Human Rights Watch (HRW) has given due credit to the Government of Nepal for its endorsement of the draft UN principles and guidelines to eliminate caste discrimination. India, on the other hand, is criticised.

Nepal’s support for an international framework to end caste discrimination is ‘a positive development’.  According to Human Rights Watch, it may serve as an example to other countries.

In a section on Dalits contained in the Nepal country summary of the HRW World Report, the US based human rights organisation praises the government for endorsing the draft UN principles and guidelines.

‘This is an important step, particularly because it sets a precedent for other countries, particularly India, that have resisted UN intervention in addressing rampant caste-based discrimination,’ the report notes.

For a number of years, HRW has been an important pioneer in the international struggle against caste discrimination. In the India summary of its World Report, the organisation also refers to this form of human rights abuse.

The report notes that the government has not yet addressed some of India’s most pressing needs, including ‘ending discrimination against Dalits’.  HRW also mentions that the state’s ‘long failure’ to address discrimination based on caste or ethnicity may play in to the hands of Maoist militants.

And finally, it notes that India has not responded to ‘international recommendations that it more effectively combat caste- and religion-based discrimination.’

Click here to read the Nepal chapter of the HRW World Report

Click here to read the India chapter of the HRW World Report