This chapter, written by Philip E. Veerman, reviews and critiques the work of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child through the lens of caste- and descent-based discrimination. The chapter explores both the promise and the limitations of the work of the Committee in addressing discrimination that is, in many cases, fundamentally woven into the cultural and the religious practices of a society. In particular, it explores the promise and limitations of the Committee’s work in India, Nepal, and Mauritania to combat caste- and descent-based discrimination, inter alia, through its Concluding Observations. The chapter calls attention to the rights of children who are considered ‘untouchables’ or ‘outcastes.’ The chapter shows the challenges the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) confronts in addressing such discrimination. The chapter concludes by exploring ways the CRC Committee further the potential of the CRC to be an instrument of change.
Contribution by the International Dalit Solidarity Network The nature of poverty and inequality in Nepal, including how poverty is or should be defined and measured, its prevalence, and its distribution. In the specific context of Dalits, poverty walks hand in hand with the practice of untouchability, affecting access to work and meaningful income possibilities. Caste based discrimination affects 13.8% of the total population of Nepal,i comprised of seven Hill Dalit castes and 19 Madhesi Dalit castes. Caste based discrimination and untouchability (CBDU) continue to be deeply entrenched in Nepalese society.
A Joint Civil Society* Contribution to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) for the adoption of the List of Issues Prior to Reporting on India has regretted that despite the abolition of untouchability enshrined in the Indian Constitution, and a constitutional formal prohibition of discrimination on the ground base of race or caste, under the Constitution, Dalits and other communities affected by discrimination based on descent, including Adivasis, still face de facto discrimination.
A minister’s involvement a high-profile caste discrimination case raises questions of state complacency
“COVID-19 has impacted lives of Dalit women and girls much more than anyone in India. Especially those Dalit women engaging in the sanitation work are risking their lives in the pandemic as frontline workers without any social security.”
The Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations have written to the Government of India expressing serious concerns over the new IT Rules notified to reregulate social media intermediaries, streaming platforms and digital news media.
India’s government needs to urgently address healthcare shortages amid the world’s fastest-growing Covid-19 crisis and ensure that vulnerable communities have equitable access to treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Donors and diaspora groups that are rushing assistance to India should encourage the government to end curbs on free speech and to respect human rights in its pandemic response.
Indian has been battered by a severe COVID-19 second wave. On 3rd May 2021, India reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a 12th straight day to take its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million. India's total infections stand at 19.93 million, while total fatalities rose to 218,959 according to health ministry data. Hospitals have run out of beds and states have run out of oxygen cylinders, Remdesivir, ventilators and vaccines.
The UN Human Rights office has expressed serious concern about the detention of human rights defenders in India, including those arrested in the controversial Bhima Koregaon case, and has urged the Indian authorities to release the detainees “at the very least on bail while they await trial”.
Documenting key cases where caste discrimination impacts negatively on the freedom of association and assembly in Nepal and India. Submission made jointly by: International Dalit Solidarity Network - IDSN Feminist Dalit Organization - FEDO Nepal Dalit NGO Federation - DNF National Dalit Movement for Justice - NDMJ National Campaign on Dalit Rights - NCDR Dalit Human Rights Defenders Network - DHRDN
IDSN recommends UN member states to raise the issue of caste and Covid-19, adequate housing, violence and discrimination against women, and business and human rights – in connection with the 14th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
A letter to the UN General Assembly re the upcoming elections on the ECOSOC committee urging them to vote with integrity, ensuring the new membership of its subsidiary body is fit to fulfil its mandate.
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.
In connection with their participation in the 44th Human Rights Council session, states are encouraged to consider the ongoing and systemic practice of discrimination based on work and descent, also known as caste-based discrimination, affecting more than 260 million people globally.
In connection with their participation in the 43rd Human Rights Council session, States are encouraged to consider the ongoing and systemic practice of discrimination based on work and descent, also known as caste-based discrimination, affecting more than 260 million people globally.
For the preparation of the report, consultations and discussions have been held with more than 223 Dalit civil society organizations and other human rights organizations in Nepal. The report has been prepared consulting with various stakeholders, concerned members, experts/specialists at state government and Prime Minister's office, concerned ministries, parliamentary committees, honorable members of parliament, Dalit commission, women commission among others, Dalit people's organizations, civil society, human rights activists and Dalit civil society's heads and representatives and journalists.
UN experts spoke out about the links between discrimination and slavery at the webinar “Contemporary Slavery & Racial Discrimination: Civil Society Support to Survivors during the Pandemic” organised by the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, the Geneva Human Rights Platform and the UK Mission in Geneva, on 2 December. Several experts raised concern over caste discrimination and caste-based occupations as well as the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable groups.
A petition by DHRD to call for the the United Nations to Build Forward Better on Descent and Caste-Based Discrimination.
IDSN delivered strong statements at the UN Forum on Minority Issues on the theme “Hate Speech, Social Media and Minorities” highlighting the need to address caste-hate speech. The Forum was held in Geneva and virtually from 19-20 November 2020.