The resolution, H.Res.158, was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives, “Condemning Dalit untouchability, the practice of birth-descent discrimination against Dalit people, which is widely practiced in India, Nepal, the Asian diaspora, and other South […]
Mr. John F. Kerry
Secretary of State of the United States of America
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20520
23 March 2015
Dear Mr. Secretary,
We, the undersigned group of civil society organizations, are writing […]
Global day of action to end caste discrimination – marches in London, Washington DC, San Francisco and India
The 21st of June has been marked as a global day of action to end caste discrimination and marches were carried out in London, Washington DC, San Francisco and India on this day. In London, a letter was presented to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for action on enacting caste legislation in the UK, on caste-based rape and on endorsing the draft UN Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent (UN P&Gs). In Washington DC protesters picketed outside the Capitol demanding that Congress pass a binding resolution mandating action by US agencies in caste-affected countries and asking the US Government to take action on caste discrimination by endorsing the UN P&Gs. In other cities, protesters marked their solidarity with the global march by gathering and marching with placards and holding speeches.
“Even if no one else recognizes us as human, we will shout it from the rooftops. … The shame is not on the women, the shame is on India,” said US Dalit woman filmmaker Thenmozhi Soundararajan in the talk she gave together with Asha Kowtal from AIDMAM, at the high profile Women in The World Summit in New York**. Uma Thurman introduced the talk by playing the part of a Dalit woman rape victim and NBC anchor Cynthia McFadden moderated the discussion.
Descendants of prominent African American families, who led the civil rights movement, presented a Declaration of Empathy to the US congress. The declaration appeals to all Americans to stand in solidarity with the Dalits of South Asia to fight caste discrimination and caste-based slavery.
The Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs has promised to take active measures in fighting caste discrimination. His statements came at an event organised by the Dalit Solidarity Network in Finland (DSN-Fi), which formed part of an impressive campaign week by DSN-Fi.
Following yesterday’s vote in the House of Commons against outlawing caste discrimination, campaigners - including the Dalit Solidarity Network UK - have vowed to continue their struggle to make this form of discrimination illegal.
During a review by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on 23 and 24 August, the UK delegation said that there was "no consensus" on the need for prohibiting caste discrimination in the UK. Furthermore, the Government had “not made a decision” on the findings of a government-commissioned report, which concludes that caste discrimination exists in the UK. "Why are you so afraid?" a CERD Committee member asked during the dialogue.
In a report stressing the need for better protection against discrimination for Roma and victims of caste systems, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mr. Githu Muigai, warns that the rights of an estimated 250 million people across the globe are at risk because they are subjected to discrimination on the basis of caste or other social systems based on inherited status.
IDSN have launched a YouTube Channel on www.youtube.com/IDSNVideo