top of page
Image by rade nugroho

STREAM 3b, FINLAND 2023

World Convention in Finland 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Injustice in a World of Uncertainty

Stream 3b: Indigenous People and Ethnic Minorities at the Margins of Safety and Security (Continued)

(A parallel stream of online and pre-recorded presentations with online access only)

 

#1: A State of Siege: The Enemy Within 

Author(s): Dr Kirstie Broadfield, Cairns Institute, Australia

Abstract: By exercising sovereignty through disciplinary, biopolitical and necropolitical power, settler-colonial governance gained total dominance over the invaded territory of what became known as Australia.  What followed this invasion is what Mbembe calls a ‘state of siege’ in which there is a method of killing that does not separate the external enemy from the internal enemy.  Australia was in a state of siege from the outset of settler-colonial control with Indigenous Australians becoming the internal enemy as seen by the open warfare in the early contact period.  This paper argues that Australia is still in a state of siege with Indigenous Australians still viewed as the ‘enemy within’.  It does so by demonstrating the ongoing oppression of Indigenous Australians through forms of violence that not only target Indigenous Australians, but that are systemic in nature, hidden, or embedded within policies and practices of the criminal justice system.  Further, it highlights how the austerity faced by many Indigenous Australians exacerbates this already volatile situation. 

 

#2: Among Dilemmas, Hesitations and Aspirations: Processes of 'Disenchantment' and ‘Re-enchantment’ of the World from the Subjectivities of Young Portuguese Ciganos/Roma who are Completing Compulsory Schooling

 

Author(s): Dr Pedro Caetano, Researcher, CICS.NOVA, FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract: Roma constitute the largest ethnic minority in Europe, with a large majority of their members living in marginal conditions and registering very high levels of poverty, deprivation and discrimination. Portugal, according to the Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey Rome (FRA, 2022: 25), displays one of the highest values of poverty and deprivation among ten European countries which represented almost 90 % of the Roma population living in this geographical space (FRA, 2022: 6).

 

It is not surprising, therefore, that Portugal, in this set of countries, is the country with the lowest number of Roma population aged 20–24 who completed at least upper secondary education (FRA, 2022: 65). There is also the gender gap: among young people aged between 16 and 24, 57% of Ciganas/Roma women were neither in employment, nor education or training (NEET), compared to 35% of Ciganos/Roma men in the same age range (FRA, 2022: 67).

In this sense, the EDUCIG action-research project entitled “School performance among Ciganos/Roma: action-research and co-design project” was implemented . The project, financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), had as one of its main objectives precisely to identify and understand the trajectories of Ciganos students who were integrated into secondary education in the two metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, where around 80% of Ciganos population live. The project aimed as well to find out their intentions to continue their studies in higher education.

This communication uses research data from the EDUCIG project, namely those arising from the qualitative methodological strategy, based on 31 in-depth interviews carried out with young Ciganos students studying in Upper Secondary. The results of the investigation allow us to understand how our interviewees, in their triple condition of young people, students and Ciganos, who attend a level of education in which they assume themselves as ethnic pioneers, articulate new subjectivities with current perspectives around the possibilities to improve the social condition of their ethnicity and, in this way, to increase social justice in Portugal.

#3: Populisms and Anti-Gypsyism in Portugal and in Europe

Author(s): Dr. Maria Manuela Mendes, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract: In a deepening context of globalisation, extremisms and radicalisation are unconquerable in times of uncertainty and gloom. The emergence of anti-Gypsyism narratives is a regularity. The emergence of more direct populisms in central and Eastern Europe, which is accompanied by the construction of narratives of disqualification of the ‘Other’, essentialisation and demonisation of ‘Ciganos’ perceived as a threat and as a scapegoat. The anti-Gypsyism which is historically rooted in our societies is a specific form of racism, an ideology founded on racial superiority, a form of dehumanisation and institutional racism which is expressed, for example, by violence, hate speech, exploitation and stigmatisation.
 

