UNITED SIKHS
April 28 2010
15th Vaisakh (Samvat 542 Nanakshahi)
Press Release

Civil Rights Concerns of the the Global Sikh Nation Expressed in UNITED SIKHS' 2009 Global Sikh Civil Rights Report

UNITED SIKHS’ 2009 Global Sikh Civil Rights Report is a report where a community across borders voices their opinions on the current practices, future policies and the overall state of human and civil rights of Sikhs in their respective countries. The report combines insights from human rights reports with original survey data collected from Sikhs worldwide, and is put together by a team of lawyers, activists, academics and civil rights experts.

The 2008 Global Civil Rights Report had provided a first-of-its-kind insight into the needs and challenges of the global Sikh community. In addition to country essays, the 2009 report incorporates data from the Global Sikh Civil Rights Survey administered in 17 countries with over 300 respondents. Sikhs around the world weighed in on issues of hate crimes, xenophobia, current policies and practices toward minority communities, and the particular challenges of the Sikh community.

The compilation consists of reports from twenty-two countries with small and large Sikh populations, representing a myriad of life experiences of Sikhs worldwide. In addition, the report also contains a special research article on Sikligar Sikhs, a forgotten community of Sikhs who were traditionally weapon-makers, and a discussion on the challenges of the 21st century for the Sikh community.

Staff Attorney Jaspreet Singh, Editor-in-Chief of the report says, “When UNITED SIKHS created the 2008 Global Sikh Civil Rights Report, the idea was to fill a void in literature because no such resources existed. Over the past year, we've learnt that the impact of the report has been far greater, and we've received feedback from litigators, non-profit organizations as well as the Sikh and non-Sikh community about its use in informing their own work. Keeping these ideas in mind, we've included informative essays, statistics and survey data to increase the report's utility.”

Excerpt from the 2009 Global Sikh Civil Rights Report:
This year has seen an unprecedented rise of reporting and discussion in the Sikh community about their rights. From Australia to Pakistan, the United States to India, and Kenya to Canada, Sikhs are experiencing a new awakening in relation to globalization. Recent events, such as the unrest in Panjab, India, combined with the deterioration of the situation in Pakistan is raising concerns for Sikhs around the world, and as a community that is without borders, so to speak, the Sikh community is abuzz with news and discussions of addressing major concerns. The concerns of globalization are profound for the Sikh community; as a minority community in every country and one that is so easily identifiable, Sikhs face varying levels of civil and human rights problems around the world, and often find themselves in a position of advocating for their rights and the rights of others. One can argue that the best way to measure a country’s freedom or commitment to the rule of law is to observe the way minorities are treated in that country. Generally, and the country reports herein support this claim, one can see that Sikhs are a good community to observe as a litmus test in this regard. Click here to read more...

To read the 2009 Global Sikh Civil Rights report, please click here.

To read the 2008 Global Sikh Civil Rights report, please visit: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/rtt/sikhconf/FirstGlobalSikhCivilRightsReport.pdf

Issued by:
Rucha Kavathe
Media and Communications Coordinator
UNITED SIKHS 646-315-3909

Download a copy of the 2009 Global Sikh Civil Rights Report.

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UNITED SIKHS encourages the Sikh community to wear their kakaars, fearlessly exercise their freedom of religion, and to contact us with any problems, concerns, or incidents of discrimination.

OUR MISSION

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.