Over the past months the campaign to end caste discrimination in key South Asian diaspora communities has gathered momentum. Anti-caste groups and activists in the US, Canada, UK and Australia have carried out targeted advocacy and made significant progress towards the goal of ensuring protections and legal recourse for those experiencing caste discrimination in South Asian communities globally.
The Working Group on the UPR reviewed India in November 2022 and the outcome report was adopted at the Human Rights Council 52 March session in 2023. This report includes recommendations on Dalits, caste, hate speech, racism, water and sanitation, women and girls' rights and many more.
The Working Group on the UPR reviewed India in November 2022 and the outcome report was adopted at the Human Rights Council 52 March session in 2023. This document shows which recommendations were supported and which were noted.
UPR India 4th Cycle, list of recommendations on caste and related topics
The impact on women of caste-based hate speech in the internet, so- cial media, and technology spheres
"In South Asia (and amongst South Asian diaspora communities) caste may be a strong, possibly unacknowledged, factor. Caste discrimination involves violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. While often outlawed, a lack of implementation of legislation and caste-bias within justice systems leave victims without protection in many countries. Dalits (people from the most oppressed or so-called lowest caste communities) may be excluded from some jobs and concentrated in lowest paid and hardest work.7 Being from a minority religion is also often a marker of vulnerability in South Asia, with some communities facing systemic discrimination within and beyond the workplace. Most homeworkers and factory workers in the leather footwear sector in Tamil Nadu, South India, for example are from Dalit and/or Muslim communities, and may face barriers to training and promotion which are invisible to outsiders.8 Gender, caste and religious difference may operate together to create barriers to homeworkers’ access to remedy and social dialogue. Dalit women homeworkers, for instance, may face very unequal power relations and discrimination in discussions with subcontractors or suppliers. They may have had less access to schooling. These multiple barriers explain why complaints and grievance mechanisms are rarely accessed by homeworkers. These barriers can be reduced by bringing homeworkers together, so that they discuss issues and collectively find solutions, and awareness-raising and capacity-building activities, giving them a collective voice through their own organisations and elected representatives. Key Questions: • What issues of gender, caste and religious discrimination do you need to consider in your production chain? • Consider gender, caste and religious composition of teams engaging with homeworkers, to ensure that information is reliable and to avoid pitfalls of hidden power dynamics. Working with a local NGO which is sensitive to issues of gender, caste and religion may help navigate these issues (see Recommended Civil Society Organisations page 22). Dalit Solidarity Network UK is a source of advice for businesses on measures to address the risks of economic exploitation and caste-based discrimination throughout their supply chains."
"According to a 2013 report (PDF) on forced labour in Nepal’s agriculture sector, published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), an overwhelming 95 percent of households employed in the haruwa-charuwa system are victims of forced labour. Nepal’s Dalit community, the lowest group in the complex Hindu caste system, is the most exploited in the haruwa-charuwa system. Discriminated in every sphere of their lives, poor Dalits fall prey to debt traps laid by landlords belonging to the privileged castes. The haruwa-charuwa labourers often toil from morning to dusk during the peak agricultural season, but receive minimum compensation for their work."
The report is focused on contemporary forms of slavery affecting persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minority communities. In that context, the Special Rapporteur identifies the main causes of contemporary forms of slavery affecting these groups and the main manifestations, such as chattel slavery; forced and bonded labour; domestic servitude; sexual slavery; child and forced marriage; and child labour.
The Sindh Human Rights Commission organised a one-day consultation with key stakeholders at Hotel Avari Towers, Karachi, on August 18, 2022. The purpose of the consultation was to identify the gaps in the legislation covering labour rights of sanitation workers and build a consensus to gear efforts toward driving legislative interventions for the inclusion of sanitation workers in the labour laws. The event was organised in technical partnership with The Knowledge Forum.
Archbishop of Hyderabad Anthony Poola has been installed as Cardinal by Pope Francis in Vatican City, Rome. Anthony is not only the first Telugu person but also the first Dalit to be in the College of Cardinals of the Roman Pontiff to guide him in various matters.
Hundreds of Dalits from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana will ferry the coin to New Delhi by train with the demand that it be a motif of the new Parliament building.
A former Cisco Systems Inc. worker claiming he was a victim of discrimination because of his low caste standing won appeal court rulings allowing him to proceed with a lawsuit under a pseudonym in open court.
The ‘pride’ space in India is monopolised by the upper caste people. There is an overwhelming number of upper caste queer people that organise pride parades in different cities as a part of any committee.
This statement was delivered by Paulo de Tarso Lugon Arantes in the name of Minority Rights Group, Anti-Slavery International, the International Service for Human Rights and IMADR at the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday 27 September 2022, item 5 – General Debate.
A unique event organised by the Norwegian Human Rights Fund brought together, activists, experts, trade unions and several international NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, IDSN and OSF. In a session dedicated to addressing caste-based discrimination, the exploitation of Dalit women in work settings, was raised by speakers at the global Women at Work conference in Nepal, stressing the urgent need to address the situation.