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Author: Hassan Al Imran

Abstract

Thailand is a coastal State, and the plight of Rohingya boat refugees from Myanmar is an ongoing issue there. However, Thailand has no refugee laws and the State is also a non-State party to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Refugee issues are being treated under ad hoc decisions in Thailand; therefore, refugees have no legal status there, they are treated as illegal immigrants. Moreover, being a coastal State, Thailand rigorously controls its seas. However, Thailand signed on to core international human rights instruments which ensure protection from torture, including their guarantee of civil and political rights to all individuals within its territory. As a State-party to international maritime laws, Thailand also has obligations to assist any person at sea. Against this background, this article examines the challenges of refugee protection in Thailand, where special focus is given to the Rohingya boat refugees within an examination of its maritime laws. In conclusion, it suggests a solution for refugee protection in Thailand under the existing regime. While particular literature on the Rohingya boat refugees in Thailand is very limited, it is expected that the article will fill the gap in existing literature regarding the boat refugee issue in Thailand.

Open Access
In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

The recent discussions on the 2021 Myanmar’s coup have overshadowed the ‘old’ issues, and the Rohingya crisis in particular. In this article, we draw the interest back to one of the most challenging crises of all. We discuss how the main actors shape the image of the Rohingya crisis narratively. How is the conflict narrated? Do competing narratives share anything in common? We argue that all actors produce different and to some extent mutually exclusive images of the conflict. We also find that there are no divergences within the actors’ narratives of the conflict, which suggests that they are more engaged in advocating their political aims than finding a bridging point for further negotiations on the conflict. Our argument is substantiated by an analysis of the narratives articulated by five actors: the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Myanmar government, Bangladesh, and the Rohingya themselves.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

In almost every culture and society globally, women are victims of discrimination and suppression manifested in different spheres of socio-economic, political, cultural, and religious life and activity to varying degrees. Their socially and culturally assigned roles, status, and rights, have always been a subject of serious concern for academics, scholars, intelligentsia, activists, development authorities, and policymakers. The international community, more than ever, is now very sensitive to all issues concerning women’s human rights. Muslims are the largest and principal minority in India. But the mainstream society knows meager about their lives, diversity, religious and constitutional rights, and socio-legal movements for liberation, equity, and justice. One of the reasons for the inadequacy of data on Muslim women’s social history in this century is their absence from public life. Moreover, the general lack of research on minority women worldwide reveals the marginalisation of their experiences. This piece reflects on a contemporary profile of Indian Muslim women, emphasizing some of the critical sociological and anthropological aspects that have drawn widespread media attention recently. It also explores the underlying causes of their subordination, inequality, and exclusion, which act as a barrier to play a constructive role in society, in the context of Indian constitutionalism.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

The article untangles the relationship between Indigenous Peoples organisations (ipo s) and the Russian government in domestic and international political forums over the 1990s-2020s. It links two debates on co-optation and Indigenous peoples’ rights norms contestation, offering a more nuanced view of them as complex, incremental, and dynamic processes in the Russian authoritarian regime. By proceeding from the bifurcation of the contemporary ipo sector, the analysis identifies and examines two groups of ipo s – ‘operational’ and ‘advocacy.’ The article argues that each group of ipo s still preserves some limited capacity to contest the state normative behaviour in the given political environment, yet differently. While ‘operational’ ipo s opt for discursive contestation through appropriation, the ‘advocacy’ ipo s express their dissent by acting as nomads. Both tactics enable each group to create opportunities to effect some progressive, albeit modest, policy and legislative changes.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

The Sunnis in Iran are among the Muslim minorities with a specific internal, political, and social structure and relations. They play a significant role in Iran’s foreign and domestic policy. Many researchers have considered a link between the name of Iran and Shiism as well as the relations established by Shia groups in the Middle East. The paper aimed to examines and identify the internal relations and structure of Sunnis based on the characteristics of reform movements by focusing on Sunnis as a reformist social movement. This study identifying the internal structure and international interactions of the Sunnis in Iran based on two different political perspectives governing this minority. In addition, this paper considered the political orientation of the Sunni minority in Iran as an inclusive social movement and a social sub movement. As the Sunnis in Iran may represent an inclusive socio-religious movement with some radical tendencies, they can also be considered and analysed as a sub-movement related to the larger pro-democracy movement, due to their civic demands on the Shia regime ruling Iran.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Sabah Mofidi

