Despite ample information provided by the UN system itself and civil society groups working on Dalit rights in Bangladesh, only one recommendation addressing the rights abuses faced by Dalits was brought forward at the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the human rights situation in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh was reviewed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 15-16 March 2018. An IDSN delegation, including Dalit representatives from Bangladesh, took part in the review where several issues relating to caste-based discrimination were discussed. Ahead of the review IDSN and its members in Bangladesh - BDERM and NNMC submitted a joint report for the consideration of the committee. BDERM also issued a press release on the review.
Bangladesh is scheduled for consideration by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women during its 65th session, on 8 November. Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) and IDSN has jointly submitted an alternative report focusing on the situation for Dalit women in Bangladesh, who face discrimination at multiple levels as they are discriminated by the dominant caste and other groups in society. While other groups of women and some Dalit men are moving forward in education, economic empowerment, access to justice and government services, Dalit women are left behind.
IDSN members the Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) and Network of Non-Mainstreamed Marginalized Communities (NNMC), took part in the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR) review of Bangladesh in March, 2017.
On 7 and 8 November, Bangladesh was reviewed under the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Prior to the review thirteen civil society organisations submitted alternative reports, outlining various issues that women and girls face in Bangladesh. Two of them highlighted concerns about the intersecting discrimination affecting women and girls, including caste-based discrimination.
The report examines the current situation of Dalit children and provides information about the implementation gaps in the enforcement of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, and makes recommendations for the Committee’s examination. The observations are based on independent studies and reports, case documentation, and recommendations by other UN human rights bodies.