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The Institute of Commonwealth Studies Alumni Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 4: Summer 2013

Staff News

Around the Institute

Pages 1-5

Page 6 Alumni


Pages 7-8 Alumni


Pages 10-12

Current Student Spotlight Page 9 Forthcoming Events Page 13

Staff News Dr David James Cantor Lecturer in International Human Rights Law On the Up!

David has just returned from fieldwork ranging across six countries of Mesoamerica during March-May 2013. He was researching the epidemic of forced displacements prompted by gang violence. This forms part of his threeyear project ‘Pushing the Boundaries: New Dynamics of Forced Migration and Transnational Responses in Latin America’ that recently received an award from the Economic and Social Research Council under its Future Research Leaders programme. Since the beginning of the academic year, alongside his ICWS teaching, David’s research and invitations to present his research have taken him to fifteen countries!

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is delighted to announce that both Dr David James Cantor and Dr Corinne Lennox have recently achieved academic promotions. These will take take effect from 01 August 2013. Dr Cantor, who lectures and teaches on the MA in Human Rights and is also the Director of the Refugee Law Initiative, has been promoted to Reader in International Human Rights Law.

The Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) has also continued to develop its research promotion and facilitation profile and to attract new funding under David’s direction. So far this academic year, five major conferences and events have been held alongside three new seminar series and a range of other projects, including a prestigious new book series on ‘International Refugee Law’ with Martinus Nijhoff law publishing house. The RLI have been pleased also to host three new Visiting Fellows (Rebecca Stern, Efthymios Papastavridis and Carol Bohmer) and a Graduate Fellow (Nicolas Rodríguez), as well as our Academic Support Officer (Mehrunnisa Yusuf), Researcher (Diana Trimiño) and EU Law Coordinator (Violeta Moreno-Lax).

Dr Lennox, who convenes the MA in Human Rights and lectures and teaches on the course and is also an Associate Director of the Human Rights Consortium, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Human Rights.

Both Dr Cantor and Dr Lennox have taught and inspired many students over the course of several years, as well as carrying out and engaging with research in the field of human rights. We warmly congratulate them on their respective promotions.


Vacancy: Early Career Academic in Refugee Law

Applications are sought for the position of Early Career Academic in the Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London. This post represents an opportunity for a rising star in the field of refugee law to join the dynamic team at the highly successful Refugee Law Initiative (RLI). Further details about the activities of the RLI can be found on its website: To succeed in this newly-created post, applicants will need a specialised knowledge of refugee law, normally evidenced by a PhD in a relevant subject discipline (or demonstrably close to completion). The successful candidate will be an ambitious and motivated scholar, who is able to combine practitioner experience that engages multilateral, governmental and non-governmental institutions with the insights provided by academic research. To be credible in this exchange, the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate an excellent research and publication record and a track record of attracting external funding for research and dissemination projects. Teaching experience at Master’s level, preferably in the field of human rights, is also essential. The post will report to Dr David James Cantor, the Director of the RLI and, with effect from 01/08/2013, a Reader in International Human Rights Law. The Human Rights Consortium (HRC) was established to facilitate and promote research in human rights in the UK and internationally. The HRC brings together multidisciplinary expertise in human rights found acros sthe School of Advanced Study to provide a national and international collaborative centre for the support, promotion and dissemination of academic and policy work in human rights.

The Refugee Law Initiative is the only academic centre in the UK to concentrate specifically on international refugee law. As a national focal point for leading and promoting research in this field, the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) works to integrate the shared interests of refugee law scholars and practitioners, stimulate collaboration between academics and non-academics, and achieve policy impact at the national and international level For further information and to apply for this role, please visit the University of London vacancies page: before the closing date on Monday, 16 September 2013. The University offers membership to the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme (USS). Pursuing equal opportunities and excellence in education.

Dr Corinne Lennox Lecturer in Human Rights Dr Corinne Lennox, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and convenor of the MA in Human Rights, will be on maternity leave for part of the academic year 201314. Teaching on her modules, Securing Human Rights I and II, will be provided and coordinated by Dr Rachel Ibreck (pictured) during this period. Dr Ibreck is currently Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies, as well as associate director of the Centre for Peace and Development Studies, at the University of Limerick, having taught previously at the University of Bath, Bristol and the Open University. Her research includes the politics of memory and transitional justice after conflict and genocide; and non violent resistance and struggles for human rights in Africa.

