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Elena Samonova is a PhD Student from University of Helsinki, and her project is titled:

Agricultural bonded labour in Nepal and India: human rights based approach to sustainable social change

In my PhD project I am looking at the human rights as a tool of social resistance and liberation and seek to answer the question how the human rights discourse is able to enhance sustainable social change and support the liberation of the most oppressed groups of people. In particular, I study the impacts of the rights-based programs for bondage labourers among Tharu people in Nepal and Sahariya people in India. In both cases, debt bondage is closely connected with the historical dispossession and oppression of the indigenous population. It was found that human rights discourse is able to contribute to the creation of new spaces for resistance and support redistribution of power at the micro level. However, such rights-based programs seem to have little impact at the macro level of power relations and can not effectively challenge structural inequality embedded in the society. 

Lise Bjerke is a Master Student from University of Oslo, and her project is titled:

Migrants on the margins of the city: Food security rights among internal migrants in Bangalore, India 

Why is India failing to achieve food security for all despite its democratic institutions, social programmes and economic growth? This MA thesis hopes to add a small piece to the answer by focusing on the access to food security rights among internal, rural-to-urban migrants living in the informal slums of Bangalore. The first part of the thesis explores linkages between migration and access to food in an urban setting.The second part focuses on the relationship and the 'blurred boundaries' between the state, civil society and the migrant households and how this affects the realization of food security rights. More specifically, the thesis compares the implementation of one targeted and two universal social support programmes aimed at improving food security and nutrition in India: the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM) and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).