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
The Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (EMRTD) has identified five themes on which it intends to submit studies to the Human Rights Council during its mandate term. One of these studies is on Racism, racial discrimination and the right to development. Article 5 of the Declaration on the Right to Development enjoinsstates to take resolute steps to eliminate the violations of the human rights of peoples affected by racism and racial discrimination. The elimination of racism is therefore recognized as essential to fulfilling the right to development.
In connection with their participation in the 44th 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.
In connection with their participation in the 43rd 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.
UN experts spoke out about the links between discrimination and slavery at the webinar “Contemporary Slavery & Racial Discrimination: Civil Society Support to Survivors during the Pandemic” organised by the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, the Geneva Human Rights Platform and the UK Mission in Geneva, on 2 December. Several experts raised concern over caste discrimination and caste-based occupations as well as the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable groups.
IDSN delivered strong statements at the UN Forum on Minority Issues on the theme “Hate Speech, Social Media and Minorities” highlighting the need to address caste-hate speech. The Forum was held in Geneva and virtually from 19-20 November 2020.
Dalit Voices is a video series that seeks to keep the discussion of caste-based gender violence alive after the Hathras gang rape and murder of September 2020. We bring you Dalit womxn activists from India and around the world to talk about what is urgently required in the work towards ending caste atrocities in India.
Webinar on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, organized by the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, the Geneva Human Rights Platform and the UK Mission in Geneva.
“the ‘Beijing Platform for Action’… laid the roadmap for ‘gender mainstreaming’ in public policies, recognising the distinct disadvantages faced by women from marginalised communities.”
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.
The report covers key developments and activities within IDSN’s work under the thematic areas Dalit women and gender justice, business and human rights and equality and participation, within the United Nations, European Union, and communications and networking programmes.
“Low-grade, unskilled sanitation workers often face social stigma and discrimination. This is especially true when sanitation is linked to a caste-based structure and often allocated to castes perceived to be lower in the caste hierarchy, such as in India and Bangladesh, where sanitation work is perceived to belong to the Dalit caste. This stigma compounds the social ostracizing and limitations on social mobility that workers face and often results in intergenerational discrimination, where children of sanitation workers often struggle to escape the vicious cycle of limited opportunities and sanitation work.” “[In Bangladesh] Many live in segregated sweeper colonies, which are unhygienic slumlike areas offering poor and overcrowded living conditions. Dalits (low-caste Hindus) and Christian and Muslim Bengalis” "challenges include combating the systemic discrimination Dalits face, which affects their education and real opportunities to become entrepreneurs, and the multiple layers of subcontracting that enable manual scavenging to continue without oversight or enforcement of laws by local authorities"
IDSN and The National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ)-NCDHR have submitted input to the UN ahead of the adoption of the list of issues for the 126th session for India. The submission sets out some key concerns about violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the Covenant) vis-à-vis the Constitution of India with regard to Dalits and Adivasis. IDSN member Human Rights Watch has also raised the issue of caste discrimination in the HRW submission to the UN ahead of the review.
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.
The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Mr Leo Heller, delivered a statement outlining his report on his country visit to India in 2017. He noted that caste-based discrimination has led to unequal access to water and sanitation services. India responded to this observation stating that the constitution prohibits any form of caste-based discrimination, which is a criminal offence, and according to India, “liable to harsh punishment”.
UN side-event hears cases of caste-based violence against Dalit women in India where UN and legal experts respond with calls for action. The report ‘Voices Against Caste Impunity: Narratives of Dalit Women in India’, was also released at the event and an outcome document with recommendations from the event has been produced.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said he is concerned that criticism of the government is met by claims that it constitutes sedition or a threat to national security.