GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON DEFENDING DALIT RIGHTS IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD
A Fight for Establishing Justice, Dignity, and Humanity
March 19-21, 2015, Washington, D.C.
Dalits from around the world have been victimized; discriminated against in social, political, economic, education, and religious areas of life; and excluded from mainstream development on the basis of their caste or work and descent. Such discrimination is widely practiced in South Asia; but, is also practiced in other parts of the world, including diaspora communities. The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, and the US Department of State have confirmed in several reports that Caste-based Discrimination (CBD) is widespread, resulting in political exclusion, hate crimes, and a culture of impunity when offenses against Dalit men and women are committed.
It is estimated that 260 million people are directly affected by CBD around the world. Typically, this discrimination results in the denial of basic human rights based on socially and culturally rooted structures and norms that define the fundamental identity of a person based upon their status at birth. Such discrimination is especially harsh for women and children born within low-caste communities. In South Asia, those called “Dalits” are by far the largest group to suffer caste-based discrimination. While caste discrimination is widely practiced in such nations as India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, it can also be found in other parts of the world including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Japan, Yemen, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia. Ongoing migration from these countries has led to the rise of CBD within countries such as the UK and the US.
Objectives and Goal of the Global Conference on Defending Dalit Rights:
 Yozo Yokota and Chin-Sung Chung, “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,” A/HRC/Sub.1/58/CRP.2, p. 9, UN Human Rights Council, Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, July 28, 2006.  Hilary Metcalf and Heather Rolfe, “Caste discrimination and harassment in Great Britain,” National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London, 2010.
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