A new opinion poll shows an increase in awareness of caste discrimination as a serious human rights issue among the population of the Netherlands.
More than 70 percent of the Dutch public believe that their government should take a stand against caste discrimination in the UN and EU. Almost as many feel that Dutch companies operating in countries with caste systems should tackle the issue.
According to a new opinion poll conducted by the reputed polling agency TNS NIPO, 80 percent of the population are of the opinion that caste discrimination is a global human rights problem, and more than half are willing to support action against this form of discrimination. The poll was commissioned by the Dalit Network Netherlands (DNN), a member of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN).
“We are very happy with this result,” said Gerard Oonk, co-ordinator of the Dalit Network Netherlands. “In 2004, when a similar survey was done, these percentages were lower. There were also less people wiling to support action against caste discrimination.”
The Dutch government has taken a more active stand against caste discrimination in recent years. This includes informing Dutch companies on the issue and, specifically, on how they can tackle it by using such tools as the Ambedkar Principles and the Dalit Discrimination Check.