Nine Dalit women activists from South Asia attended the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week. Members of the group spoke at a side event on Dalit women on 4 June, and they appealed to UN member states to address their situation.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has reiterated her commitment to ending caste discrimination. In a statement to a UN side event on Dalit women, she also called on UN member states to address the issue.
At a regional consultation in Dhaka, human rights campaigners discussed steps towards enactment of special legislation to ensure equal rights for Dalits and other excluded communities in Bangladesh.
In a newly released report, the Government of Bangladesh is called upon to enact a law against untouchability practices, and implement a national action plan to comprehensively address discrimination based on work and descent against Dalits and other excluded groups.
Dalits in Bangladesh face severe national and social injustice, says Dr Mizanur Rahman, chairman of the country's National Human Rights Commission.
Bangladesh Dalit Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) demanded specific allocations development of Dalit communities in the upcoming National Budget. BDERM raised the demands in a seminar organized at Dhaka Reporters Unity on May 5th.
IDSN have launched a YouTube Channel on www.youtube.com/IDSNVideo
The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission in Bangladesh, Mr Mizanur Rahman, urged the Government to be more generous in protecting the rights of Dalits at a press conference jointly organised by the Bangladesh Dalit Parishad (BDP) and the Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF).
The latest IDSN newsletter once again underlines that caste discrimination is a serious international human rights issue.
In the run up to human rights day 2010 Dalit activists have been mobilising through marches and awareness raising activities from activism in Nepal, a march in India, and human chains in Bangladesh to an exhibition in the UK to highlight the plight of Dalits. These are great initiatives, but the battle for securing human rights for more that 260 million Dalits, discriminated against on the basis of their caste, is fought every day in the communities by Dalit men, women and children who speak up to stop discrimination against them despite the risk of violence, rape, public humiliation, destruction of property and other acts of reprisal.