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EXCLUSIVE: "Identity matters a lot" says K P Ashwini, UNHRC's first Indian special rapporteur

She speaks to New India Abroad about the importance of having Indian representation on a global scale and why identity is important.

Dr Ashwini K P, delivered a lecture at Christ Academy Institute of law, Bangalore (Images- New India Abroad)

Dr. Ashwini K P, the first Indian, and first Asian to be appointed as the special rapporteur of the United Nations, presented a guest lecture organized by the gender sensitization committee of Christ Academy Institute of Law, Bangalore, on Jan 25,2023.

The co-founder of Zariya: Women’s Alliance for Dignity and Equality, Ashwini is the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. She was appointed by the Human Rights Council in October 2022. She is also a visiting fellow at Stanford University's centre of South Asia.

Throughout the course of the lecture, she drew out several instances which significantly highlighted the necessity of acknowledging the systematic discrimination that's rooted in our society, and on a global scale. Speaking to New India Abroad on the sidelines she dives deeper into her role at the UN and its significance.

Following are the excerpts of her conversation with New India Abroad

‌‌1) What pushed you to envisage the position you're holding currently?

My dad worked in the Karnataka administration services, and I've always wanted to be an IPS officer. Growing up I became interested  in the fields of human rights, and my PhD thesis was about UN mechanisms, caste and race.

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