The Danube overrunning its banks in June 2013. Photograph courtesy of Corinne Lennox

The Danube river was threatening to break over its banks in early June but my feet stayed (mostly) dry for a series of meetings in Budapest recently. I was there for the first meeting of the Advisory Board of the Tom Lantos Institute. The TLI is a relatively new organisation with a tripartite mandate on combating anti-Semitism, promoting the rights of the Roma and supporting human rights education and minority rights education. It is unique in its focus on both anti-Semitism and Roma rights, both of which have been centuries-long concerns in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. Tom Lantos fled Hungary to the US during the Second World War as a Holocaust survivor and went on to become the Co-Founder of the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus and the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Dr Ibreck said “I’m delighted to contribute to this unique MA programme and to have the opportunities to draw on previous experiences both as as an academic and a human rights researcher while engaging with students with similar interests to my own.”

I was also in Budapest to co-organise for the TLI a workshop on minority rights education as part of human rights education. We had an ambitious agenda to try to conceptualise what education about minority rights might require at different levels of education and possible entry points for this work in existing streams of education related to human rights, citizenship, intercultural education and anti-racism education. I was surprised to hear from the experts assembled that attention to human rights education is receding in many Western states but continues to feature prominently in post-conflict societies.

The Institute warmly welcomes Dr Ibreck and looks forward to her arrival in the new academic year. During academic year 2013-14, the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights will be jointly convened by Dr Damien Short and Dr David James Cantor.

I also profited from my presence in Budapest to give a lecture at the Central European University as part of a new South Asia studies seminar series. The talk focused on norm entrepreneurship on caste-based discrimination and the exchange with colleagues stimulated some new ideas for my work on human rights in Indian foreign policy. 3

Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change edited by Corinne Lennox and Matthew Waites

Human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity are at last reaching the heart of global debates. Yet 78 states worldwide continue to criminalise same-sex sexual behaviour, and due to the legal legacies of the British Empire, 42 of these – more than half – are in the Commonwealth of Nations. In recent years many states have seen the emergence of new sexual nationalisms, leading to increased enforcement of colonial sodomy laws against men, new criminalisations of sex between women and discrimination against transgender people. Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change challenges these developments as the first book to focus on experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) and all non-heterosexual people in the Commonwealth. The volume offers the most internationally extensive analysis to date of the global struggle for decriminalisation of same-sex sexual behaviour and relationships. Thirteen peer-reviewed chapters by academics and activists present analyses of struggles for decriminalisation and change in 16 national contexts covering all regions of the Commonwealth: United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Uganda, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Bahamas.

To purchase a copy of Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change (£20.00 plus postage), please email or visit: The book is also available open-access at:

Some recent transnational activism has sought to use the Commonwealth as a medium to achieve decriminalisation. This volume distinctively opens up questions of how such developments should be interpreted in the contexts of colonialism and postcolonialism, and critical perspectives on cultural racism, Southern theory and homonationalism. It thus offers analytical frameworks for developing struggles and strategies for decriminalisation and human rights in the context of a multi-dimensional understanding of inequalities and power. The focus is of utility for activists, researchers and decision‐makers.

Dr Damien Short Senior Lecturer in Human Rights Since the beginning of the academic year, I have been the Director of the School of Advanced Study’s Human Rights Consortium, a role which has been both interesting and full of opportunities to drive forward and contribute to national human rights research agendas. It’s also posed challenges in the need to think innovatively about human rights research and how we, wherever possible, can translate research into concrete, systemic change on the ground. To this end, an important series of events I have been involved in convening is our human rights research students’ conference, one of which has been held in London and one at the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. These conferences are open to doctoral researchers seeking to showcase their work and to discuss how they can take their research forward. The conferences are open to postgraduate researchers at any stage, and we hope that some of our current and former Masters students will submit papers based on their MA dissertations, especially if they are considering carrying on their human rights research career.

