Then you can make real change happen.

We urge you to:

A. Recognize the scale of the problem

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, said the following about caste discrimination:

“Even after 60 years of constitutional legal protection and support … Dalits have faced a unique discrimination in our society that is fundamentally different from the problems of minority groups in general. The only parallel to the practice of untouchability was Apartheid.”

Inform yourself of the forms of caste discrimination that take place in your country by meeting members of caste-affected communities. Make sure that you and your fellow policy makers recognize the scale of caste discrimination.

B. Review your country’s constitution and legislation

Review your country’s constitution to see whether caste discrimination is prohibited and whether proper constitutional safeguards are in place. Get guidance on a recent report analysing Nepal’s interim constitution.

Look at your country’s legislation. Is it designed to ensure non-discrimination in access to public health and education services, natural resources such as land and capital assets, development schemes and labour market? Are social protection schemes considering that systematic discrimination is taking place from government right down to village level? Get guidance from the draft UN Principles & Guidelines for the effective elimination of discrimination based on work and descent and CERD General Recommendation no. 29 to learn about the legal measures that are recommended for states by UN human rights bodies.

C. Ensure implementation of legislation and budget allocation

Are constitutional safeguards and the legislation of your country implemented properly? Massive human rights violations take place in caste affected countries because of caste-bias in the judicial and law enforcement systems. Political bodies and institutions charged with oversight often fail. Also take a look at whether funds are allocated to special schemes for caste-affected groups and spent properly.

D. Ensure proper human rights reporting

Ensure that caste discrimination is consistently included as a cross-cutting issue in all national reports prepared to UN human rights bodies and in consultations with affected groups and civil society organizations prior to such reviews. Make sure aggregated data is available on the situation of caste affected groups.

Learn more about UN treaty body reviews

See how the UN special rapporteurs have included caste discrimination in their work