Key Issues

Dalit Women

At the bottom of South Asia’s caste, class and gender hierarchies, are Dalit women.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

They suffer multiple discrimination – as Dalits, as women and as economically disadvantaged.

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Dalit Children

Dalit children are especially vulnerable.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

They often face harrassment, physical abuse and barriers to education, and are key targets of slavery.

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Caste-based slavery

A significant proportion of Dalits find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of contemporary slavery.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Forced and bonded labour, is often interlinked with the caste system.

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Caste discrimination in education

lliteracy and drop-out rates among Dalits are very high due to a number of social and physical factors.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Dalit children face discrimination from students and teachers.

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Access to justice

Caste discrimination  –  and the practice of “untouchability”  –  continues to persist.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Often with impunity for perpetrators of gross human rights violations.

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Caste & Business

Businesses in caste-affected countries are likely to be based on the economic exploitation of castes.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Violations of both national legislation as well as international law, often occur.

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Manual Scavenging

Manual scavenging is a caste-based occupation for Dalits.

Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Only by using basic tools, manual scavengers are removing human excrement.

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Caste-based prostitution

Many Dalit women have been forced into sexual slavery or suffer systematic sexual abuse by dominant castes.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Most girls and women in India’s urban brothels come from lower-castes.

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Humanitarian aid

Discrimination often become a hindrance to reaching out to Dalits.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Dalits are particularly vulnerable when disasters strikes and discrimination in Aid delivery must be prevented.

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Political participation

Dalits are often limited from equal and meaningful political participation.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Their political influence is limited due to their weak economic, social and political position.

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India is home to more than 200 million Dalits.

A Dalit man is made to clean the sewers in India. Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Despite constitutional safeguards &  legislation to protect Dalits, discrimination remains widespread.

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Almost half of Nepal’s Dalits live below the poverty line.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

According to the official 2011 census, Dalits constitute 13.6 per cent of the total population.

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Dalits in Pakistan are victims to double discrimination due to their religious status.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Crimes against them are often committed with impunity.

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The estimates of the number of Dalits in Bangladesh vary from 3.5-5.5 million


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Caste discrimination affects both the Hindu and the Muslim populations in Bangladesh.

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Sri Lanka

Caste descrimination affects four-five million people in Sri Lanka.


Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Dalits constitute 83 percent of the total of 3.6 million plantation workers.

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In Japan caste-based discrimination is discrimination against the Burakumin of Japan.


Photo: Malene Korsgaard Lauritsen

They are a minority group, ethnically and linguistically indistinguishable from other Japanese people.

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The ‘Untouchable’ group in Yemen is called Al-Akhdam.


Photo: Mathieu Génon /

They live at the bottom of the society, facing lack of basic social servicse, education and employment.

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United Kingdom

Dalits tent to bring the caste system with them, when they move and settle in other countries.


Photo: CasteWatchUK

It has been estimated that there are at least 250.000 Dalits living in the UK.

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African countries

African caste-affected communities suffer from exclusion from employment and political representation.


It’s called ‘discrimination based on work and descent.’

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Diaspora communities

South Asians often bring the caste system with them, when they settle in other countries.

We are all untouchable untill noone is photo

Photo: Thenmozhi Soundararajan

Caste discrimination is common in the United Kingdom as well as in USA.

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IDSN Publications

Annual Report 2023-24

IDSN Annual Report

Strategy 2024-2030

Strategy 2024-2030

Annual Report 2022-23

IDSN Annual Report

Annual Report 2021-22

IDSN Annual Report

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