UNITED SIKHS
December 25 2009
12th Poh (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi)
Press Release

UNITED SIKHS Needs Your Help to Serve

Do you know where your donation is going? At UNITED SIKHS you can rest assured you fund human rights and needs globally.

UNITED SIKHS takes up Civil Rights cases and many such issues in response to calls and letters from Sikhs and minorities around the world. Our work is expanding and we need your help to fund it. Your dasvand will help us carry out our advocacy, humanitarian relief and human development projects.

Many unjust incidents take place everyday around the world, and cannot be addressed without the help of generous community members like you.

With only 10% in operating costs, UNITED SIKHS devotes 90% of all donations toward raising a voice against hate crimes, providing humanitarian aid to those affected by disasters, advocating for every Sikh’s right to Kakkars, educating the larger community about who Sikhs are, and using the expertise and inter-disciplinary skills of a large base of volunteers internationally.

We are the only Global Sikh organization with chapters in 10 countries serving Sikhs and minorities all over the world. We are your foot soldiers and we need your donation to support projects globally.

UNITED SIKHS projects include work on International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA), Sikh Aid (Humanitarian Relief), and Empowerment-Education. A few examples of ongoing projects at UNITED SIKHS that would benefit from your generous donations include:

Advocating for Right to Turbans and Right to Kakkars:
  • The Sikh identity is frequently targeted due to the turban and beard, and Sikhs become targets for bullying and/or physical violence. UNITED SIKHS takes up cases of hate crimes or discrimination across the world, providing legal counsel.
  • Countries like France and Belgium have banned ostensible religious symbols in school and photo identification documents, affecting thousands of Sikhs who call these countries home. UNITED SIKHS is fighting for the basic right of young Sikh students to get an education while maintaining their religious right to wear Dastaars.
  • UNITED SIKHS is working with law enforcement officials in several countries to allow Sikhs to wear their Kirpans in public places, and making air travel easier.
  • Employment discrimination on the basis of turban or beards forms an important part of UNITED SIKHS’ legal team’s work.
Humanitarian Aid to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Pakistan:
  • The insurgency in Pakistan has led to over a million people in Pakistan being displaced from their homes and livelihoods. UNITED SIKHS works with the United Nations and other non-profit organizations in Pakistan to provide humanitarian aid to Sikhs and others. Food and medical supplies are urgently needed!

Empowerment-Education:

  • UNITED SIKHS offers scholarships to village children, along with an education program for Sikhi in colleges.
  • Educare community centers in Richmond Hill, NY, Carteret, NJ and London, UK provide a variety of empowerment and education services to Sikh communities, including homework help from teachers.
  • UNITED SIKHS offers competitive internship positions to introduce young professionals to the world of civil and human rights advocacy, and the Sikh way of life.
UNITED SIKHS participation at the United Nations is not possible without support from community members like you!

As a UN affiliated organization, UNITED SIKHS participates at a global level, and has represented the human and civil rights of the Sikh community and other minorities at meetings and events at the UN. UNITED SIKHS is a member of various NGO sub-committees, and works directly with the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
  • UNITED SIKHS has made several presentations in international conferences, including the presentation on nuclear disarmament between India and Pakistan, and the effect on the Sikh community. UNITED SIKHS also participated in several inter-faith events to address climate change.
  • The 2008 Global Sikh Civil Rights Report was submitted to the High Commissioner on Human Rights and Special Rapporteurs
  • Special Report Submitted to Special Rapporteurs on Racism, Xenophobia; Religious Freedom; and Education
  • UNITED SIKHS filed the Right to Turban cases against France in the United Nations to Defend the Right to Education and Right to Dignity and Freedom of Religion
We are 10 this year. But there is no time to celebrate. Not until we secure Sikh rights globally. We appeal to the Sikh nation to fund us so we may serve a Sikh anywhere in the world through our 10 chapters. All donations to UNITED SIKHS are tax-deductible in the United States, and UK donors can make a Gift Aid declaration which increases their donation by up to 28%.

For a previous press release, please visit: http://unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/donatereq08.htm

Issued by:
Kuldip Singh
Director
UNITED SIKHS
Email: act@unitedsikhs.org

 
Snap-shot of our work across the globe.

United States of America:  Three Sikh religious musicians were wrongfully removed from a US Airways flight after passengers objected to their appearance. UNITED SIKHS and ACLU advocated for air travel without discrimination and a settlement was awarded to the musicians by US Airways along with a letter of apology.  Securing the rights to Kakkars at work places, airports and right to religious freedom.

United Kingdom: Challenged the BBC for misusing a Khanda when reporting a crime.  A 14 year old Sikh boy was excluded from school for refusing to remove his Kirpan in school. The young Sikh is now in a private school with UNITED SIKHS presently working with our legal team to obtain a solution to the problem of wearing the Kirpan in some schools.
UNITED SIKHS-UK's legal team and the Leicester and Nottingham Sikh community leaders worked around the clock to persuade a college to reverse a Kirpan ban that was enforced when two SIkh sixth-formers were stopped from sitting for their exams after they were found wearing a Kirpan by the invigilators.

Canada:  Assisted a Sikh Youth Assaulted by Security Guards at the Toronto Games Arena. Led numerous Feed the hungry campaigns

Australia:   Fight workplace discrimination for a pizza hut worker. Submission to Safework  Australia to improve occupational health and safety for immigrants. Established a database for Hate crime victims.

Belgium: UNITED SIKHS filed a case in November 2009 against the Go Municipal Board of schools which passed a ruling to ban the turban in all its schools in Belgium from September 2010.  UNITED SIKHS- Belgium was registered in Nov 2009 to help facilitate our advocacy and other projects in Belgium.

France: French case for the Turban in the UN awaits justice. In Oct 2009, a young Sikh was refused entry into a major French bank because he wore a turban. Upon UNITED SIKHS’ intervention, the bank issued a letter of apology, saying the incident took place because of “the manifestly excessive and improper application of security instructions.”

Pakistan: A Sikh lawyer in Pakistan was mercilessly beaten, his hair shorn and was forcefully asked to convert to Islam. Fearing for their safety, his family went into hiding. UNITED SIKHS is working with the government of Pakistan to provide legal counsel to the victim and security for the family.

Poland:  UNITED SIKHS helps a Sikh when a Warsaw airport fines him for refusing to remove his turban after he has cleared security.

Japan:  Assisted a Sikh family through the SWAN program to fight a raging immigration battle.

Contact Us

To Contact UNITED SIKHS, please visit: www.unitedsikhs.org/contact.php

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.