Press Communique

Working Towards Addressing Racial Discrimination & Call for an Anti-Racial Law

Monday, March 21, 2016

Deepening Diversity and Democracy in India: Working Towards Addressing Racial Discrimination & Call for an Anti-Racial Law

– 21st March is observed globally as International Day to End Racial Discrimination. Racial discrimination cases occur on daily basis in India. Of the various incidents, the violence against Northeast people in the city, as per data provided by Union Home Ministry, has risen around 226 percent in the year 2014. As per the Bezbaruah Committee Report submitted in 2014, 86 percent of migrated Northeasters have faced discrimination or harassment with immense psychological and physical impact. This and other forms of racial discrimination that exists in country must be addressed.

To address the issue on this occasion we are organising a landmark conference on Deepening Diversity and Democracy in India: Working Towards Addressing Racial Discrimination & Call for an Anti-Racial Law on 21st March 2016 from 9 am to 5 pm at Conference Hall No 1 at India International Centre (IIC), 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi 110003. This conference is hosted by Control Arms Foundation of India in partnership with Multiple Action Research Group, Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace and NEIFAR. The event will bring academicians, experts, and community people to discuss this important issue and to seek solutions.

India as country had shown its commitment to address issue by signing the "United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination" in 1967.The Convention on the Elimination of All Racial Discrimination was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1965. With rising racial discrimination and attack and xenophobia, it is time that we as a nation make it into a law and make possible an anti-racial law.

We look forward to your support in covering the event and giving to this critical topic the media attention it deserves. Kindly find attached poster and concept note.

When: 21 March 2016 (9.30am to 5pm)

Where: Venue: Conference Hall No 1, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi

CONCEPT NOTE

21st March Is International Day to End Racial Discrimination

To commemorate the occasion, one day conference on
Deepening Diversity & Democracy in India:
Working Towards Addressing Racial Discrimination & Call for an Anti-Racial Law

Organised by Control Arms Foundation of India, NEIFAR & Multiple Action Research Group

Venue: Conference Hall 1, India International Centre (IIC), 40 Max Mueller Marg, Delhi-110003 Date: Mon 21st March 2016 Time: 9 am-5pm

“Oneness amongst men (humankind), the advancement of unity in diversity–this has been the core religion of India.” - Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941 India is a land of great diversity consisting of 29 States and 7 Union Territories. The term "Unity in Diversity " has often been used to promote country’s immense socio-cultural diversity and to bind people and states together as one. India has diverse communities settled in vastly different regions. In government’s official portal, it is written “All the five major racial types - Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian, and Negroid find representation among the people of India. ”

The Constitution of India helps India constitute its diverse components into one functional reality with its principles of human rights, federalism and separation of powers

Tackling racial discrimination issue in India

United Nations International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, defines the term "racial discrimination" as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. Non-discrimination and equality before the law and of the law, according to United Nations, constitute fundamental principles of international human rights law. The prohibition of racial discrimination is enshrined in all core international human rights instruments and according to the International Court of Justice, constitutes an ergaomnes obligation .

The root cause of racism and racial conflict is the false identification of the body with the person. International conflicts, religious conflicts, sexual conflicts, and many other conflicts are rooted in this misunderstanding. Each body has a multitude of different labels and characteristics. Due to identifying the body as the self, we wrongly consider the person to be the labels associated with his/her body. Being unable to see past the labels to the person himself, we end up in a world of barriers and conflicts.

A study by India’s premier National Human Rights Commission revealed that 54 per cent of people from Northeast states of India living, working in capital felt that New Delhi is the most “unsafe place” in terms of ethnic intolerance while 67 percent feel that they were victims of ethnic/racial discrimination. Also the violence against Northeast people in the city, as per data provided by Union Home Ministry, has risen around 226 percent in the year 2014.As per the Bezbaruah Committee Report submitted in 2014, 86 percent of migrated Northeasters have faced discrimination or harassment with immense psychological and physical impact. This and other forms of racial discrimination that exists in country must be addressed.

India signed the "United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination" in 1967.The Convention on the Elimination of All Racial Discrimination was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1965. With rising racial discrimination and attack and zenophobia, it is time that we as a nation make it into a law and hence call for an anti-racial law.

21st March is International Day to End Racial Discrimination. To commemorate the occasion we are organising One Day Conference on Deepening Diversity and Democracy in India: Working Towards Addressing Racial Discrimination & Call for an Anti-Racial Law on 21st March 2016 from 9 am to 5pm at Conference Hall No 1 at India International Centre (IIC), 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi 110003. Aim of the conference is to address the issue of deepening diversity, understanding racial discrimination and ways to address this in India through research improved and strengthened civil society responses and initiatives, engaging local authorities and government structures & global efforts to address the issue and the call for an anti-racial law. This will help in ensuring inclusive diverse India true to its Constitution and as in signed in UN Convention to End Racial Discrimination. Noted scholars, parliamentarians, survivors of discrimination, media, women & other organisations, think tanks, legal organisations, institutions, universities and other important stake holders will be a part of this very important proceeding.

We will appreciate if you kindly confirm your participation by 17 March 2016.

For any questions for clarifications, kindly contact

Ms Binalakshmi Nepram ~ Binalakshmi@gmail.com
Mr Nadeem ~ nadeem.cafi@gmail.com
Ms Omita ~ omita.cafi@gmail.com

Office of Control Arms Foundation of India
B B5 / 146, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi-110029, India
Phone: +91-11-46018541 Fax: +91-11-26166234
Web: www.womensurvivorsnetwork.org / www.cafi-online.org


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