South Asia Social Forum 2011 at Dhaka, Bangladesh
The main theme for the South Asia Social Forum 2011 Bangladesh was set "Democracy for Social Transformation in South Asia: Participation, Equity, Justice and Peace".
This theme is to highlight and oppose the neo-liberal, hegemonic and authoritarian “poverty reduction” development policy and paradigm. The forum is intended to focus on this structural concern with a clear transformational agenda. However, there are various urgent and immediate
economic, political and cultural concerns of the people, especially poor, women and marginalized communities, would be addressed in the forum. There are country specific issues and there are also regional and cross-country issues. All the issues are clustered in sub-theme.
The specific objective of the forum is to create an open space for South Asian civil society, social movements and peoples’ initiatives to exchange alternative ideas and practices, and expressing global solidarity for people’s struggle against injustice.
It is imperative to say that the SASF 2011 at Dhaka is an event for sharing and expressing solidarity, nevertheless, this is also an open process and space for building further solidarity for way forward with shared vision. It is expected that the forum will be able to pave the way for further cooperation and solidarity among South Asian social activists, who subscribe the charter of WSF and oppose communalism, fundamentalism, sectarianism, casteism, and war crimes.
Sub-Themes (key Issues)
Participatory Democracy and People’s Movements: Democracy as “competition for power”, local autonomy/self-governance, social movements, peoples organization, peoples planning, peoples control over natural resources, peoples movement against Neo-Liberalism,
Responsive Governance: decentralization/local government, right to information, extrajudicial killing, rule of law, accountability, green governance, corruption, de-militarization,
Gender and Sexuality: patriarchy, violence against women, violence against children, hegemonic masculinity, gender based violence, transgender,
Human Rights and Dignity: fundamental human rights, children’s rights, youth rights, women rights, labor rights, farmers’ rights, migrants rights, rights of differently able people, Dalit rights, minority rights, rights of Indigenous peoples, right to shelter/housing,
Fundamentalism, Conflict and Societal Peace: communal, ethnic, political party rivalry and conflict resolution/transformation, societal peace, multiculturalism, racism, secularism,
Food Sovereignty & Livelihood Security: Land and agrarian reform, corporate agriculture, food rights, hunger, land rights, seed rights, natural resource: (forest, water & mineral), solidarity economy,
Public Services, Privatization and Entitlement: education, health (Public Heath Care, HIV/AIDS.), water, energy, transport, knowledge and technology and people’s entitlement,
Globalization, justice and development: people’s globalization vs. IFIs, trade justice, WTO, FTA, RTA corporate accountability, aid accountability, development finance. climate justice, environmental/ecological justice,
Regional and Trans-boundary Concerns:, regional cooperation, peace, solidarity, border security, religious extremism, communalism, caste, class and ethnicity, crime against humanity and war crimes, migration, trafficking, harnessing water resources for all the basin people through equitable sharing, disarmament and de-nuclearization,
Media and Cultural Hegemony: corporate control of media, consumerism, sexism, intolerance, fundamentalism, alternative and peoples media,
Date and Venue: November 18-22. Dhaka University Premises
Targeted Participant: 10,000 – 20,000 delegates from South Asia and beyond
Expected Outcome: A people’s charter of demand for plurality and democracy in South Asia declared.
A process of social movement for solidarity and collective action is initiated at South Asia.
The South Asia Social Forum is principally a platform for sharing ideas and policy alternative derived from and practiced in the southern hemisphere of Asia region. The SASF Working Groups will provide the venue and required logistics to the organizations and social movements for holding events (seminar, exhibition etc.) during the forum. They will also provide interpreter, translation equipments, online database for hotel booking, solidarity accommodation, info support etc.
The program working group will hold the inaugural and concluding program including a number of centrally organized core panel discussions of SASF. It will invite distinguished personalities to the inaugural and concluding sessions
Democracy for Social Transformation in South Asia: Participation, Equity, Justice and Peace
- Nov 18, 4pm – 8pm
Inaugural Activities by SASF OC (10,000 participants) followed by cultural events.
- Nov 19-21, 2011, 10am – 8pm
o Thematic workshops/ seminar (50-200 participants on an average)
o Conference (201-1000 participants)
o Indoor and outdoor exhibition, Street show/ demonstration/ rally
o Youth Forum
o Media Forum
o Cultural show, film show
- Nov 22, 2011, 4pm-7pm
Concluding session, cultural night and solidarity speeches.