A 21-year-old law aspirant from Madurai has been invited to speak at the United Nations Human Rights Council Social forum, scheduled to be held in Geneva from October 1. The law student named Premalatha will address the forum at the screening of 'A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education', a 2012 documentary in which she featured. The office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had produced her documentary.
Speaking about the caste system in India, Premalatha said told news agency ANI, "There are many castes in our country and we do want these castes. The people belonging to these castes face difficulties to get access to equal opportunities. I will use this opportunity and speak to the United Nations about it." Sharing her aspirations of studying law, she said, "I want to study law as I would be able to address social issues. But, I have been denied this opportunity many times."
The Social Forum is an annual meeting of the UN convened by the Human Rights Council. It is described as a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organisations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. The Human Rights Council emphasises the importance of coordinated efforts at national, regional and international levels for the advancement of social cohesion based on the principles of social justice, equity and solidarity as well as of addressing the social dimension and challenges of the on-going globalisation process.
The Social Forum is open to the participation of representatives of United Nations Member States and all other interested stakeholders. It is also open to the participation of emerging actors, such as, small groups and rural and urban associations from the North and the South; anti-poverty groups; peasants’ and farmers’ organisations and their national and international associations; voluntary service organizations; youth associations; grassroots organisations, trade unions and associations of workers, among others.
(with ANI inputs)