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.
IDSN have launched a YouTube Channel on www.youtube.com/IDSNVideo
A study just released on caste discrimination in the UK finds evidence of caste discrimination in work, provision of services, education, and harassment and violence as a result of caste discrimination.
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.
A photo exhibition and seminar in the UK Department for International Development (DFID) highlighting the issue of caste discrimination and the presentation of One World Action’s Sternberg Award to the Dalit Women’s Forum in Dhaka, are some of the events taking place to ensure a much needed focus on Dalit issues in the UK around December’s Human Rights Day.
During a visit to India, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Mr Andrew Mitchell, has interacted with Dalit community members in a village in Madhya Pradesh.