National Conference on Citizenship Refugees and Human Rights in the Contemporary World
The refugee crisis has led to a massive shift in humanity like never seen before. Roughly 65 million people have been displaced from their homes in search for a new livelihood. This issue extends to one beyond statistics – affecting the refugees as well as the countries that host them. Realizing the importance of this crisis, the Constitutional Law Society of Tamil Nadu National Law School, Tiruchirapalli conducted a National Conference on Citizenship, Refugees and Human Rights in the Contemporary World on the 20th to the 21st of January 2018. This conference witnessed participation from across the country, wherein participants presented various papers with regard to the sub-theme of the session.
The conference was initiated with an inaugural plenary and the valuable words of Dr.Manoj Kumar Sinha, Director, Indian Law Institute, New Delhi, who shared his thoughts on the role played by the courts in developing the jurisprudence of refugee and human rights law with regard to citizenship. Also present on this esteemed panel, were Prof.Sitharaman Kakarela from AzimPremji University, Prof.N.S.Soman, Director, Cusat School of Legal Studies and Ms.Sahana Basavapatna, partner of Factum Law, Bengaluru who shared their thoughts on various aspects of the refugee crisis.
The National Conference on the theme of Citizenship, Refugees and Human Rights in the Contemporary World was not restricted only to the legal aspect.Various papers from the sociological and the political science aspects were also presented. Receiving an overwhelming response of the submission of 220 abstracts, the conference was divided into four technical sessions based on various sub-themes, within a span of two days, where 45 participants presented their respective papers. It focused on themes like the need for a specific law for refugees in India, balance between the influx of refugees and national interests, feminist jurisprudence and ecological refugees.
Justice T S Sivagnanam, Judge of the Madras High Court attended the closing plenary of this conference and highlighted the importance of legal aid camps to help refugees, taking the example of the Mandapam in Rameshwaram district, which is the house to a number of Sri Lankan refugees. Prof.Sitharaman Kakarela, narrated his experience in the two-day conference and provided feedback, followed by which the conference was concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by a student of the organizing committee.