On 28 August 2016, as a part of the regular review process, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published its concluding observations to the UK. The Committee expressed its concern that […]
On 14 March 2016, IDSN members from all over the world gathered in Geneva for the network’s triennial General Assembly. Participants were Dalit human rights defenders from South Asia, Dalit Solidarity Networks from Europe, […]
The Liberal Democrats have included caste in their general election manifesto stating that, “we will: …Outlaw caste discrimination.” They have also included a more specific reference in their BAME manifesto with the statement,
“A fair […]
The UK Government’s action on tackling caste discrimination in India was the topic of a debate on the 26th November in the UK House of Lords. Many Lords spoke out passionately against caste-based discrimination and asked that the UK Government in its relations with India take-up fighting caste-based discrimination.
Global day of action to end caste discrimination – marches in London, Washington DC, San Francisco and India
The 21st of June has been marked as a global day of action to end caste discrimination and marches were carried out in London, Washington DC, San Francisco and India on this day. In London, a letter was presented to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for action on enacting caste legislation in the UK, on caste-based rape and on endorsing the draft UN Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent (UN P&Gs). In Washington DC protesters picketed outside the Capitol demanding that Congress pass a binding resolution mandating action by US agencies in caste-affected countries and asking the US Government to take action on caste discrimination by endorsing the UN P&Gs. In other cities, protesters marked their solidarity with the global march by gathering and marching with placards and holding speeches.
Asha Kowtal, General Secretary of the National Dalit Women’s movement in India (AIDMAM), and Dalit filmmaker Thenmozhi Soundararajan, brought the campaign to end violence against Dalit women to European decision-makers and public gathering in May. The two women spoke at a number of significant events in Europe to report back on the recent Self-respect march for Dalit women in India.
As the first country outside South Asia, the UK has decided to legislate against caste discrimination. This form of discrimination will now be included as “an aspect of race” in Britain’s equality legislation.
Following yesterday’s vote in the House of Commons against outlawing caste discrimination, campaigners - including the Dalit Solidarity Network UK - have vowed to continue their struggle to make this form of discrimination illegal.
As anti-caste discrimination campaigners demonstrated outside the British Parliament, the House of Lords decided to back an amendment to a bill that would make caste discrimination illegal in the UK.
As a follow up to the Universal Periodic Reviews of India and the UK on 24 May, IDSN calls for the effective implementation of all caste-related recommendations and for constructive engagement with civil society in the implementation process.