International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) Formed
Commission announced on the eve of 43rd International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
“We remember the 1960 massacre of
69 civilians from
The release further says, “There is an urgent need for this movement to promote justice and dignity for the world’s poorest and most victimized Dalits at international level, focusing on caste or descent based discriminations. ICDR advocates the formulation of affirmative action policies and the implementation of international laws, principles and programs aimed at eliminating caste or work and descent-based discrimination, poverty and works as a monitoring watchdog, both at the national and international levels.”
“Social exclusion, extreme
poverty and conflict are closely associated with caste discrimination in
The ICDR, in all its sincerity, appeals to the international community, Dalit/human rights defenders, Dalit Solidarity Networks, Dalits and pro-Dalit national and international institutions, media, academics and other similar institutions/forums to join hands to integrate the Dalit Rights movement with the global human rights and social justice movements.
Finally, the Commission affirming the fact that the struggle against injustice and casteism is not yet won, calls for all concerned to start working collectively with mutual understanding and respect at all levels.
[Report by ICDR / nepaldalitinfo special correspondent]
The ICDR and VODI Jointly Submit a Memorandum to the King of Nepal:
The Murder of Rights Defender Daya Ram Pariyar Condemned
London, April 5, 2006. The International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) and Voice of Dalit International (VODI) have submitted this afternoon a joint memorandum to the King of Nepal through Royal Nepalese Embassy in UK, condemning the murder of Daya Ram Pariyar by the security personnel on March 24, 2006 at Janakchock, Janakpur District of Central Nepal. Mr. Pariyar was a Dalit and human rights activist affiliated with the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal who was in Janakpur for human rights monitoring work at grass-roots level. This was stated in a press release from the two London based organizations ICDR and VODI, urging for a special investigation and maximum punishment for those security personnel found to be involved in his murder and redress for his grieving family.
The memorandum added, “Every day, Dalits and other people are missing, tortured and killed by the security [forces]. The murder of Mr. Pariyar is an example of growing arbitrariness of Security forces. Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) does practice caste-based discrimination within their military system.”
The ICDR has appealed to His Majesty's Government to ensure that Dalits and other human rights defenders are able to carry out their work effectively without any restriction or arbitrary interference by the security personnel or other actors. The Commission has also called for the prosecution and condemnation of those responsible for incidents of caste-based discrimination, segregation, exploitation and violation, and for ensuring that anti-terrorism measures do not discriminate against anyone, on any grounds, including caste and political ideology and that they are not used against Dalit and human rights defenders including political activists.
The ICDR has also condemned the Nepal government’s restrictions over politics, the media, and civil society. The Commission further adds, “We would also like to urge an international diplomatic initiative to resolve the prevailing conflict and restore ‘absolute democracy’, peace and development in Nepal.”
The memorandum submitted was signed jointly by ICDR General Secretary DB Sagar Bishwakarma and Ms. Irean Culas, VODI Chairperson, with its copy sent to Heads of national and international rights organizations: Mr. Nain Bahadur Khatri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (Nepal); Mr. Ian Martin Chief of Mission, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights- Nepal Office; Ms. Nathalia Provez,, Secretary, UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) (Geneva); Chair, Human Rights and International Committee, United Kingdom Parliament, House of Commons; Prof. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture (Switzerland); Ms Leila Zerrougui, Chairperson, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (Switzerland); and Ms. Hina Jilani , Special Representative of the Secretary General for Human Rights Defenders (Switzerland).
The International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) is an independent and impartial international Dalit Rights forum whose mission is to establish Dalit Rights in the contemporary world for humanity, self-dignity and justice. ICDR advocates the formulation of affirmative action policies and the implementation of international laws, principles and programs aimed at eliminating caste or work and descent-based discrimination, poverty and works as a monitoring watchdog, both at the national and international levels. (News source: ICDR, London)