A new report by Homeworkers Worldwide finds Dalit women working in global leather supply chains being subjected to discrimination, insecure work, low wages and labour rights abuses, including sexual harassment.
Press Release – Ethical Trading Initiative – UK - Remaining silent about caste discrimination in global supply chains is fueling modern slavery, child labour and the exploitation of workers in South Asia, according to new ETI Base Code guidance for companies published today.
Inequality in employment along caste and gender lines is a massive obstacle to alleviating poverty and inequality in India, finds the Oxfam India report ‘Mind The Gap – State of Employment in India’. The report documents striking disparities in wages and opportunities. The report also highlights the strong links between caste and gender discrimination and forced, bonded and child labour as well as hazardous work.
On Friday 8 March, Ruth Manorama, a Dalit human rights defender, delivered a statement, co-sponsored by the International Movement Against All Forms of Racial Discrimination and by the Right Livelihood Award (in solidarity with IDSN), during the 40th regular session of the Human Rights Council. She also spoke on the panel at the Right Livelihood side-event on Women Human Rights Defenders.
Asha Kowtal, General Secretary of the Dalit Women’s Movement AIDMAM-NCDHR, an IDSN member talks about the Dalit Women Fight movement in this 5-minute video made by UN Women and Google. “We are not silent. You are not silent. You are fighting. We are also fighting. We need to connect together because injustice is injustice, whether it’s your class, your caste, your sexuality or your ethnic identity.” Says Asha Kowtal in the video.
On Friday 22 February, thousands marching to end sexual violence against women and children in India, took to the streets of the capital to demand justice and raise awareness about the need to fundamentally change the attitude generally held about victims of sexual violence. The 65-day march has covered over 10,000 km across 24 states. The march was kick-started by 5000 survivors of sexual violence on the 20th of December in Mumbai and organised by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan.
“Criminal Justice in the Shadow of Caste” is a pioneering report looking at the administration of criminal justice in India through a caste lens. The findings reveal discrimination at all levels, including within prisons. The report has been released by IDSN member, the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ-NCDHR), in collaboration with the National Centre for Dalit Human Rights.
An extensive study on home-based garment workers in India found 99 per cent of workers toiled in conditions of forced labor under Indian law, with over 99 per cent of the workers found to be either Dalits or Muslims. The prevalence of child labour was over 15 per cent and many cases of bonded labour were also documented. 85 per cent of the workers supplied global brands.The report “Tainted Garments: The Exploitation of Women and Girls in India’s Home-based Garment Sector” was conducted by leading labour experts at the University of California.
Dalit women activists from India and Nepal took part in the European Development days to share their experiences with, and learn from, other women activists fighting similar struggles across the globe. The women also shared their stories with EU officials and development actors.
The EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs has reiterated the EU’s commitment to fighting caste-based discrimination and gender-based violence, following the rape of five female anti-trafficking activists in India, earlier this summer. The women were performing a play against human trafficking in Jharkhand state when they were abducted and gang-raped.
The newly released Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, Amnesty International Report 2018 and the US State Department reports on India and Nepal, find that caste-based discrimination and violence remain a serious threat as hate crimes against Dalits are widespread. Some of the other themes raised in the reports include discrimination in accessing services, ´manual scavenging´ and bonded labour. Read the IDSN summary of these reports
The December 2017 Dalit Women Speak Out conference in Pune, India, was a celebration of Dalit women power and resistance and a platform from which to map out new strategies and strengthen the collective force. The conference presented an open and free space for over 400 Dalit women from across India to speak their mind and discuss how best to progress with a collective resistance to caste and gender oppression.
A new report by UN Women finds that a woman’s caste in India increases her exposure to mortality because of intersectional discrimination, poor sanitation and inadequate healthcare. The global report Turning promises into action: gender equality in the 2030 Agenda, examines through a gender lens the progress and challenges in the implementation of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Survivors of rape and other forms of sexual assault in India face severe barriers to justice and are not receiving the support that the State are obligated to offer them, finds a new report by Human Rights Watch. The report raises particular concern for ‘low caste’ survivors and other marginalised groups.
Despite efforts to curb child slavery in India’s spinning mills the practice continues and 60% of the victims are Dalits – says newly released report.
In an effort to raise global awareness and engagement on the issue of caste-based violence and discrimination, particularly against Dalit women, a group of Dalit women leaders have toured through Germany and the United States this past month with more tour dates coming up. The women are using visual storytelling through photographs and videos, participating in seminars and engaging on social media via #dalitwomenfight to bring their message to an international audience.
Women being beaten, raped, stripped naked and paraded through their villages and a rape case as barbaric as the 2012 Nirbhaya case. These and a whole host of other atrocities were what the women marching for self-respect, and to end violence against Dalit and Adivasi women in the state of Odisha, India, came across on their path to justice.
In April two Dalit women received prestigious awards for their work defending the rights of Dalits in India. Manjula Pradeep, Director of the large Gujarat based NGO Navsarjan Trust, received the Femina Women 2015 Social Impact Award and Beena J. Pallical of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights received the Dr. Ambedkar Award 2015.
Live streaming, hackathons, radio shows, flashmobs, a facebook and twitter campaign and an interactive online timeline charting Dalit history, curated by Dalits and driven by Dalit women, have all been a part of April’s ‘Dalit History Month’.
The newly released Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 and the Amnesty International 2014-15 report find that caste discrimination persists with adverse effects to human rights on multiple levels. Serious obstacles to access to justice, discrimination in education and access to services and caste-based violence, including rape of Dalit women, are among the key themes addressed in the reports. These concerns are also noted in the latest India and Nepal reports of the US State Department.