Abstract

During the early years (1979–1982) following the 1979 revolution, because of the prevalence of a traditional society, religion was politically more functional. Religious discourse became hegemonic and most groups, including secularists, were forced to use such a discourse to promote their politics. The Persian politicians used Islam to make Perso-Iranian nationalism dominant over others, while non-Persian politicians appealed to it to gain their ethno-national rights. Using Qualitative Content Analysis to analyse the scattered texts of speeches, interviews, messages of the Persian and Kurdish leaders published in different publications at the time (which are available in some archives and databases), this article describes how they use religion in their confrontations. The findings show both marginalisation and resistance against it appealing to Islamic discourse. Ignoring those parts of Islam that are not in their interest, the Persian nationalists use Islamic brotherhood and unity to reinforce Islamic identity over Kurdish identity in order to marginalise the Kurdish nationalist movement, as well as to mobilise ordinary people against the Kurdish forces. Conversely, the Kurdish nationalists resist, and demand equality as Muslim brethren. In this regard, while religion has uniting, mobilizing and legitimating functions for the Persian government, enabling it to pursue nationalistic aims and to justify relevant measures, it also partly has a legitimating one for the Kurdish opposition.

Open Access
In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

The Rohingyas, one of the most vulnerable refugee groups in the world, have suffered from continuous state sponsored terrorism by the Burmese government since Myanmar’s independence in 1948. Religion and ethnic differences are often contemplated as the major reason for the Rohingya crisis. However, this paper argues instead of only focusing upon ethno-religious dimension of the Rohingya conflict, the geo-strategic and resource centric explanation also need to be addressed. For the above-mentioned purpose, this research analyses how the Rohingya crisis is robustly linked with geo-strategic factors and politics of natural resources. In this context, the role and activities of the Government of Myanmar and military force in the Rakhine province are explained. In addition, this paper also examines the geo-economic interests of some foreign forces in Rakhine state. Based on qualitative analysis, data are collected from both primary and secondary sources such as books, journal articles, reports of government, etc. The research shows that the Rohingya’s persecution, displacement have a possible connection with the resources and geo-strategic factors that are present in the Rakhine state. This study further implies, the resources and geo-strategic factors also influence the Myanmar’s policies and actions and the engagement of military forces in the Rohingya crisis. Therefore, this new geo-strategic and resource centric explanation which are often overlooked can provide a better understanding of the Rohingya crisis.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

Based on an investigation of grassland ecology and herdsmen’s life in the Alxa League, this paper explores ecological conservation, varied interest pursuits among different groups, the entry of industrial capital, and the changes in economic diversification, in a hope to locate the mechanism of societal management that has given rise to the various pursuits of interest. Particularly, faced with the development policies of the state, how will the local society adapt itself to such a tremendous change? This is a practical problem put right in front of us. The authors argue that promoting autonomous development means respect for the rationality of local culture, while pointing out that facing diverse opinions and varied pursuits of interests, it is conducive for modern pastoral societies to create mechanisms for consultation and dialogue.

In: Ethnic Minorities in Socialist China: Development, Migration, Culture, and Identity

Abstract

“Villagism” is a social and cultural institution that organizes and maintains the social and cultural relations and manages the daily life of a village by taking the interests of the village as the highest principle. As the case studies of several Hani villages outlined in this chapter demonstrate, villages that practice villagism have clear physical and spatial boundaries, and build and strengthen the sanctity of the village space through systematic religious and sacrificial activities of the village, while the villagers always follow the cultural principle of making distinctions between their own village and the world beyond their village boundary in their collective actions. Examining the peripheral rural society of Southwest China using the villagism paradigm will help us to understand in depth the unique distribution pattern of ethnic groups in this region, which features co-habitation of diverse ethnic groups in a large area, with each ethnic group concentrated in small areas within the larger region. The practice of protecting the sanctity of the village space also negates James Scott’s false assertion that the mountain peoples have a natural tendency to “flee the state.” Under the influence of villagism, the villagers face various opportunities and difficulties in modern development, which are all related to their social and cultural characteristics.

In: Ethnic Minorities in Socialist China: Development, Migration, Culture, and Identity