes of the developmental processes.
The process of globalisation has impacted every aspect of humanity but our concern here would be to look critically at the neo-liberal economic process of globalisation and its impact on the livelihood of marginalised communities namely indigenous people, Dalits, women, workers in unorganised sector, seasonal migrants, small farmers etc. Never the less, the discussion would not limit itself to the plight of people in India, and examples and case studies would be drawn from South Asia and other parts of the world.
Globalisation : Concept, controversies; its impact on common property resources (CPRs), livelihood issues, and sustainability of rights of marginalised communities. Emphasis will be on finding the meaning of the process of globalisation and discuss controversies around its meaning. How the economic reforms has impacted different classes in the society, especially marginalised communities, how it has contributed towards increased inequality in the society, how it has penetrated in to the rural hinterland and attacked on the CPRs ?
Rights and Justice : Concept, Profile, policies and practices in National and International Law. Apart from the conceptual discussion over the meaning of terms such as rights, justice, peace etc. there will be discussion on the national and international humanitarian law. The module would also critically engage with various government programmes and policies which has been enacted in past one decade or so.
Development Testimonies : Women, Dalits, and Indigenous People. This module would particularly deal with the experiences of these groups in the age of globalisation. Within these groups there has been debates over the opening up of spaces due to economic reforms where as some civil society groups have criticised the process of development initiated by the reforms.
Strategies and Alternatives : Alternative Development paradigm and struggles of Grassroots and people’s movements. This module would particularly deal with the coping and resistance strategies adopted by different social movements and people’s struggles against the process of globalisation. Significant case studies of the alternative development practices developed by the communities would also be discussed.
that each individual has legitimate knowledge (you are a pot of knowledge!)
that this knowledge deserves respect (you have the right to express yourself without fear of being ‘looked down’ by others and you should be committed to listening to others with respect)
that all knowledge is partial and incomplete (we all see the world through different lenses)
that all knowledge can and should be questioned (we should engage critically with actions, thoughts and beliefs of both ourselves and others as we need different lenses – other perspectives – to challenge and transform our own views).
The course would also involve presentation and discussion of the case studies prepared by participants, panel discussions, and face-to-face discussions with resource persons.
The participants in the course would be young students, teachers, activists, and professionals with civil and political organisations, grassroots movements etc. the effort will be to have at least fifty percent women participants in the course. Participants should be in the age group of 20-35 yrs and must have proficiency in English to be able to contribute significantly to all the exercises. However, language will not be the barrier to participation and the effort will be made to provide interpreting facilities for those who are not fluent in English. Interested participants should send their curriculum vitae with a 500-1000 word write-up on reason for applying to the course and how it is relevant to her/his work.
The course is non-residential in nature and participants will have to make their own arrangements for stay and travel to the venue. Selected participants will have to pay Rs 250-300 as registration fee. CRG will bear the expenses for course material and other related expenses for all participants during the course.
At the successful completion of the course participants will be awarded a certificate of appreciation by CRG.