Law for Black Lives was honored to attend the “Equal Access to Justice for All: Using Law to Dismantle Caste Based Discrimination in South Asia” in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 13th - August 15th, 2018. The conference was an opportunity for Law for Black Lives to build with organizers and lawyers from across the global who are committed to ending systemic oppression and transforming cultural, legal and social practices in ways that honor the dignity of all people.
Marbre Stahly-Butts, Partnership Director at Law for Black Lives, participated in a panel entitled, “Legal Empowerment and Advancing Equality: Making Law Work for Marginalized Communities.” She presented alongside organizers working with Roma communities in Romania, stateless communities in Bangladesh and Dalit communities in Nepal.
The conference was focused on the lasting legacy of caste-based discrimination, which impacts more than 260 million people worldwide, in South Asia, Africa and Europe. Much like racism, caste-based discrimination leads to poverty, violence, slavery, and economic and social exclusion. The conference was focused on the reality that while legal provisions exist in most countries that prohibit discrimination based on race, caste, ethnicity and gender, discrimination continues in multiple forms. The conference was grounded in an intersectional analysis and led by Dalit women organizers, who understand gender, class and caste as overlapping oppressions, which must be collectively addressed.
Much like the work in the United States to fight white-supremacy and patriarchy, the leadership of women and those from marginalized communities is inspiring and essential. Our time in Nepal allowed us to sharpen our political analysis and to build with organizers and lawyers from across the world.
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