IDSN participated in the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights from 29 November – 1 December, learning and drawing attention to the urgent need to address caste discrimination and violence in global supply chains.

IDSN took part in many sessions including on gender mainstreaming, tech regulation, mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence and charting the next decade of UN work on business and human rights.

The IDSN recommendations and briefing on caste- and gender violence and discrimination in global garment supply chains was shared with speakers and participants as was the IDSN Brief and recommendations for UN and EU actors on addressing caste-hate speech in a global context.

Several panellists including Anita Ramasastry and Fernanda Hopenhaym, of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and Nora Götzmann of The Danish Institute for Human Rights, responded directly to IDSN’s questions and noted the need to address caste discrimination and violence, calling caste a blind spot that must be acknowledged and tackled.

This blind spot was also pointed out by IDSN in the lack of a single mention of caste or minorities in the UNGPs 10+: A Roadmap For The Next Decade of Business And Human Rights launched on the first day of the forum. While the roadmap includes many valuable points, IDSN has urged that the omission of reference to caste and minorities is remedied and also provided input to this roadmap back in January 2021.

Speakers at all sessions repeatedly stressed the need to consult and actively engage with affected and marginalised communities in not only remedy but also the design of policies and tools meant to address human rights abuses in supply chains. This is also a key recommendation from IDSN when it comes to lower caste workers (including home workers) in global supply chains.

Following the forum, IDSN will continue to engage with the Working Group members and other speakers to ensure visibility and action on caste- and gender discrimination and violence in supply chains.

Key tweets from IDSN’s participation at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights