IDSN is a global network of organisations united in the wish to contribute to the elimination of caste-based discrimination. As per the revised statutes of 19 December 2014, the members of IDSN are national level networks, platforms or organisations from caste-affected countries and Dalit solidarity networks in other countries. In addition, the categories of Associates and Affiliates encompass entities attached to the IDSN.
All members, associates and affiliates are expected to subscribe to the aims and objectives of IDSN.
Members contribute to IDSN’s work and international interventions, when possible, and share relevant information with the IDSN members’ group and the Secretariat. Furthermore, a key role of members is to facilitate transfer of collective results at the international level into national contexts through their roots in the communities.
Members and Associates are invited to the General Assembly of IDSN held every third year. The General Assembly is the highest body of the network and elects the Board of between seven and ten members. Members’ authorised representatives are eligible for election to the IDSN Board.
Members in caste-affected countries
Members are organisations, networks, or platforms working to eliminate caste-based discrimination as their primary focus and are characterised by having a national level outreach, a broad constituency, multiple stakeholder involvement and clear accountability structures. More information on membership can be found in the IDSN Statutes sections 4.5.1. and 4.5.2.
Members in solidarity countries
Dalit Solidarity Networks (DSNs) are networks set up with the primary purpose to contribute to the overall work for Dalit human rights, and the elimination of caste–based discrimination. DSNs have a membership of organisations and/or individuals contributing to joint efforts of the network, or are registered organisations, and contribute by raising awareness of the issue of caste discrimination to e.g. the general public, Parliamentarians, the Government, and international NGOs in their respective countries. More information on membership can be found in the IDSN Statutes section 4.4.3.
Application for membership
Organisations or networks wishing to become members of IDSN should submit a written application to the Board. The Board will review applications for membership at their meetings at least twice per year. IDSN accepts up to five new members each year, though with a provision for additional members in the first year of the revised statutes, 2015. The Board will decide on membership with a view to ensure representation of different countries and areas of expertise.
An application should include the following:
- A brief description of the organisation or network, its work, and governing structures
- Explanation on how the organisation meet the member criteria described above and in the statutes
- Confirmation of compliance with the membership criteria , and the corresponding roles and responsibilities.
- Motivation for the application, including the expertise that can be brought into the network and the specific areas in which the applicant would be able to contribute to the international work
See further information on requested information below.
The applicant will receive acknowledgement of receipt of the application and information on the date for the Board review of its application. Additional questions may be sent from the Board or the Secretariat before the Board is able to make a decision.
The IDSN Council decided at its meeting in December 2014, that membership of IDSN will be gradually expanded with up to five new national level organisations or networks per year. The board approves of new members based on applications received and relevance of the organisation or institution nationally to the promotion of Dalit rights and to IDSN’s international work.
Application for membership – Information Requested
A brief description of the organisation, including its governing structures, and the areas in which it will be able to contribute to IDSN.
The applying organisation is asked to declare that it understands and accepts the terms and conditions of IDSN membership as outlined below:
- All members must subscribe to the aims and objectives of IDSN
- All members are invited to the IDSN General Assembly and its authorised representatives are eligible to stand for election to IDSN’s Board under the established criteria
- Members agree to respect and follow the statutes and bylaws governing IDSN
- Members are expected to contribute to IDSN’s work and international interventions, when possible, and to share relevant information IDSN members’ group and the Secretariat.
- Members are obligated to share with their constituency information on IDSN’s work, results achieved internationally, and to conduct some follow up work at national level.
- Members in caste-affected countries are organisations, networks, or platforms working to eliminate caste-based discrimination as their primary focus
- Explanation on now the organisation meet the member criteria described above and in the statutes
- Confirmation of compliance with the membership criteria, and the corresponding roles and responsibilities.
The category of Associates include international or regional human rights and development organisations who support the fight against caste-based discrimination. Associates are expected to subscribe to the aims and objectives of IDSN and may contribute to IDSN’s work and international interventions. More information on association can be found in the IDSN Statutes section 4.5.4.
Application for Association
Application for association with IDSN should be submitted to the Board and include the following information:
- A brief description of the organisation or network
- Motivation for the application, including in which areas the applicant can contribute to the international work
- The application must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org marked “Application for association”.
IDSN retains two categories of affiliates. The first category encompasses organisations actively engaged in the grassroots work from a caste-affected country or country in solidarity with the cause and subscribe to the values and principles of IDSN. Dalit led organisations are especially encouraged for affiliation. They must be recommended in writing by an IDSN member and submit a profile statement to be kept on record.
A second category is research affiliates, which can be individual researchers or research institutions with a particular attention to Dalit issues. Dalit researchers or Dalit led institutions focusing on caste discrimination are especially encouraged for affiliation.
Affiliates are not entitled to any funding or financial benefit from IDSN. They are not members and therefore do not take part in IDSN’s formal General Assembly. Affiliates are entitled to receive monthly newsletter updates, and their expertise may be called on where specific international interventions are taking place and in this case only may be entitled to subsistence and travel expenses
More information on affiliation can be found in the IDSN Statutes section 4.5.5.
Affiliate organisations or researchers will need a recommendation from an IDSN member. The affiliate should then send a profile statement of no more than two pages, highlighting its key areas of work and how it contributes to the aims to IDSN.
The affiliate must show that it subscribes to the broad aims of IDSN.
For further information on IDSN statutes, structure and strategy, please click here.