Centre for Advanced Study in International Humanitarian Law (CASH) is an esteemed research centre of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law [RGNUL], which is dedicated to research in the field of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The centre invites you all to attend the said event which is being organised in collaboration with the Temple of Understanding (United Nations-affiliated NGO).
This interfaith dialogue will explore the concerns affecting the disposal of dead bodies and the profound impact it may have on the bereaved families whose loved ones are cremated against their faith or beliefs to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
About the Webinar
Centre for Advanced Study in International Humanitarian Law, RGNUL, Interfaith Dialogue on “The Right to Dignified Disposal of Dead Bodies in the Times of COVID-19: International Perspective” (3:30 PM onwards), 6th August 2020.
The Centre is organising an Interfaith Dialogue on “The Right to Dignified Disposal of Dead Bodies in the Times of COVID-19: International Perspective” in collaboration with Temple of Understanding (India).
About Temple of Understanding
Temple of Understanding (TOU), an initiative born out of a realization that the world was in grave danger unless the gifts, wisdom, and insights of religious traditions could be recognized and cultivated to promote positive social change. Juliet Hollister founded TOU in 1960 with an aim to make this world beautiful and peaceful with the help of assimilation and tolerance.
The Theme of the Event
The pandemic has affected not only the way we live but also our deaths. India is inching towards the 15,00,000 mark in terms of the total number of COVID-19 cases. With many health facilities, frontline health care, and death care workers becoming overwhelmed, it may lead to undermining the process of proper handling of bodies of persons confirmed or believed to have died due to COVID-19.
Dignified treatment forms the core of the obligations under international human rights and humanitarian laws – the proper disposal of dead bodies being a crucial aspect of this. International law reserves high respect for the dead and also imposes general obligations for the location, identification, and burial of bodies as important humanitarian acts.
The Indian Constitution under Article 21 envisages the right to life and liberty to the people. This encompasses the right to live with human dignity. Moreover, on better understanding, the right is extended to provide dignified treatment and disposal of the dead bodies – also applicable to COVID-19 patients.
The dignity of a human body must remain preserved even after death. This discussion is an endeavour to explore possibilities that will help develop a good practice to cope with the present scenario and to learn from each other best practices that should be adopted to tide over this grim crisis.
Spread awareness and knowledge about the rituals and rites of the dead from different faiths.
Stress on the existing obligation under national and international laws for dignified disposal of the dead.
Develop consensus on good practices for the disposal of the dead keeping in mind the guidelines of the Government of India and International standards.
Identify gaps in policy formulation and approach meaningful implementation for the management of the dead in India.
Lead a more informed approach for handling of the dead and pace India towards responsive governance interfaith.
The speakers at the event include some of the most profound scholars and gurus from different religious faiths:
Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, Jew, Head of the Jewish Community, New Delhi.
Dr. Shernaz Cama, Zoroastrian, Associate Professor at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.
Dr. Mohinder Singh, Sikh, Professor, and Director of the National Institute of Punjab Studies, New Delhi.
Dr. A. K. Merchant, Baha’i, General Secretary, Temple of Understanding India Foundation.
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