Global InitiativesOur Global Initiatives are among the leading activities of the organization, with a goal to educate and alert the global community about the Dalit Rights Movement and integrate this movement with global social justice, human rights, and development efforts. The Global Initiative's objectives are to:
- strengthen links among the UN and international organizations for the eradication of caste-based discrimination, violence, and inequality;
- identify strategies to increase the capacity of caste-affected countries to respond to, and mitigate, the harms of caste-discrimination;
- advocate the passing of a binding resolution against caste-based discrimination by the U.S. Congress; and,
- educate member nations of the United Nations to endorse the UN's "Draft Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination Based on Work and Descent" established by the UN Human Rights Council
Global Conference on Dalit rightsThe conference's objectives are to:
- Strengthen links among U.S. and international organizations fighting for the end of caste and gender-based discrimination, violence, and inequality
- Identify strategies to increase the capacity of caste-affected countries to respond to and mitigate the harms of caste-discrimination
- Advocate the passing of a binding resolution against caste-based discrimination by the U.S. Congress
- Lobby member nations of the United Nations (UN) to endorse the UN's "Draft Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination Based on Work and Descent", established by the UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/11/CRP.3).
1. International Mechanisms and the Obligation to End Discrimination, Violence, and Inequality - The goals related to this theme are to build understanding of the international mechanisms and obligations against caste-based discrimination. Another is to develop an advocacy plan that leads to endorsement by the U.S. government of measures contributing to the elimination of discrimination based on caste/work globally and within U.S.-based diaspora communities through provision of financial and legal assistance.
2. Best Practices and Challenges: Empowering Dalit Civil Society - Major objectives of the session for this theme are to exchange best practices of the current Dalit movements and major challenges. In addition, a goal is to establish and strengthen links among local and international organizations fighting against caste, work, and descent-based discrimination.
3. Legislative Approaches to Ending Caste, Work, and Descent-based Discrimination - The objective of sessions within this theme are to educate, discuss, and develop an advocacy plan to gain passage by the U.S. Congress for a binding resolution or law that requires action against Caste-based discrimination (CBD). It would be based on Congresswomen Eleanor Homes Norton's (D-DC) proposed resolution against Caste discrimination (HR 566) and House of Representatives' historic 2007 resolution calling on the U.S. government to address the problem of untouchability in India.
4. Universal Measurement and Advocacy Framework: Caste Freedom Index (CFI) - Sessions for this theme will examine the strengths and challenges of the Caste Freedom Index (CFI), an unique universal measurement and advocacy framework that increases the capacity of caste-affected countries to eliminate caste or work and descent-based discrimination. The ICDR has introduced and begun development of the Caste Freedom Index that will provide insights to the plight of the OutCastes, enabling Dalit rights activists and governmental and non-governmental actors to prioritize the most pressing issues. It will guide policy, advocacy, and community-development efforts. The CFI will provide critical data related to the degree of caste, work, and descent-based discrimination and violence. It will also provide information required by the UN and the U.S. Congress to pass a binding resolution that requires action against caste-based discrimination in all affected geographic areas.
5. Gender Equality and The Power of Dalit Women - The major objectives of sessions within this theme are to discuss gender inequality, violence, and discrimination against Dalit women and girls - from gender and caste violence to trafficking. Presenters will identify opportunities to strengthen the power of Dalit Women by linking organizations dedicated to gender equality and women's empowerment with those dedicated to fighting against caste, work, and descent-based discrimination.
The Conference is being managed collectively by participating partner organizations, sponsors, and the ICDR. Some fellowships, scholarships, and internship opportunities have been made available for graduate and undergraduate students and scholars with an interest in Dalit rights, human rights, advocacy, international development, or related topics. Global Conference organizing committee The 1st Global Conference on Defending Dalit Rights would not be possible without the ongoing participation, support, commitment, and dedication of each of the Global Conference Organizing Committee (GCOC) members. Since last year, with the leadership of the ICDR, this collaborative group has been working at various levels to ensure that the Global Conference is a success, and most importantly, that a broader effort to develop and foster a more cohesive global movement in support of Dalit people worldwide may be realized. Through their time, resources, outreach, research, network affiliations, intellectual and professional capacities, and solidarity, the GCOC members have all been essential to making this Global Conference a reality.
Please visit the links below and learn about each of the contributing GCOC members, who, together, are responsible for presenting the 1st Global Conference on Defending Dalit Rights.
- International Commission for Dalit Rights (www.icdrintl.org)
- Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
- Dr. Ambedkar International Mission, USA (www.ambedkarmission.org)
- Asia Society Policy Institute (www.asiasociety.org/policy-institute)
- Ambedkar Association of Northern America, USA (www.aanausa.org)
- The Quander Historical Society, Inc. Washington, DC
- Nepali-American Society for Oppressed Community, USA (www.nasocommunity.org)
- Washington College of Law's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington DC
- Friends for Education International, CA (www.friendsforeducation.org)
- The Episcopal Diocese of New York and DC (www.episcopaldioceseofnewyork.org)
- Dr. Ambedkar International Mission, Canada
- Duke University's Global Inequality Research Initiative
- Dalit African American Chamber of Commerce, NY
- The Caste Watch UK (www.castewatchuk.org)
- The Legacy Families, An African-American Community (www.declarationofempathy.org)
- South Asian Social Initiative (SASI), NY
- The New School's India China Institute, NY (www.indiachinainstitute.org)