IDSN was delighted to welcome representatives from Dalit Solidarity Networks in Germany, UK, Finland and Norway to Copenhagen for a two-day meeting from 8-9 February. IDSN International Associate Arisa from The Netherlands also took part in the meeting and special guest, Priyadharsini Palani, from The Blue Club, made an inspiring presentation on the organisation’s work on amplifying the voices of Dalit women.
This year, the ‘OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector’ took place from the 22nd till the 24th of February. This forum is an annual event during which multiple topics – linked to due diligence in clothing and shoes production chains – are discussed by many different stakeholders.
On 14 November the Alderbugh Cinema DocFest invited the IDSN Executive Director to speak about Dalit women human rights defenders and caste in South Asia at the screening of the award winning documentary Writing with Fire.
The links between caste and hazardous forms of sanitation work were highlighted by speakers at the Sanitation Workers Forum 2021 from 29 November – 2 December. Participants at the forum urged that immediate steps are taken to ensure the safety and dignity of millions of sanitation workers worldwide – and ensure social protections.
Following his visit to Sri Lanka last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Tomoya Obokata, raised concern over caste-based discrimination in Sri Lanka affecting the lives and opportunities for oppressed castes in the country.
Brief and recommendations in relation to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights – 29 November- 1 December The rape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit factory worker has attracted attention to poor working conditions and caste- and gender-based inequalities in India’s garment industry.
IDSN participated in the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights from 29 November – 1 December, learning and drawing attention to the urgent need to address caste discrimination and violence in global supply chains.
The most recent Global Multidimensional Poverty Index includes caste as an important indicator of poverty in India. According to this method of measuring poverty, progress has been made, but Dalits and Adivasis are still disproportionately poor and women and girls are lagging behind.
Following his visit to Nepal that started on 29 November, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Olivier De Schutter, released a statement highlighting the persistent interconnections between caste and poverty in Nepal. The Rapporteur also raised issues of caste violence and the need to do more to ensure meaningful political representation of Dalit women in Nepal.
Economic, social and labour rights were the thematic headlines of this year’s EU-NGO Human Rights Forum, where three Dalit human rights defenders were featured as panellists, facilitated by IDSN. Caste-related barriers to healthcare in Pakistan, post-covid economic and social recovery for Dalit workers in South Asia and building corporate accountability to respect human rights were among the key topics covered by the panellists.
IDSN member the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) Nepal brought together speakers and participants from across Nepal to discuss the negative effects of caste in Nepal and strategies for action. Topics covered included food security, economic opportunities, shelter, and WASH for the Dalit community and especially Dalit women. Participants also heard about efforts already being made to mitigate the problems faced by Dalit women in Nepal.
IDSN has issued key recommendations to the UN member states for the 48th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (13 September – 8October 2021) .
On the 30 September, during the Interactive Dialogue with the HRC Advisory Committee, Pradip Pariyar, from IDSN member organisation Samata Foundation, highlighted the need for the UN system to keep engaged in eradicating caste-based discrimination.
IDSN strongly supports the statements by our International Associates, Minority Rights Group and Human Rights Watch, condemning the deadly attacks on Dalits and other Hindu’s in Bangladesh that took place during the Durga Puja
The Dalit Women Conclave on caste and gender justice and a subsequent road rally to demand the long-overdue enactment of the anti-discrimination act in Bangladesh called for action to ensure the rights of Dalits in Bangladesh.
International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) echo the call by National Campaign on DalitHuman Rights (NCDHR) and Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU) on garment brands to negotiate a binding agreement to end systemic gender-based violence that leverages caste discrimination at global supplier factory Natchi Apparels (SF. No:470/2 Kaithayan Kottai, Vedasandur 624711, Dindigul), after a 21-year-old Dalit garment worker was murdered by her dominant caste factory supervisor earlier this year.
Father Stan Swamy, 84, a courageous and dedicated campaigner for the rights of India’s indigenous Adivasi community, has died from Covid-19 complications. He had been imprisoned on terrorism charges since October 2020
Dalits and members of India’s other marginalised communities are lagging behind more privileged groups in terms of health and access to healthcare, Oxfam India reports. The gap has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IDSN Executive Director, Meena Varma, spoke on the all-female panel of the live-streamed event organised by The Norwegian Church on July 31, to discuss the deep structural injustices characterising global production, consumption and trade, and what consequences these injustices have on the most vulnerable.
In a European Union Statement delivered by Mr. Christophe Forax, First Counsellor, at the 75th United Nations General Assembly Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations 2021 Resumed Session, the EU called for ending the unjust deferrals of applications for UN ECOSOC status, naming five organisations, including the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN)