Text: H.Res.566 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/02/2014)

 
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 566 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  2d Session
H. RES. 566

    Condemning Dalit untouchability, the practice of birth-descent 
   discrimination against Dalit people, which is widely practiced in 
 India, Nepal, the Asian diaspora, and other South Asian nations, and 
 calling on these countries to recognize the human rights of the Dalit 
    people and end all forms of untouchability within their borders.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 2, 2014

 Ms. Norton submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
                    the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
    Condemning Dalit untouchability, the practice of birth-descent 
   discrimination against Dalit people, which is widely practiced in 
 India, Nepal, the Asian diaspora, and other South Asian nations, and 
 calling on these countries to recognize the human rights of the Dalit 
    people and end all forms of untouchability within their borders.

Whereas untouchability, recognized as discrimination and social stratification 
        based on a combination of heredity and work, is a form of discrimination 
        and exclusion against Dalit people founded on ill-conceived notions of 
        Dalit impurity, Dalit pollution, and Dalit inequality;
Whereas Dalit untouchability continues to be widespread and persistent in India, 
        Nepal, and throughout South Asia and in the Asian diaspora in nations 
        such as Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Yemen, and Japan, affecting an 
        estimated 260,000,000 people worldwide, with the highest number of 
        victims found in South Asia;
Whereas discrimination against the Dalits, or ``untouchables'', has existed for 
        more than 2,000 years in India alone and has included educational 
        discrimination, economic disenfranchisement, discrimination in medical 
        care, and increased vulnerability to poverty, hunger, violence, rape, 
        and humiliation;
Whereas the status of untouchability significantly increases a Dalit's 
        vulnerability to debt bondage, forced labor, child labor, domestic 
        servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and all forms of human 
        trafficking and modern-day labor enslavements;
Whereas according to Human Rights Watch and India's official National Family 
        Health Survey, Dalits are among the poorest of the poor, living on less 
        than $1.25 per day, most of India's bonded laborers are Dalits, and half 
        of India's Dalit children are undernourished, 21 percent are severely 
        underweight, and 12 percent die before their 5th birthday;
Whereas a crime is committed against a Dalit every 18 minutes in India;
Whereas untouchability and birth-descent discrimination in all its forms are 
        prohibited by international human rights law as proclaimed by the 
        Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by the International Covenant on 
        Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social 
        and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of 
        All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of 
        All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights 
        of the Child, and the International Labor Organization Convention No. 
        111;
Whereas Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, born on April 14, 1891, was a freedom fighter and 
        advocate for ending the practice of untouchability;
Whereas Dr. Ambedkar was the father and architect of the Constitution of India 
        and Article 17 abolishes untouchability and its practice in any form;
Whereas under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of 
        Racial Discrimination, to which Nepal has been a state party since 1971, 
        the government is obligated to prohibit discrimination based on descent, 
        which includes untouchability, as a form of ``racial discrimination'';
Whereas in March 2010, the House of Lords in the United Kingdom passed the 
        Equality Bill empowering the government to treat birth descent 
        discrimination as an ``aspect of race'';
Whereas the European Union Parliament resolution on caste-based discrimination 
        of 2013 condemns the practice of untouchability and the continuing human 
        rights violations committed against people suffering from social 
        hierarchies and birth-based discrimination;
Whereas at the Dalit-Minority International Conference on December 27, 2006, 
        India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh became the first leader of his 
        country to compare the condition of Dalits with that of Black South 
        Africans under apartheid, stating ``Even after 60 years of 
        constitutional and legal protection and support, there is still social 
        discrimination against Dalits in many parts of our country. . . . Dalits 
        have faced a unique discrimination in our society that is fundamentally 
        different from the problems of minority groups in general. The only 
        parallel to the practice of untouchability was apartheid in South 
        Africa'';
Whereas Human Rights Watch and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at 
        the New York University School of Law released a report in February 2007 
        describes the discrimination against Dalits or ``untouchables'' as a 
        hidden apartheid;
Whereas despite the numerous laws enacted for the protection and betterment of 
        the Dalits, Dalits are still considered outcasts in South Asian society 
        and in the Asian diaspora and are treated as such; and
Whereas the National Commission on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in 
        India has declared that many of the reported cases of atrocities against 
        Dalits end in acquittals: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) condemns the practice of untouchability and the 
        discriminatory treatment of the Dalits in South Asia and the 
        Asian diaspora;
            (2) calls on the Governments of India, Nepal, the Asian 
        diaspora, and other South Asian nations to end all forms of 
        untouchability and discrimination of the Dalit people, and to 
        ensure respect for internationally recognized human rights for 
        these minority groups within their nations; and
            (3) demands that the international community put pressure 
        on the governments of nations that still practice Dalit 
        untouchability to take every necessary measure to end this 
        horrific practice and to protect the fundamental rights of all 
        Dalits within their borders.
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