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National Seminar on Human Rights in 21st Century: Emerging Dimensions

Department of Political Science, Post Graduate College, Osmania University, Hyderabad is organizing a National Seminar on Human Rights in 21st Century: Emerging Dimensions

Date: 6th - 7th July, 2013

Human rights, both conceptually and practically, are not new. The basic principles can be found in all religious traditions, ancient and modern as well as in all philosophical traditions. The concept of "human rights" may be traced back to the existence of mankind on the earth. Human rights found place in all the ancient societies by different names at different times. The present day concept of human rights is referred to as civil rights, political rights, personal rights, legal rights, economic rights, social rights, cultural rights and solidarity rights.

The legal framework of human rights is often described in terms of generations of rights. First generation human rights, which are civil and political rights, deal mostly with negative rights, i.e. right not to be interfered in private life, e.g. freedom of speech, protection of private life, freedom of religion, right to fair trial, right to personal freedom and safety, etc. The second generation human rights are economic, social and cultural rights, which are positive rights, i.e. right to be provided with something, such as right to be employed, housing and health care, right to a decent standard of living, etc. The third generation human rights are collective rights, such as right to development, ecological rights, etc. These rights are not connected directly with "person-state" relations, but are the rights of groups of people. These rights clarify international frameworks for human rights and show how solidarities can be achieved worldwide. A debate has now started to include fourth generation human rights which are concerned with human rights in the information society.

These rights are called "communication rights" and advocate the freedom of information at international level, a large number of treaties, declarations, conventions and covenants have been adopted in the field of human rights. The international community has responded to these documents positively. Still flagrant violations of human rights are being reported from all parts of the world even today. India, the world's largest democracy, having a vibrant press and civil society, also suffers from a number of chronic human rights problems. Abuse of powers by armed forces and police officials, extra-judicial killings, failure on the part of government to implement policies that protect the rights of vulnerable groups, such as women, children, migrant workers, refugees, aliens, stateless persons, indigenous people, older persons, disabled persons, minorities, etc. are some of the examples of wide scale violations of human rights, which are tarnishing the global image of the country.

In recent times, one of the emerging and significant fields of research among the social scientists is Human Rights. Though the concept of human rights is included in the Fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution, there are allegations of violations by the state and its various agencies in addition to the violations by society through its various social and economic structures and institutions. The past records and available literature on human rights indicate that large section of Indian populace have been subjected to exploitation over the years by the individuals and institutions.

No doubt that Indian constitution and laws enacted have various provisions to protect the human rights. Besides the above, the establishment of Human Rights Commissions both at national level and state level has further strengthened the institutional frame work to safeguard the human rights.

However of late there is a growing apprehension among the scholars that the existing framework and protective mechanisms have not satisfactorily achieved the objectives for which they were created. To address these issues social scientists and social activists have been analyzing the problems of human rights from the perspectives of social, economic, political, legal, cultural, psychological and institutional dimensions.

Objective of the Seminar:
The objective of the seminar is to invite scholars and human rights activists to deliberate on the issues of human rights with reference to the sub themes mentioned and to enlighten the society at large on the need to protect human rights in all walks of life.

Sub Themes:

  • Social Dimensions of Human Rights
  • Political Dimensions of Human Rights
  • Economic Dimensions of Human Rights
  • Cultural Dimensions of Human Rights
  • Gender Dimension of Human Rights
  • Legal Dimension of Human Rights
  • Institutional Dimension of Human Rights

Call for Papers:
The scholars are invited to send their abstracts and full papers on or before 1st July, 2013 to the following email id:

Prof. Gopal Reddy
Osmania University PG College,
Sardar Patel Road,
Secunderabad - 500 003
Phone: 040-27092169

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