Dalit solidarity events at the Durban Review Conference
16 April 2009 6:12 pm
Many events for Dalit solidarity will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, as many organisations gather for the Durban Review Conference. The conference will be held from 20-24
April 2009; it aims to evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
SIDE EVENTS (at the UN premises)
- Press conference: "Caste Discrimination and the Durban Review Conference – 260 million reasons why the world should act". 5,30 p.m. on 20 April in the UN press room. Co-organised by the Lutheran World Federation, IDSN, NCDHR and Human Rights Watch. Meeting room to be confirmed.
- OHCHR side event: "Combating racism through human rights education: examples of National Practice". 4-6 p.m. on 22 April. This
event is organised by the OHCHR on behalf of the UN Inter-Agency
Coordinating Committee on Human Rights Education in the School System
and the Council of Europe. Henri Tiphagne from People's Watch will
be addressing this side event along with Mr. Bethusamy Ganesaperumal, a
Dalit student from a special school for SC/ST students run by the government of Tamil Nadu.
- NGO side event: "Social Exclusion in South Asia: Challenges and Responses". 21 or 22 April.
This side event is organised by NCDHR along with Pax Romana, Human
Development Organisation – Sri Lanka, Feminist Dalit Organisation –
Nepal and others. The proposed dates are on 22 April between 11 – 1pm,
or on 21 April between 3-5pm. Gay MacDougall, the Independent
Expert on Minorities will serve as the Chair, and Doudou
Diène, the former Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism,
have accepted the invitation as key experts on the issue of social exclusion. The proposed side event will be in the format of a Round
Table with the participation of two member states, two UN experts and
two non-governmental organisations. The theme focuses on those marginalised by the impact of
globalisation, in particular minority communities, who face various
forms of inequalities, discrimination, and social exclusion. This event is yet to be confirmed.
- NGO side event: "Journey from Durban to Geneva: The Lost Issues of Asia". 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on 21 April, in room XXVII. The
proposed side event, which is co-organised by FORUM-ASIA and Dignity
International, aims to give articulation to voices from Asia on the
various issues that afflict the communities because of racism and
racial discrimination. The side event is to bring the Asian issues to
the fore and allow the different communities to interact with each
other within the context of the DDPA and the present Durban Review
Conference. Nimalka Fernando (IMADR), Paul Divakar (NCDHR), Bernice
(FORUM-ASIA) will be panelists.
- NGO side event: "Communities Empowered to Resist Discrimination and Exclusion". 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on 22 April, in room XXVII.
The purpose of this event, which is organised by IMADR, is to share
experiences of communities affected by racial discrimination and social
exclusion, to highlight available remedies at the local level, and to
review and initiate a dialogue related to the effective implementation
of the DDPA. The proposed keynote speakers are Yakin Ertürk,
the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and Githu Muigai, the
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism. Nimalka Fernando
will serve as a moderator and other speakers include Fatima Burnad,
P.P. Sivapragasam and Durba Sob.
CIVIL SOCIETY EVENTS (outside the UN)
- Public Conference: "Caste Based Discrimination and Role of International Community". 6, 30-8,30 p.m. on 23 April, at Maison des Association, Plain Palais. This
public conference is being organised and planned by Pax Romana, COTMEC,
IDSN, NCDHR and ADRM. Doudou Diène will serve as a resource person,
and Dalit groups from South Asia will be speakers.
- Civil Society Forum (CSF) Demonstration: The public march of
Dalits will start at 3 p.m. on 18 April. The
details of the starting point are being finalised by the CSF. There
will be Dalit Rights Jackets, Headbands, Banners for Dalit visibility –
All are invited to come and participate and mobilise participation.
- Photo exhibition: The IDSN exhibition on caste-based
discrimination may be displayed at the Civil Society Forum at Plain
Palais. See the exhibition online.