Recently, in the case of the Portuguese or the appearance of the Chega party, the focus was on immigrants and/or refugees, but the ‘Ciganos/Roma’ as an exciting issue gained sympathy in territories and among voters who are normally on the left. It is interesting to explore the narrative of this party and others in the European context against the ‘Ciganos’ and reflect on the strategies of resistance and empowerment of the ‘Ciganos’ against these parties and movements that disqualify them and subtract from their humanity.

#4:  Fear, Uncertainty, and Othering: An Analysis of the Social Exclusion of Muslims in India

Author(s): Professor Arvinder A Ansari, Honorary Director, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India

Abstract: Indian religions and civilisations are extremely diverse, however this diversity frequently results in chaos where some cultures are oppressed and others are dominant. In multicultural, multi-ethnic, and pluralist nations, ethnicity and cultural identity have emerged as key issues. Today, as we are aware that religious minorities  feel insecure, anxious, and threatened due to rapidly growing problems in India based on cultural nationalism, radicalisation of religion, beef-ban, Gua-rakhshak,(Cow Vigilantism) love Jihad, Islamophobia, etc., we see India’s shift from egalitarianism to majoritarian nationalism as particularly dangerous for minorities. The extreme right-wing segment of the Hindu religion has launched a deliberate campaign against all religious minorities, with a particular focus on Muslims. Protests against the so-called love jihad and gharwapsi (homecoming) campaigns that convert Muslims and Christians back to Hinduism are among the key components of this campaign. Over the past eight years, there have been numerous attacks on cow-related issues, but in recent months, Muslim women have also come under attack. Hijab bans and the auctioning of Muslim women activists on social media apps like Bulli deal and Sulli app are outrageous examples that threaten the entire community, particularly when community honour is under attack with the message that Muslim men are powerless to defend their women. The cultural, social, and economic precariousness has sharply increased in recent years. Muslims in India generally experience greater feelings of uncertainty, threat, and terror. Islamophobia of Covid -19 has accelerated the process of othering. Constant communal riots and pogroms have led to geographical segregation, and Muslims have slid into segregation, hence expanding ghettoisation. The supremacy of hate culture has fractured India’s pluralistic culture.

 

The paper provides an account of the situatedness and day-to-day experiences of Muslims living in India with heightened feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and threat in a dominated culture. The research further attempts to investigate how Muslims negotiate the politics of hatred.

#5: Muslim Refugee Women’s Identity and Economic Empowerment

 

Author(s): Ume Rubab Sheikh, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia

Abstract: The aim of this research is to trace the journey of Muslim refugee women since they arrived in Australia and learn how their ideas about who they are might have changed as a result of their paid employment. This question will be considered in terms of participant’s education, religion, work opportunities, family ties as well as the effect of Islamophobia on their overall experience in Australia. I chose to go through my fieldwork using semi-structured interviews to gain insights in the experience of Muslim refugee women and how they struggled to find work in Australia and what was the impact on their identity? I would like to share my insights about how the pandemic affected my fieldwork and I had to resort to online interviews. Furthermore, I would like to share how difficult it was to find refugee women who were willing to interview due to the stigma of refugee shame. Even though I could build a rapport with them on a personal level due to being a Muslim woman myself, however, their distrust in authorities barred them from sharing their personal experiences. Through these insights, I would like to highlight the practicalities of research during difficult times with a vulnerable group of women who still don’t feel safe despite living in Australia.

#6: Kauaueshtakanit: Challenges and Progress to Repair Injustices Towards Indigenous

Peoples in the Criminal System in Canada, the Study of Gladue Reports

Author(s): Philippe Boucher, Master Student in Criminology, University of Montreal, Canada

