From :Religious Perspectives on Human Rights
E-Newsletter Vol.3. No.7;
February 12, 2001
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
- URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM
1)TO GRANT SATELLITE STATUS TO THE
GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON DALITS
UN must give status to Dalit World Conference INDIA - Social exclusion based on work and descent
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
Dalits (meaning oppressed') are the group of
some 160 million people in India formerly known as 'Untouchables', who STILL suffer extreme discrimination, exploitation and violence simply because they were born into an'outcaste' family. The UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) will be held in South Africa in August, and now that Slavery and Apartheid
have been destroyed, it is time the world turned its attention to the terrible discrimination faced by Dalits.The Dalits are holding a Global Conference on Racism and Caste-based Discrimination in the lead-up to the WCAR, and are asking for this conference to be officially recognised by the UN as a 'Satellite Conference' for the WCAR. However, the UN face a lot of pressure from powerful groups such as the Indian government, who want to silence this issue affecting so many millions of its citizens and others in places like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Japan.
Please write:to the UN to ensure that the Dalit people - who have been oppressed and forgotten for so long - are finally allowed to have a voice.
The UN needs to be true to its mandate to end major forms of discrimination.
We urge you to write a letter impressing upon OHCHR the importance of the Global Conference , the WCAR and strongly urging them to do the following:
1. To grant Satellite Status to the Global Conference
2. To send a senior officer to be present at the Global Conference
3. To give serious attention and consideration to the findings and recommendations of the Global Conference
The WCAR is a major window of opportunity to wake up the world governments and their respective societies to take urgent action to eradicate this major, global discrimination. The Global Conference is a giant step on our way to the WCAR, but the lack of satellite status for this conference would limit it's impact on the WCAR
PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO:
Ms. Mary Robinson
High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Fax: +41 22 917 9012