5 February 2019

A brand new IDSN Ambassadors Group is launched today. The group is made up of several highly distinguished human rights advocates, who will use their knowledge and skills to ensure that caste discrimination never falls off the global human rights agenda.

“The fight to end caste discrimination is at the root of some of the most horrendous human rights violations facing the world today including modern slavery, violence against women, extreme poverty and grave failures of the justice system in affected countries across the world,” said one of the new IDSN Ambassador, Professor Gay McDougall, Member the UN CERD Committee and former UN Expert. “IDSN is a leading force in bringing Dalit voices to the fore of global human rights fora and I am proud to be a catalyst for this work as part of the new Ambassadors group.”

Dr. Aidan McQuade, former Director of Anti-Slavery International also joins the IDSN Ambassadors group.

“Caste discrimination continues to be a highly divisive practice causing suffering, violence, abuse and the curtailing of basic human rights on a massive scale. It fuels child labour, bonded labour and many other serious human rights violations, implicating not just national industries but large multinational companies as well.” Dr. McQuade said. “IDSN’s work to ensure global support for those affected by caste-based discrimination is absolutely crucial and it is an honour to be an IDSN Ambassador.”

The new IDSN Ambassadors are:

Professor Gay J. McDougall, Vice Chair, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Senior Fellow and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, Center for Race, Law and Justice, Fordham University School of Law

Ms. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, UN CERD Committee member and former UN Expert

Dr. Aidan McQuade, labour rights expert and former Director of Anti-Slavery International

Professor Smita Narula, Haub Distinguished Professor of International Law, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University

Mr. Peter Prove, Director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

Mr. Gerard Oonk, Former Director of the India Committee on the Netherlands

Mr. Maina Kiai, former UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and now leading Human Rights Watch Alliances & Partnerships initiative 

“We are truly honoured to bring together some of the most remarkable human rights advocates to form the new IDSN Ambassadors Group,” said IDSN Executive Chair, Meena Varma, “We are incredibly grateful for the outreach, strength and expertise they are committing to IDSN.” 

Press Contact:

Meena Varma, Executive Director, IDSN, Tel.: +45 60433432, e-mail: