While working to rehabilitate and support manual scavengers, one of the first steps should be to recognise the women engaged in this work and prioritise their needs.
How Dalit & Tribal Women From Bundelkhand Are Becoming Firebrand Journalists
Instances of intimidation ahead of roundtable on farm laws in Parliament
Historically disadvantaged castes typically overlap with low-income communities who have a 40% higher rate of depression than the national average.
E newsletter No: 002
Independent study report by Dhamma Darshan Nigam and Sheeva Dubeysee press coverage.
IDSN strongly condemns the rapes and murders of Dalit girls and women in South Asia. The recent case of gang rape and murder of a 19-year old Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, has highlighted the ongoing brutality against Dalit women and the impunity with which it is administered. We stand in solidarity with Dalit women, their families and human rights defenders taking action on the ground to ensure that justice is served.
The need for more attention to be paid to intersectional caste and gender discrimination and for transforming mindsets through human rights education and awareness raising, was highlighted at the UN multi-stakeholder hearing ‘Accelerating the Realization of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of all Women and Girls’ on 21 July.
IDSN fully endorses the Call to action on Labour Law changes in India, issued by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The statement calls on businesses sourcing in India to respond to the news that several Indian states will suspend key fundamental labour rights for a period of up to three years, under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis.
A new report published by the human rights NGO Arisa has found that children under 14 years account for over 18% of the workforce in the cottonseed farms surveyed, with over 50% of the child labourers in the sector being Dalits or Adivasis. The majority of the child labourers were not attending school. IDSN welcomes ‘Sowing Hope’ and urges companies looking to address child labour and the working conditions in the seed sector to address caste discrimination directly, as it is a key root cause of child labour, also evidenced by the large percentage of Dalits engaged in this work as documented.
IDSN members in South Asia and international associates have been quick to offer immediate response and assistance, as the ramifications for Dalits of Covid-19 measures have become clear. While IDSN has issued two general statements on the situation for Dalits, below you will find a collection of publicly available information, appeals and initiatives from our members and associates.
In January, IDSN participated in the National Consultation “Localizing SDGs through Dalit perspectives” drawing together over eighty delegates from fifteen states in India, to discuss ways forward to address caste and gender discrimination vis-à-vis the UN Global Goals. The consultation took place in New Delhi.
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.
Indian media is dominated by ‘upper’ castes and media organisations have failed to diversify their newsroom and news coverage, reveals a new report released by Oxfam India and Newslaundry.
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.
Twenty members of the European Parliament have written to Central Government ministers in India, expressing concern about “worrying signs of shrinking civil society space in India,” calling for the government to “take urgent steps to change course, release all detained human rights defenders in the country, drop all charges against them, and allow them to carry out their work free from risk or impediment.” Dalit activists were among those mentioned in the letter.