In its 2017 Report on the “Annual Report on human rights and democracy in the world and the European Union’s policy on the matter” the European Parliament (EP) calls for an EU policy on caste discrimination and urges the EU and its Member States to, “intensify efforts and support related initiatives at UN and delegation level by implementing and monitoring the 2030 SDGs, monitoring the new UN Guidance Tool on descent-based discrimination and supporting states’ implementation of recommendations by UN human rights mechanisms on the topic of caste discrimination”.

The European Parliament has for several consecutive years now been urging the EU to develop a specific policy addressing caste discrimination. In its 2017 report it furthermore states that the European Parliament,

“Condemns the continuing human rights violations committed against people suffering as a result of caste hierarchies and caste-based discrimination, including the denial of equality and access to the legal system and employment, continued segregation and caste-induced barriers to the achievement of basic human rights and development; reiterates its call for the development of EU policy on caste discrimination, and for the EU to take advantage of every opportunity to express its grave concern over such human rights violations.”

In addition to the continued concern and demands for more EU action, the European Parliament report also urges the EU and its member states to monitor the new UN Guidance Tool on Descent-Based Discrimination released in 2017.

IDSN welcomes the report by the European Parliament and looks forward to seeing more concerted action taken in 2018 to develop, monitor and implement EU and UN instruments directly addressing caste-based discrimination. We are encouraged by the European Parliament’s call for increasing efforts to address caste discrimination at the EU and UN level.

Download the full European Parliament Report here