The International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) was founded in March 2000 to advocate for Dalit human rights and to raise awareness of Dalit issues nationally and internationally. IDSN is a network of international human rights groups, development agencies, national Dalit solidarity networks from Europe, and national platforms in caste-affected countries. The network has had a significant impact on the internationalisation of caste discrimination as a critical human rights issue. Through engagement with UN, EU and other multilateral institutions, IDSN has successfully lobbied for action-oriented approaches to address ‘untouchability’ and other human rights abuses against Dalits and similar communities that suffer discrimination on the basis of work and descent. IDSN bases its work on contributions from members and associates. Joint interventions in the United Nations and the EU constitute a major part of IDSN’s activities. The network produces crucial input in the form of documentation, strategic interventions and lobby action and also supports national level lobbying. Interaction between members adds to the dynamics of the network.
The Copenhagen-based secretariat coordinates lobby and advocacy activities in close cooperation with members, associates and alliance partners. IDSN was formally registered as an organisation in October 2003.
IDSN’s global network members and affiliates