Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.
Title: The real victims of Cyclone Fani: Status, Legal Impasse & Atrocities faced due to castism by minorities in Odisha in the face of Humanitarian Crisis reflects lack of justice education.
Lead Presenter: Banerjee, Mrinalini
Session Abstract: GAJE Conference 2019 Summary: Title for Abstract: The real victims of Climate change: Status, Legal Impasse & Atrocities faced in Odisha and West Bengal reflects lack of justice education. Mrinalini Banerjee (Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, India) Summary: This article illustrates the lack of legal education and action towards minorities and lower schedule caste/schedule tribe citizens of India because of caste practices. This is the new India with sick-old traditions which violate of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution to everyone but castes has not been issue of contention. During Cyclone Fani, which made landfall in the State of Odisha displaced 100,000 persons in the region of Puri district, uprooted livelihoods, completely destroyed villages to the extent that the State authorities had to shift entire populations to Disaster Protection Shelters. In this humanitarian crisis, during environmental disaster lead to situations where those Fani victims where denied basic shelter and thrown away to environmental and political adversities without necessary victim relief packages due to reasons of caste discrimination and oppression. Moreover, the drowning islands of Sundarban, a delta shared by India and Bangladesh leads to the victims to be vulnerable. Due to lack in adequate laws and justice education it makes the victims at risk. This lead to issues of violation of the basic tenets of all fundamental rights that is guaranteed and where not even, acted against by the guardians of such social adversities by the governmental authorities that are enabled to provide such protection. This article focuses on the basic rights of the deprived communities during exceptional circumstances, how they have been systematically discriminated violating the tenants of Constitution of India, Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, under domestic law as well as Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and UN Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous people, 2007, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention 1989, ICCPR 1966, ICESER 1966 in the eastern region of Odisha as well other regions in India where caste discrimination is rampant. The article also provides an empirical study of the systemic discrimination faced by the victims and lack of community legal educations along with deprivation of legal empowerment and understanding of basic legal literacy. Apart from this, the article will focus on the role of young practitioners in India as an enabler to provide justice to caste discrimination victims and also facilitate legal literacy and awareness to local village communities on legal protections under the Indian law as well as the statutory penal provisions to punish the offenders perpetrating these human right violations. Unfortunately, in the presence of such express protections available under the above legal instruments, legislations, both domestic and international, the people of the State of Odisha were not provided with protection suffered due to caste discrimination as a consequences of the aftermaths of Cyclone Fani, and other natural calamities. This leads to further feeling of statelessness for the citizens of India, when the State and National authorities turn a blind eye to their plights. This article highlights a solution to the inadequacy of the protection of the rights of the environmental calamity victims and the problems faced by the Legal Aid workers focusing on the legal protections addressing fundamental human rights, social, political and economic issues faced by them. The authors aim to provide recommendations concerning the legal protection of the environmental victims in the present and near future. In conclusion, the article will state the significance of the changes to be made in the functioning of the Legal Aid workers. Keywords: Environmental Crisis, Sustainable Development, Human Rights Violation, Legal Protections Area of Research: No. 13 – Climate Action (Please state here the SDGs that best describe your research.), No. 16 – Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions No. 4 – Quality Education
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