Hundreds of Dalit women from across Nepal gathered in Kathmandu for the “Dalit Women’s National Conference for Democracy, Justice, Sustainable Peace and Inclusive Constitution” from 2-4 December 2014. The conference was organized by the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) and international speakers included UN Women and IDSN.
Dalit activists spoke at the UN Forum on Minority Issues to highlight the issue of violence against Dalits in South Asia and the lack of access to justice for victims. They also pointed to ways forward in redressing and preventing these crimes.
The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo called for the adoption of different norms and measures to fight violence against women around the world and a binding standard of accountability at the international level.
A new report following up on modern slavery in Indian spinning mills, finds that despite initiatives launched to end conditions of forced labour, the situation remains alarming. Efforts of clothing brands and retailers to end this, lack scale and conviction. Due to their marginalised status and lack of alternative opportunities, the majority of girls working in these factories are Dalits.
In an analysis entitled “Nepal: why child marriage persists”, based on findings by Save the Children, World Vision, and Plan, IRIN news highlight that Dalit girls are at particular risk of child marriage in Nepal, and that concerted efforts to change the social welfare for Dalits in Nepal are needed.
Important new report, Cleaning Human Waste: "Manual Scavenging," Caste, and Discrimination in India, released by Human Rights Watch. Press Release from Human Rights Watch: India: Caste Forced to Clean Human Waste
The concluding observations and recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 2014 review of India have been released. The committee raises serious concern about human rights violations against Dalit women, caste-based violence and rape, land rights and the lack of implementation of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and other key legislation meant to protect Dalit women. The concluding observations however lack adequate mention of discrimination against Dalit women in education and employment, specifically manual scavenging, despite the fact that these were areas of concern captured in the List of Issues and review by CEDAW experts.
In the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), review of India on 2nd July 2014, the issues of Dalit women and girls were brought up by several experts of the Committee and the Committee noted that Dalit women and the lack of implementation of laws were matters of serious concern.
Report on the UN Human Rights Council 26th session, 17th June 2014, side-event on 'Caste-based violence against women: The role of the UN in combatting caste-based violence and discrimination'.
The case of the rape and hanging of two girls in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, widely reported to be Dalits, has caused a global media storm of reports on rape and violence against women in India and the strong links to caste discrimination. Numerous stories have highlighted that India’s ‘rape culture’ and ‘culture of impunity’ will not end until caste discrimination is tackled head on. Leading Human Rights NGOs and the UN have also made statements.