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UN experts increase focus on caste discrimination

In a recent Geneva meeting of UN Special Rapporteurs and civil society, caste-based discrimination was highlighted by the Rapporteurs as a key cross-cutting issue of concern. A team from IDSN were present at the meeting and raised the issue of caste-based discrimination, to which there was a significant response and engagement from the Special Rapporteurs.

October 3rd, 2014|United Nations|

Urgent Appeal: Brutal police torture of Dalit human rights defender – perpetrators must be held accountable

A 28 year old Dalit human rights defender, Mr. Poovarasan, was abducted from his house by five police officers in Tamil Nadu, and brutally tortured and abused using derogatory caste names. Following the abuse, the police filed false charges against him. Unable to walk, the victim was taken to court in an ambulance, and the Police inspector forced the ambulance with Mr. Poovarasan in it to drive off the court premises, while he threatened Mr. Poovarasan to remain silent about the assault. An urgent appeal has been launched to ensure proper medical treatment for the victim and consequences for the involved police officers.

October 2nd, 2014|Access to justice, India|

Dalits in Pakistan suffer from severe drought – despite promises to act

1.2 million people and five million livestock in district Tharparkar are now once again in the grip of a severe drought and efforts to prevent future human catastrophies must be stepped up.

September 26th, 2014|Humanitarian Aid, Pakistan|

India’s Prime Minister and the President urge the nation to end casteism

In two separate speeches India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, have stressed the urgent need to end casteism and communal violence splitting the Nation and hampering India’s developement.

September 25th, 2014|India, Political Participation|

Dalit girls in Nepal particularly vulnerable to child marriage

In an analysis entitled “Nepal: why child marriage persists”, based on findings by Save the Children, World Vision, and Plan, IRIN news highlight that Dalit girls are at particular risk of child marriage in Nepal, and that concerted efforts to change the social welfare for Dalits in Nepal are needed.

September 25th, 2014|Dalit Children, Dalit Women, Nepal|

Thousands of Dalits protest over attacks and discrimination in Pakistan

In a mass protest 15,000 Hindus, the majority of them Dalits, marched through the streets of Karachi to push for the provincial Government of Sindh in Pakistan to meet their demands for provisions to stop escalating discrimination against Hindus in the region.

September 24th, 2014|Pakistan, Political Participation|

UN CERD urges Japan to act on discrimination against the Buraku

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recommends that Japan effectively apply its legislation to protect Burakumin and provide information and indicators on concrete measures to uplift hteir living conditions and position in society.

September 19th, 2014|Japan, United Nations|

HRW Report: Cleaning Human Waste: Manual Scavenging, Caste, and Discrimination in India

Important new report, Cleaning Human Waste: "Manual Scavenging," Caste, and Discrimination in India, released by Human Rights Watch. Press Release from Human Rights Watch: India: Caste Forced to Clean Human Waste

August 25th, 2014|Caste-based slavery, Dalit Women, India, Manual Scavenging|

Indian Minister says that manual scavenging persisists and the implementation of the manual scavenging act is being monitored

In a written reply to the Indian House of Parliament (Lok Sabha), the Indian Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, said that the practice of manual scavenging still persists in various parts of the country. He added that because previous laws banning the practice had proved inadequate, parliament had enacted the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the implementation of which is now be monitored.

August 14th, 2014|Access to justice, Caste-based slavery, India, Manual Scavenging|

UN recommends India take action to end caste-based violence against women and the Devadasi practice

The concluding observations and recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 2014 review of India have been released. The committee raises serious concern about human rights violations against Dalit women, caste-based violence and rape, land rights and the lack of implementation of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and other key legislation meant to protect Dalit women. The concluding observations however lack adequate mention of discrimination against Dalit women in education and employment, specifically manual scavenging, despite the fact that these were areas of concern captured in the List of Issues and review by CEDAW experts.

August 12th, 2014|Dalit Women, India, United Nations|