Washington: The first global conference on Dalit rights will be held here to increase awareness about injustices faced by nearly 260 million people across the globe including in India due to caste-based discrimination.

The three-day conference on ‘Defending Dalit Rights’ entitled ‘Establishing Justice, Dignity, Equality and Humanity’ is being organised by the International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) and Global Conference Organizing Committee (GCOC) from today at Trinity Washington University.

At the conclusion of the conference, GCOC will announce its strategy and the Declaration of Dalit Rights during a human chain demonstration in front of the White House, a statement has said.

The demonstration will implore US President Barack Obama and Congress members to support Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s House Resolution that calls for Congress to condemn discrimination against Dalit people.

“The purpose of the Global Conference is to increase awareness of the injustices visited upon an estimated 260 million caste-affected individuals worldwide, who face caste-based discrimination, exclusion, inequality, and violence,” ICDR statement has said.

While caste-based discrimination is widely practised in South Asian nations like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it can also be found in other parts of the world including Japan, Yemen, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia, it said.

President of ICDR, D B Sagar Bishwakarma has said they are expecting senior US Government officers, Congressional and Civil Rights leaders, along with Dalit-rights leaders and dignitaries from South Asia, Europe, Japan, and other parts of world to attend the conference. 

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