Abstract: In the last decades, the over-representation of Indigenous people incarcerated never ceased to increase to a point where in 2021, over 32% of inmates are Indigenous while representing only 5% of the Canadian adult population. On the one hand, this presentation will begin by examining the discriminatory practices and the lack of security networks which contribute to this over-representation and the increased vulnerability of Indigenous inmates in Canada. On the second hand, as a Gladue writer and a scholar, I propose an analysis on the role of the Gladue reports in influencing injustice dynamics towards Indigenous people in the criminal system. Gladue reports have been implemented following the Gladue case (1999) from the Supreme court of Canada which recognised the discrimination of Indigenous people by the criminal system. The Supreme court of Canada instructed judges to consider systemic, historical and social circumstances when sentencing an Indigenous person and to consider, “all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstance”. These Gladue reports gather the historical and personal story of the Indigenous person accused. Their objective is to educate the court about the impacts of colonialism on the life of the accused person and to propose alternative measures to incarceration. Based on the scientific literature and personal experiences, I will expose my perspectives on the potential benefits and the challenges of Gladue reports in legitimizing both the colonial criminal system and Indigenous justice initiatives.

#7: From Reconciliation to ‘Idle No More’: ‘Articulation’ and Indigenous Struggle in Canada

 

Author(s): Matthew Robertson, Métis Nation of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

Abstract: This presentation focuses upon oppression in relation to the long-lasting subjugation of the Indigenous peoples of Canada which, in itself, is the product of historic and ongoing colonialism. In that context, it explores the following research question: How do different discourses lead to changes in understandings of the world, identity, meaning and practice in Indigenous politics in Canada? This article introduces the poststructuralist theory of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe to Canadian Indigenous studies and demonstrates that it is a unique and effective theory for understanding this question. It finds that in the last few decades, two principal discourses regarding Indigenous peoples and colonialism have circulated in the Canadian body politic—namely, (1) “reconciliation” and (2) “Idle No More.” These discourses shape the identities of both Indigenous peoples and settlers, construct understandings of the world, and determine the meaning of related political struggle, leading to real world practice and politics. The reconciliation discourse has at times been effective at becoming a dominant discourse and has often been able to constitute the meaning of important terms such as ‘decolonisation.’ It serves to pacify Indigenous resistance to colonialism. Counter-hegemonic discourses on reconciliation such as ‘Idle No More’ have been able to challenge that discourse. Academic literature, newspaper articles, YouTube videos, podcasts developed by Indigenous scholars, public letters and speeches delivered by Canadian politicians are analysed to examine the utterances and enunciations of the two discourses.

#8:Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the Brazilian Legislative Process

Author(s): Paolo Stanich Neto, MA Student in the Legislative Programme, Chamber of Deputies, Brazil,

 

Abstract: This research seeks to bring solutions for the effective participation of indigenous and traditional peoples in the legislative process, through Free, Prior and Informed Consultation - FPIC. The 1988 Constitution, as well as important international norms, such as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, establish self-determination as a fundamental right and guarantee it with the implementation of the FPIC, whenever administrative measures and legislation affect their lives.


The Brazilian State has not been applying this guarantee, especially in the context of the Legislative Power. Through qualitative research of works, articles, as well as national and international norms and devices, we sought to suggest a tool that would serve as a space for dialogue for the application of the FPIC.

 

The research relied on a two-month survey at the University of Tromsø to study how the Sami Parliament's relationship with The Stortinget (Norwegian Parliament) works. Although the Sami people are at the forefront of guarantees for Indigenous peoples. It is interesting to note, that in the case of Norwegian law, the instrument we propose, a special committee in the legislature to guarantee Prior, Free and Informed Consultation in the legislative process, does not exist either. Currently this is done in the context of the Ministry of Interior Affairs to later be, through the national Executive Power, taken to the scrutiny of the Norwegian Parliament. However, other initiatives, such as the attempt to propose a law to the Norwegian Parliament directly, which there is no constitutional provision for this, are being tried by Sami lawyers.

 

It is concluded that in the context of the legislative process, the creation of a Joint Permanent Commission for Prior, Free and Informed Consultation could contemplate the FPIC, thus guaranteeing self-determination in the National Congress. As a final objective, a draft of the Constitutional Amendment Proposal was elaborated, to foresee the commission in the constitutional plan and a draft creating and regulating it in the regimental plan.

 

bottom of page