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.
The report on the UN human rights review of the UK was adopted today. A significant recommendation on caste discrimination has been included in the final report. This will provide the basis for monitoring and reporting on the UK’s efforts to amend its legislation to include caste and promote a national strategy to eliminate caste discrimination in the next four years.
When India and the UK come up for review by the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 24 May, IDSN urges all UN member states to seize this important opportunity to address concerns about caste discrimination based on recommendations by civil society and UN human rights bodies.
India and the UK will be up for review by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the Human Rights Council at the 13th UPR session in May. Both countries have been scheduled to take place on the same day, 24 May 2012.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recommends that the UK Government prohibit caste discrimination and provide remedies to victims of this form of discrimination.
During a review by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on 23 and 24 August, the UK delegation said that there was "no consensus" on the need for prohibiting caste discrimination in the UK. Furthermore, the Government had “not made a decision” on the findings of a government-commissioned report, which concludes that caste discrimination exists in the UK. "Why are you so afraid?" a CERD Committee member asked during the dialogue.