Key humanitarian actors including UNDP, ECHO, the Asian Disaster Reduction & Response Network, USAID and DFID gathered in New Delhi for the launch of the report “Equality in Aid – Addressing Caste Discrimination in Humanitarian Response”.
The report was launched jointly on the 28th of January, by the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), The National Dalit Watch – NCDHR and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). An “Inclusive Vulnerability Mapping & Monitoring of Post Disaster Response” manual was also launched at the event.
Speakers at the launch urged providers of humanitarian assistance to pay particular attention to the situation of Dalits and other groups suffering from caste discrimination when delivering aid and planning ahead of disasters.
“Leaving out the local context and realities in operational strategies will result in unintentional exclusion of Dalits through practice,” said Dr. Belinda Bennet from Christian Aid speaking at the event.
The report and manual represent a pioneering tool for humanitarian actors to come up with effective measures to counter caste discrimination in disaster relief.
“It is very critical and timely that the humanitarian stakeholders including the State ensure inclusive methods to address caste-based discrimination in Disaster Risk Reduction and explicitly recognise this phenomenon in disaster management legislation and policy, to prevent violation of human rights of Dalits”, said Paul Divakar, from National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) in a press release.
Following the event Reuters published the article Lower-caste people get less aid when disaster strikes highlighting key issues from the report and more information can also be found in the IDSN article IDSN report: Disasters hit Dalits harder .