The beginning of the academic year also saw the launch of a special issue of the journal Sociology on the Sociology of Human Rights. This took up considerable amounts of energy last academic year so it was a real delight to be able to welcome such an esteemed panel of speakers – including Dr Michele Lamb, Dr Matthew Waites and Professor Chetan Bhatt, whose presentation on the sociology of human rights in the light of wartime innovations such as the use of drones was shocking as well as informative and analytical. Additional papers from the special issue are also available as a book and it’s well worth seeking out if you want to read some of the pathbreaking papers contained therein. We’re hoping to use the momentum of the very successful issue and launch to drive forward further engagement between sociology and human rights, two areas of academic research which have had comparatively little to say to one another; I’m hoping this will change. The work of an editor is never done and I’m currently knee-deep, along with Corinne Lennox, in editing the forthcoming Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, to be published by Routledge. In addition, the recent Geneva trip allowed me to deepen some research by visiting the archives at the UN library and, most importantly, clearing my head with a quick dip in Lake Geneva, as per the annual tradition! As always, it was a brilliant end to the academic year.

Both a dip in Lake Geneva and a photo at Broken Chair are traditions for the Geneva study tour. This year’s cohort enjoyed blue skies as well. See also Georgia Booth’s article, in this issue, for more details on this cohort’s Genenva trip. Photograph courtesy of Corinne Lennox 5

Open human rights blog for students, by students This open blog was created by students on the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights degree programme at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London. We agreed it would be great to have a shared space in which we could post research on current human rights issues. The idea is that anyone and everyone with an interest in human rights - their promotion, protection and fulfillment- could contribute to this forum. Whether you want to post an article about a specific topic, or post about a current project you’re working on, all is welcome. This is the blog for you if you have an interest in women’s rights, children’s rights, refugee rights- anything. If somethings really makes you angry, or you want to tell us about a successful campaign or interesting organisation then this is the place to do it. Come on, spit it out! Please email ideas/articles etc to the editors at Follow us on Twitter @spititoutblog

Explore the ICwS Digital Collection at SAS-Space SAS-Space is an online library for humanities research outputs, providing a permanent and stable archive for scholars and researchers. Working papers, conference reports and research papers are available to download for free on an open-source basis from any location in the world. The SAS-Space ICwS library contains papers delivered at seminars and conferences at ICwS over the academic year; with over 150 events taking place every year, the Institute has consequently built up a sizeable collection of papers, on topics as diverse as efforts to tackle poverty and inequality in the BRIC countries and tensions within the concept of corporate social responsibility. Also of relevance to many of our alumni is the collections of the Human Rights Consortium within SAS-Space. Visit for further details about this international resource. If you would like to have your Master’s thesis included in our collection of theses in SAS-Space, please email

Alumni News

Sarah Pugh

MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights 2010 After completing her MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights, Sarah Pugh went on a round-the-world trip to put her academic knowledge of human rights into practice. Rattling down the road that was more pot holes than asphalt, past the tarpaulin cities and never-ending rubble, in a car held together by prayers and duct tape, I started to question my sanity. What exactly did I think I was doing in Haiti? More to the point, what exactly did I think I was doing venturing off for a year in search of ‘volunteer work’, with no return ticket and no real notion of where I was going? Now how had I explained it to my friends and family? Oh yes: I was going to see everything I’d learnt about during my Master’s degree. After all, it’s all well and good having a postgraduate degree in Human Rights, but surely you had to witness some of it first hand? Otherwise, wasn’t it all just theory and academics - words and arguments and libraries? Oh no, not for me the unfounded moralising and hypothesising of scholars - I was off to put it all into perspective... But as the car pulled into the building site that would apparently be my home for the next six weeks...Well, like I said, I questioned my sanity. Thankfully though, these doubts were unfounded. I was in Haiti to volunteer with a humanitarian relief and development organisation called All Hands (www., and the experience that followed turned out to be one of the most fulfilling and inspiring of my life. All those lectures I’d sat through about human rights-based approaches to development work, reading up on how Beyond the seminar rooms of Senate House...Sarah’s travels helped her put the to bridge short-term relief and long-term knowledge and skills she had gained for her MA in Human Rights into perspective objectives, debating the pros and cons of such an approach in the seminar rooms of Senate House – well, here it all was in action. Here was an organisation putting international volunteers to work whilst training and employing local Haitians, giving short term relief through the clearing of rubble and distribution of water filters, but then also contributing to the development of the neighbourhood through the building of schools and the setting up of livelihoods programmes. This was exactly what I’d wanted to see and be a part of. And, as an added bonus, I was being let loose with power tools on a daily basis...what more could a girl ask for? After Haiti I travelled on to South East Asia. I was fortunate enough to repeat my experience with All Hands in The Philippines, where I helped with the relief and development work they were conducting following Typhoon Sendong [also known as Typhoon Washi, this severe tropical storm hit The Philippines in December 2011]. I then somehow wound up in an office in northern Thailand, volunteering with a Dutch-registered NGO, the We women foundation (, which works with refugee women from Burma. I found myself writing articles on Burmese politics; corresponding with donors whilst trying to think back to those handy lecture notes on advocacy; interviewing young refugees; or even carrying out in-the-field research in Burma and trying desperately to remember all I’d learnt in my Research Studies module, which now seemed so very far 7

