“Everyone Blames Me” – new report on barriers to justice for sexual assault survivors in India

Survivors of rape and other forms of sexual assault in India face severe barriers to justice and are not receiving the support that the State are obligated to offer them, finds a new report by Human Rights Watch. The report raises particular concern for ‘low caste’ survivors and other marginalised groups.

UN Expert criticizes India’s sanitation drive for exacerbating manual scavenging

The UN Expert on Water and Sanitation, Léo Heller, has stated that the failure to end the practice of manual scavenging in India coupled with the construction of more non-flush toilets, is contributing to an increase in the discriminatory practice of manual scavenging, where the lowest castes are made to undertake the duty of cleaning excrements from non-flush toilets […]

Joint statement – Pakistan must act immediately to protect Dalits against forced disappearances, slavery and discrimination

Joint statement by the International Dalit Solidarity Network, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network, International Movement Against All Forms of Racism and Discrimination (IMADR), Minority Rights Group International, Anti-Slavery International and FORUM-ASIA.

13 November 2017

As the UN review Pakistan’s human rights record on 13 November, we urge the Government to commit with time bound action plans to end ongoing serious human rights […]

IDSN Roadmap to the UNOHCHR Guidance tool on Descent-Based Discrimination

The Roadmap offers check boxes on actions within the four main areas covered in the tool: Learn, Involve, Support and Act. It summarises key concepts drawing on text excerpts from the UNOHCHR Guidance Tool and offers direct links to good practice cases and useful documentation and examples.

The Roadmap can be used by UN agencies and country teams and […]

Urgent Appeal for Action – Dalit Professor attempted killed in need of immediate protection

Human Rights Defenders Alert – India (HRDA) has issued an urgent appeal for the protection of Professor Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd – a political analyst, human rights activist and one of India’s most prominent Dalit thinkers and Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy. Prof. Shepherd was allegedly attempted killed in his car, […]

Urgent Appeal for Action – Death threats and withdrawal of police protection for a Dalit human rights activist

The appeal directed to the National Human Rights Commission of India states that false cases have been filed against Mr. Kalsan and that he is receiving death threats on account of his work defending the rights of Dalits in the State.

“Currently Mr. Rajat and his family are facing serious threats to life and liberty and it is alleged that […]

UN water and sanitation expert to visit India in November

The United Nations Special Rapporteur, Léo Heller, will visit India from 27 October to 10 November 2017 to examine the extent to which people’s rights to safe drinking water and sanitation are being realized. IDSN and Jan Sahas have made a joint submission to the Rapporteur ahead of his visit drawing attention to the inhuman practice of manual scavenging […]

Dalit activists in Nepal take part in IDSN workshop on UN and EU advocacy

The workshop included an overview of the EU and its institutions by IDSN EU Adviser, Claire Ivers, specifically the different roles of the European Council, Council of the EU, European External Action Service (EEAS), European Commission, and European Parliament. EU Human rights policy was also explored along with what avenues are available for advocacy and lobbying most suited to […]

MEPs call on EU Presidents to address caste discrimination at the EU-India summit

A cross-party group of prominent Members of the European Parliament has sent an open letter to the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, calling on them to address caste discrimination directly at the October EU-India Summit.

The letter describes a deep concern […]

Indian Government responds to UN rights review – accepts key recommendations on caste but not on ensuring space for civil society

Fifteen states made interventions with explicit recognition of the challenges faced by Dalits, at the United Nations human rights review (UPR) of India, which took place in May. Responding to the review in September 2017, the Indian Government has accepted nine of the recommendations concerning caste-based discrimination. However, the Government did not accept any of the recommendations related to […]