Last weekend (Oct 9-11), several Guyanese, Trinis and other Indo Caribbeans, including this writer, presented papers on the experience of indentured laborers and their descendants at the International Conference on Old and New Indenture: Labour Practices and Human Rights. The conference was hosted by a university in New Zealand. Several Guyanese, including this writer, have helped with its planning and organizing. Among the other presenters were Ravi Dev, Baytoram Ramharack, and Lomarsh Roopnarine.
A release from the organizers says that the trans-disciplinary conference has brought together national and international scholars and social justice activists to provide a concerted emphasis on labour exploitation and migration as a present-day humanitarian crisis. The conference also seeks to understand past labour exploitations through blackbirding, slavery and indenture as a social justice issue that continues to have consequences for the present.
“The conference provides a platform to examine social justice challenges in the form of the social and material structures of labour systems and how these structures create complex, inter-related and overlapping relationships that are detrimental to the wellbeing of the labourers. Exploitations of human rights may take the form of deceitful recruitment practices, poor working and living conditions, forced labour, debt bondage, and child labour.”
Through such discussions, the conference provides avenues for analysing the interplay of power, micro and macro-level politics and governance in determining and improving individuals’ resource access and health. Some of the themes: Legacy of labour and migrations ● Construction of identities ● Health, migration and labour exploitation ●Law, business, environment, politics and economics perspectives ●
The Conference Convener is Dr. Farzana Gounder, IPU, New Zealand
Conference Secretary: Vinod Narayan Sami, Global Girmit Institute. For information, write to
Conference Organising Conference Secretary: email@example.com
Organising Secretary: manpreetK@unifiji.ac.fj
Office: Global Girmit Institute, Saweni Shopping Centre, Queens Road, Lautoka
Website: http://fias.org.fj; http://globalgirmitinstitute.org