away. Then, to round off the year, I spent three months in the offices of the Human Rights Law Network in New Delhi (, where I somehow had to wrap my head around writing reports on patterns of human rights abuse and researching human rights commissions. To those of you reading this whilst still completing your Master’s degree, or to those of you who are thinking of beginning your studies, or who have recently fact, hang it all, to anyone reading this, I can’t sing the praises of the organisations listed here anywhere near highly enough. After graduating I didn’t really know A beach in Manila after a typhoon. Sarah assisted in relief and development efforts where to begin – I had a lovely degree following Typhoon Sendong, which claimed at least 1200 lives. certificate and a head full of ideas, but what next? Being able to travel and witness human rights work actually taking place on the ground, being able to contribute and see for myself the benefits that followed – well, it more than cemented my desire to pursue a career in human rights, and helped me put into perspective those many niggling little questions of ethics and logistics and all the other ‘-ics’ which my Master’s had thrown up. So, to anyone and everyone, I would recommend travel. And I would absolutely recommend throwing yourself whole-heartedly into as many volunteer opportunities as you come across. Yes, you might get some bumps and scratches along the way; you might see some unnerving and eye-opening sights, or feel conflicted and powerless, you might find yourself feeling like an alien in a seemingly impregnable culture, and, like me, you might question your sanity. But you might also find that everything that seemed somewhat obscure in the classroom, can suddenly click into place.

José-Manuel Barretto MA Understanding and Securing Human Rights, 2000 Since graduating from the MA in Human Rights in 2000, José-Manuel Barreto has achieved a PhD in Law. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Unit for Global Justice, Goldsmiths, University of London. His research focuses on the history and theory of human rights in the context of modern imperialism and colonial genocide. He has recently edited Human Rights from a Third World Perspective, a volume which takes up the point of view of the colonized in order to unsettle and supplement the conventional understanding of human rights in what Scott Newton, Lecturer at SOAS, has called “an extraordinarily rich and compendious volume.” 8

Current Student Spotlight Georgia Booth

MA Understanding and Securing Human Rights

With only a few months to go until my last hand-in for the MA, I can truly say that, in equal measures, I am excited to finish, still stressed that I will mess up my dissertation royally, and sad to realise I won’t be a student any more. Unsure of what to expect when I applied to the degree in 2010 (I deferred for a year and commenced with my studies in 2011), I can say it has exceeded my expectations as a challenging and invaluable experience. Learning about human rights from a theoretical, legal and practical perspective made me re-evaluate the importance of human rights conceptually and as a contemporary, relevant framework to evaluate issues such as development, conflict, the economic crisis and humanitarian aid, to name a few. I realised early on, for example, that the legal path was not for me! Social science, with its greater room for conceptualisation, was more appealing. Being able to make up words (villagisation!?) is just the start of it…The interdisciplinary nature of the course, we learnt, reflects the interdisciplinary nature of human rights itself. While studying I have been interning with Peace Brigades International UK and have seen this interdisciplinarity in practice. When carrying out research about other organisations working with human rights defenders, it has been interesting learning about their use of conceptual human rights language and their utilisation of international legal frameworks to best achieve their work. A highlight of the course was a trip to Geneva in early June. Sitting in on Human Rights Council sessions and NGO side events and meeting with delegates was fascinating and gave the UN a human face. Israel’s report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child was particularly interesting as was the screening of the documentary Girl Rising, about

