The Concluding Observations of the May 2018 review of Nepal, by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), includes dozens of remarks relating to caste-based discrimination and several strongly worded recommendations on fighting it. Read the full IDSN analysis
Arrested during nationwide protests in April, called by Dalit organisations, the juveniles' families have stated that the boys were picked up by police only because they were Dalits standing up for their rights. “My son’s only crime is that he is a Dalit,” says the father of one of the boys. “We thought that if our son studied well, the family’s fortune would change for the better. But now they have pressed so many charges against him that his whole life will become embroiled in it.” News site The Wire has covered this story and IDSN members in India are currently conducting fact-finding in relation to this case.
The HRDA-India, a forum for the protection of human rights defenders, has issued an urgent appeal for action to protect Dalit human rights defender Mr. Rajat Kalsan. Mr Kalsan is working to help Dalits gain justice and protection from abuses as a lawyer and activist in Haryana state. He has worked on gang-rape cases and cases of attack and arson committed by dominant castes against Dalits and a host of other cases involving serious violations of human rights. The appeal states that due to this work, dominant caste leaders are colluding with local police to file false charges against Mr. Rajat and cause him serious harm.
Human Rights Defenders Alert – India (HRDA) has issued an urgent appeal for the protection of Professor Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd – a political analyst, human rights activist and one of India’s most prominent Dalit thinkers and Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy. Prof. Shepherd was allegedly attempted killed in his car, has been physically attacked and is receiving death threats, but has been offered no police protection.
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.
Dalit and Adivasi Civil Society Organisations, Human Rights Defenders from across India met in New Delhi to discuss the status of implementation of India’s legislation to prevent atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis. There was widespread dissatisfaction among participants that key elements of the legislation were not being implemented, and a call was made asking for action to be taken by the authorities in charge.
The UK’s Indian Diaspora community are going head to head as the Government’s consultation on caste discrimination legislation is extended. In several media reports groups that are pro and anti the introduction of legislation against caste discrimination in the UK, are arguing about the impact of such a move.
IDSN member People’s Watch is fighting a legal battle in the Indian courts to regain their foreign funding license, first revoked by the Indian Government in 2012. The organisation, a program unit of the Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns [CPSC], has been charged by the Ministry of Home Affairs with “using foreign contributions to the detriment of India’s image.” The loss of the license to receive foreign funding (FCRA) has completely crippled the organisation, which has for over a decade been protecting and upholding the rights of the most disadvantaged groups in India.
Nande Luwar, 70, of Jukot in Swamikartik Rural Municipality, Bajura has voted many times in his life. But, due to some reasons Nande could not cast his vote freely. “I will vote where the upper caste people ask me to vote,” he added.This is a common trend among Dalit families of Jukot, Bajura.
Several human rights organisations in Nepal have joined forces to launch and impressive new online portal that will collect information on human rights violations relating to caste in Nepal and push for action to address them. The portal is a much-needed tool to help ensure implementation of Nepal’s legislation against caste discrimination as this form of discrimination much too often goes unpunished. The portal will also raise awareness of the needs of Dalits in Nepal and other issues affecting Dalit communities.
IDSN member Jan Sahas have released a report from the recently held “National Consultation on the Challenges of Access to Social and Medical support and Justice for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Abuse”. The consultation discussed the role of police, medical, judiciary and family to ensure justice for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. The report outlines perspectives, key concerns and offers a number of concrete recommendations for action. Survivors, representatives of relevant government departments and commissions, policy makers and representatives from the judiciary, civil society, media, lawyers, and UN agencies participated in the consultation.
International Center for Ethnic Studies held a conference on Caste, Social Justice and Democracy on 19 & 20 November, 2016.
International Center for Ethnic Studies is holding a conference on Caste, Social Justice and Democracy on 19 & 20 November, 2016.
Raksha Ram Chamar (Harijan) from Madhesi Dalit community has been awarded the first Darnal International Award for Social Justice
The very difficult situation of Dalit human rights defenders in India has been amply demonstrated in recent weeks, as Human Rights Defenders Alert - India (HRDA) has taken up several cases of harassment, intimidation, threats and arbitrary arrests: Harassment and threats against professor KanchaIlaiah Shepherd Arrests of Dalit human rights defenders Mr. Durai Guna and Mr. Bhoopathy Karthikeyan Harassment and intimidation of Mr Sannakumar HRDA is a national network for the protection and promotion of human rights defenders. The network extends solidarity and assistance to human rights defenders who are in trouble or at risk.