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.
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.
In a controversial move, which runs contrary to the current Modi government policy, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which falls under the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in a new report has asked the Government of India (GoI) to ensure that the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015 – called anti-atrocities Act – should be applied to not just those Dalits which are supposed to part of Hindu religion.
UNITED NATIONS: Five out of six multidimensionally poor people in India are from lower tribes or castes, according to a new analysis on global multidimensional poverty released by the United Nations on Thursday.
In connection with their participation in the 48 th 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.
IDSN has issued key recommendations to the UN member states for the 48th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (13 September – 8October 2021) .
Interactive dialogue on the Secretary-General's report on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, pursuant to resolution 36/21 (A/HRC/48/28)
"Dalit women in particular suffer multiple discrimination at the intersection of caste and gender discrimination, including as targets of sexual violence and forced prostitution." - calling for engagement at the United Nations Human Rights Council 48th Session - 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.
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.