During the 4th Cycle of the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India, the country received recommendations on caste, including the need to ensure implementation on legislation to protect Dalits from discrimination and violence, develop an action plan to prevent caste discrimination in labour, protect Dalit women and girls from violence and sexual abuse, ensure equal access to services, and to step up efforts to end caste discrimination.

The recommendations came from countries in South America, Africa and Europe – during the UPR of India on 10 November 2022.

Ahead of the review IDSN made a joint submission to the process outlining the many human rights violations faced by Dalits in India as well as engaging in advocacy efforts to sensitise states to the issue. The report was submiited by IDSN, The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), Advocating Rights in South Asia – ARISA, Dalit Solidarity Network Norway (DSNNO) the Dalit Solidarity Network Finland (DSNFi).

IDSN and network affiliates took part in the pre-session and monitored the UPR proceedings on 10 November. IDSN affiliate, Social Awareness Society For Youth (SASY), live screened the UPR session in 33 locations in Tamil Nadu and with participation on human rights defenders, women leaders, students, community leaders, trade union members, panchayat presidents, parish priests, and movement leaders.

SASY also issued a special e-newsletter on the UPR with much more information on the review and the events.

The government of India will consider the acceptance (or not) of the recommendations received and will address them in a 2023 session of the Human Rights Council.

The issues raised by delegations during this process will guide the human rights bilateral dialogues between the recommending State and the State under review, with a view to a collaborative effort between the parties.

See the list of recommendations on caste based discrimination made to India:

6.66               Take adequate measures to guarantee and monitor the effective implementation of the Prevention of Atrocities Act and provide legal means for increased protection of vulnerable groups like the Dalit (Germany);

6.68               Develop an Action Plan to eliminate all forms of discrimination against Dalits and Adivasis, and prohibit discrimination in the labor market, both public and private (Costa Rica);

6.67               Continue efforts to integrate Scheduled Castes and Tribes into the development process (Cameroon);

6.69               Continue to raise public awareness about the prohibition of caste-based discrimination (Sierra Leone);

6.160             Address caste-based discrimination against minorities by providing them with equal access to water and sanitation services and resources through implementation of context-specific poverty alleviation programs (Marshall Islands);

6.240             Continue its efforts to enhance the protection of human rights, especially by eliminating discrimination against women and discrimination based on caste and religion (Holy See);

6.257             Guarantee the investigation, punishment and effective reparation of cases of violence and sexual abuse against women and girls, especially from castes and disadvantaged tribes (Mexico);

6.63               Step up efforts to eliminate any type of caste-based discrimination in practice (Ethiopia);