The Serpentine Bar at Palais des Nations. Photograph courtesy of Georgia Booth

the importance of education in alleviating poverty. While Geneva is pretty soulless as a city, we still managed to have an amazing time after all the sessions and meetings swimming in the lake, dancing in the Ethiopian restaurant Awash, and drinking endless beers in the alfresco bars in the old town. Spending my last Swiss francs in the Serpentine bar in the Palais de Nations was the perfect end to a great week. While the academic year is drawing to a close, this isn’t the end of my academic engagement with human rights! During the spring term I started an open human rights blog, ‘Spit it out’ ( The idea was to create a shared space in which ICwS students and alumni, and anyone else interested, can post articles, videos and academic research about current human rights issues. Anyone and everyone with an interest in human rights - their promotion, protection and fulfilment - can contribute to the blog, which operates as an open forum. Giving insights into independent research, internship experiences, and new jobs would, I hoped, foster new ideas and create a space to share tools and resources that we can all use. Current students and alumni have contributed and continue to do so and there is also an accompanying Twitter account, @spititoutblog, to get the latest human rights news and to disseminate our articles to the wider international community. Most recently, the blog features posts on transitional justice in Guatemala, consumerism and poverty, and the human rights responsibilities of multinational pharmaceutical companies. Until September I will be researching for and writing my dissertation, which focuses on business and human rights. I will look at one good practice company as a case study and analyse how corporate social responsibility policy and practice can be improved. Whether I maintain management of the blog after graduation or pass it on to new ICwS MA students, it has been great fun, as with the rest of the MA with all its ups (Geneva trip, the students and lecturers and post-library drinks) and downs (24 hour take-home exams and imminent dissertation panic). 9

Alumni News

Smriti Minocha

MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights 2009 Undertaking the MA in Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) was a great learning experience for me. For the first time in my life, I was challenged to look at human rights issues outside of India. ICwS was also where I first fell in love with law. One of my favorite classes was International Law, with the amazing lecturer Lars Waldorf [former Lecturer in Human Rights at the Institute]. It is partly because of him that, when I returned to India, I decided to pursue an LLB at Delhi University. When I first came to London, I had a very naïve understanding of the role of international institutions in securing human rights. During my first class on the United Nations, Angela Melchiorre [former Lecturer in Human Rights at the Institute] asked us to write the first thought that came to our minds when we heard ‘UN’. I wrote ‘Puppet’. But this class helped me develop a more sophisticated understanding of the challenges and limitations faced by the United Nations. Dr Damien Short helped me gain a better understanding of the ways in which genocide has been committed around the world, and this gave me a tool for understanding some of the incidences of ethnic cleansing and sectarian violence that have occurred in my own country. I learned so much from my lecturers and fellow students, and remain so grateful for the opportunity to study at the Institute. Since returning to India, I have been working with Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), which is the largest network of lawyers and activists providing pro bono services across the country. I am currently a Senior Programme Officer there. The HRLN has engaged in some remarkable litigation in the courts. For example, in what is now known as simply as the ‘Right to Food case’, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the government is responsible for providing basic food provisions to poor and marginalized people. The HRLN was also the first organisation to bring forward serious litigations on the issue of reproductive rights, including reproductive choice and maternal mortality. The focus of my work at HRLN has been on gender-based violence. I represent women, who are victims of such violence, before the courts; work on advocacy efforts related to the protection of women from such violence; and work on awareness campaigns to ensure that women from lower socioeconomic groups have better understanding of their rights under Indian law. I also assist institutions and organizations to make their workplace friendlier to women by helping them develop clear policies on sexual harassment and training their employees on what constitutes harassment. Things changed for the women’s movement in India after the 16 Smiriti Minocha (second from left) and colleagues at a national seminar to end violence December 2012 gang rape in Delhi. against women. Photographs courtesy of Smriti Minocha It was for the first time that people 10

came out onto the streets in such high numbers and demanded real changes regarding how women are treated in our society. We were fortunate to see these changes in law taking place, but a lot more is needed. A children’s court, referred to as a Child Welfare Committee in Indian law, recently appointed me as a Support Person in the case of a 5 year old victim of sexual abuse; I took this as an opportunity to make meaningful changes in the life of the child and to the system. At present I am handling four cases of sexually abused children and with this opportunity I would like to make changes at the ground level. Apart from this, I have been involved in a number of campaigns across the country, Including a campaign for abolition of the death penalty in India, a campaign to end honour killings, a campaign in support of prison reforms, and others. I have organized national and international level consultations on various human rights issues. In fact, I am presently busy setting up a South Asian Centre for Human Rights where judges, lawyers, academics and activists from all South Asian countries can come together to share best practice and experiences. The other work that I am involved with, and which is close to my heart, is the Students for Human Rights Initiative. Here, we encourage home and international students to join the human rights movement in India. We organise national and state-level meetings where we sensitize students towards human rights issues and create a platform for discussions. Recently, I was delighted to receive a copy of Philip Alston and Ryan Goodman’s latest book International Human Rights, sent to me by the authors in appreciation of the work I am doing. This meant a lot to me as I used to study from their book during the MA course.

