The Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (EMRTD) has identified five themes on which it intends to submit studies to the Human Rights Council during its mandate term. One of these studies is on Racism, racial discrimination and the right to development. Article 5 of the Declaration on the Right to Development enjoinsstates to take resolute steps to eliminate the violations of the human rights of peoples affected by racism and racial discrimination. The elimination of racism is therefore recognized as essential to fulfilling the right to development.
Dalit women in Pakistan are at high risk of human rights abuses due to intersecting caste, religious and gender discrimination. In the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) review of Pakistan, the Committee recommends that the state addresses intersecting discrimination directly and note concern over the persistence of abductions and forced conversions, stereotypes and insufficient disaggregated data.
The report covers key developments and activities within IDSN’s work under the thematic areas Dalit women and gender justice, business and human rights and equality and participation, within the United Nations, European Union, and communications and networking programmes.
IDSN submitted a report detailing the challenges faced by Dalit women and girls in Pakistan, for the review of the government’s report on compliance with the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW review), which took place Tuesday 11th February.
IDSN participated actively in the 11th Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues from the 29-30 November, under the theme "Statelessness: A Minority Issue". IDSN members from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan presented on how Dalits in reality often suffer de facto statelessness, due to extreme marginalization and lack of access to rights. Read the IDSN news article on the forum here.
In advance of the UN HRC 37 IDSN distributed its recommendations, referring to the High Commissioner on Human Rights reports, the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, and the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan. IDSN board member Henri Tiphagne also spoke at key side-events and the situation of Dalits was noted in several debates.
Joint statement by the International Dalit Solidarity Network, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network, International Movement Against All Forms of Racism and Discrimination (IMADR), Minority Rights Group International, Anti-Slavery International and FORUM-ASIA. As the UN review Pakistan’s human rights record on 13 November, we urge the Government to commit with time bound action plans to end ongoing serious human rights violations against Dalits in Pakistan. Despite general commitments made to this effect at previous UN UPR reviews of Pakistan these have not been implemented and violations such as bonded labour, forced conversions and disappearances, murder and persecution of Dalit rights defenders continue unabated. As a newly elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, Pakistan must ensure that commitments to protect the rights of Dalits are urgently and duly implemented.
Factsheet for the UPR of Pakistan (28th session, 13 November 2017)
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Pakistan 2017 - Discrimination against Dalits in Pakistan
Activists and Members of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) review of Pakistan on 12-13 June 2017, drew attention to the serious human rights violations faced by Dalits in Pakistan. Nonetheless, the Government of Pakistan neglected to adequately acknowledge the issues and failed to outline action to combat it.
Joint submission for the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights review of Pakistan
IDSN and the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) have submitted an alternative report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ahead of the June 2017 review of Pakistan. The report details serious human rights issues resulting from caste-based discrimination in Pakistan.
The 9th session of the Forum on Minority Issues (the Forum) was held last week, on 24 and 25 November 2016, focusing on the situation of minorities in humanitarian crises. The Forum provides a unique opportunity for state representatives, experts, civil society and minority communities, and specialised bodies to engage in a constructive dialogue and seek ways to strengthen the protection and promotion of minority rights in prevention, crisis situations and the aftermath.
During the 31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council, Dalit human rights campaigners met the high-ranking UN human rights official, Kate Gilmore.
REPORT - Caste and Gender-Based Forced and Bonded Labour from UN HRC29 IDSN SIDE-EVENT 18th June 2015, 17.00-18.30
The alternative report on scheduled caste children in Pakistan is written by the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) and the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the 72nd Pre-sessional Working Group session (5-9 October 2015) and the review of Pakistan at the 72nd Working Group session (6 May-3 June 2016). The report examines the current situation of scheduled caste (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.
Briefing note including cases and quotes.
Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2011. "Crossing boundaries : gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5710, The World Bank.