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Improving access to quality health services for the indigenous, excluded, vulnerable communities and those in fragile contexts
Several indigenous, vulnerable and marginalised communities, and those in fragile contexts such as those affected by conflict, displacement or natural disasters face exclusion and discrimination from the policies, programme and health care services. The modalities of exclusion, non-inclusiveness and discrimination are reflected in the health care programmes and policies that are designed and the kind of health care that is made available. It is estimated that 370 million indigenous people live in more than 70 countries around the world (WHO). In addition, there are other vulnerable communities such as 'ethnic or tribals' (Africa), adivasis and Dalits (India) and Roma people (East-Southern Europe), those living in conflict zones who face barriers in accessing affordable and appropriate health care. The methodologies of exclusion and non-inclusiveness vary across communities. In many countries, for example, the official national language is different from their native language and any health care information is unavailable in native languages. In countries such as East-southern Europe, the ethnic minorities such as Roma People and the Rohingyas in Myanmar (South East Asia) live like permanent refuges from time immemorial as they do not even enjoy the status of citizens in their own countries. In several countries they are ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities.

The Symposium will bring together the efforts made to systematically document the social exclusion and rights violations experienced by indigenous people and other vulnerable and marginalised communities. This theme will present efforts done by civil society to demand accountability of both the dominant society and the government authorities to respect, promote and protect the rights of such vulnerable and disadvantage populations and those discriminated and persecuted in majoritarian politics.

  • Theoretical and methodological frameworks underpinning accountability for indigenous and other vulnerable and marginalized populations
  • Social accountability iniatives led and presented by indigenous and marginalized populations themselves
  • Innovative strategies of mobilising and organising communities for resisting violations and for demanding accountability for health, dignity and justice
  • Lessons learned around strategies, community and policy action for inclusive programmes, policies and health care services.