Corporate Activity and Human Rights in India Apart from ICwS alumna Smriti Minocha’s long-standing career at the Human Rights Law Network in India, where she has worked to secure human rights in India since completing her MA, there have been other collaborations between HRLN and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies through our alumni (see also Sarah Pugh’s story, in this issue). Alumna Gabriella Wass (MA 2010) edited one of HRLN’s recent publications, Corporate Activity and Human Rights in India (left), after meeting HRLN founder (and Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India) Colin Gonsalves while travelling in India. In addition to Gabriella’s role in editing the publication as a whole, two ICwS alumna contributed chapters to the publication. Isobel Foulsham (MA 2010) wrote on Water Depletion and Rebecca Mackinnon (MA 2012) contributed a chapter on the Role of the Media. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies holds a limited number of copies of Corporate Activity and Human Rights in India. To purchase a copy for £10.00, please email Chloe Pieters: 11

Alumni News

Brian Tennyson

PhD in Commonwealth Studies, 1978 Having studied under Peter Lyon (Reader in international Relations at ICwS) and Trevor Reese (Reader in Imperial Studies at ICwS), Brian Tennyson is currently Emeritus Professor of History at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has just published The Canadian Experience of the Great War: A Guide to Memoirs (New York: Scarecrow Press), an annotated bibliography of published memoirs, collections of letters, collected poetry and novels written by Canadian men and women who served in the First World War. It includes non-Canadians who came to Canada and served in the Canadian armed forces, and Canadians who served in non-Canadian forces such as the British and French. What makes this bibliography unusual if not unique and more valuable than most is that biographical information is provided on all the authors.

News and Events The Institute recently hosted a talk by Professor Avatthi Ramaiah, who spoke on Combating Caste Violence. Professor Ramaiah is ordinarily based at the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Asia Research Centre at the London School of Economics. He has published extensively on issues related to caste and caste-based discrimination and violence. His talk, held at the Institute in June, explored the nature of caste-based violence and state responses across various states in India and why such vast differences in conviction rates exist between states. His arguments were positioned within the context of scholarly debates which consider whether caste has withered away, enabling caste-based policies and programmes to be withdrawn, or whether caste-based violence and discrimination continues and still needs to be tackled systematically. Professor Ramaiah’s talk was particularly timely given that it was announced in April that caste discrimination would be outlawed in the UK under the Equality Act, following a last-minute amendment, making the UK the first country outside Asia to ban discrimination based on caste.


Forthcoming events A wide-ranging programme of seminars, conferences and workshops take place at ICwS throughout the year. Below are some highlights from the next academic year. For information about more events, please visit Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) Annual Conference 9-11 September 2013, 09.00-17.00 The Chancellor’s Hall (first floor) Senate House (South Block), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU The AHRI annual conference is where member institutions coordinate and plan their research and discuss current issues in defined research areas. In collaboration with AHRI and the Human Rights Consortium. The International Significance of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy 25 September 2013, 11.00-18.00 Room 349 (third floor), Senate House (South Block), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU In collaboration with the University of Exeter and the Human Rights Consortium. This event will launch The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, Land Rights and the State, edited by Gary Foley, Andrew Schaap, and Edwina Howell The Commonwealth’s First nations: Rights, Status and Struggles in the run up to the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, 2014 26 September 2013, 09.30-18.00 The Senate Room (first floor), Senate House (South Block), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU This event will launch the Special Issue of the Round Table Journal of International Affairs on Indigenous Peoples in the Commonwealth Grenada in the World: Thirty Years after Operation Fury 24 October 2013, 09.30-18.00 The Senate Room (first floor), Senate House (South Block), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU For further information please contact Karen Hunte:

There are numerous ways of staying in touch with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Join our LinkedIn group, Institute of Commonwealth Studies Alumni Join our Facebook group: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Students and Alumni If you would like to contribute to the Autumn 2013 edition of ICAN, please email Chloe Pieters: We look forward to hearing from you. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies warmly thanks former and current students who have contributed to this issue of ICAN by bringing their news to our attention and authoring pieces about their activities during and after studying at the ICwS. ICAN is typeset and designed by Chloe Pieters

ICAN: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Alumni Newsletter  

The Summer 2013 issue of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Alumni Newsletter

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