South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The International Movement against all forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) together with South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) organised a round table discussion on ‘Religious extremism in the South Asian Region: Safe Guarding Minorities’ on 28 April 2017 in Colombo, SriLanka. While religious extremism has been a continual issue facing the region since the violent partition of India and Pakistan in 1945, at present the religious divisions between communities have widened, and are at times overtly manipulated as a political tool resulting in both armed and structural violence, particularly against minorities. With this backdrop the meeting was organised to facilitate the exchange of information on the status of religious extremism, existing laws and policies to protect the minorities in the region and strengthen networking among groups working on similar issues and increase joint action at the regional level. The keynote address was given by Hina Jilani. The participants contributed to the exchange of experiences including threats and challenges faced by those engaged in advancing tolerance, pluralism and human rights in the region and identified broad principles for the development of national/regional policies on social cohesion.