IDSN made a joint statement with Minority Rights Group under Item 8. This statement focused on the global prevalence of caste-based discrimination despite the Vienna Declaration and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Caste based discrimination, or discrimination based on work and descent, affects almost every human right, and can be perpetuated throughout generations. Despite legislation and policy development, lack of enforcement and judicial caste bias often lead to complete impunity for perpetrators who have violated Dalits’ rights. This statement also stressed the intersectional effects on Dalit women, who suffer gender-based violence as well as caste-based violence. According to the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Dalit women are often “displaced, pushed into prostitution and victims of trafficking”. IDSN and MRG urged the Council to pay more attention to those affected by caste-based discrimination.
IDSN, in a joint statement with Minority Rights Group (MRG), delivered a strong statement in response welcoming the report and highlighting the issues faced by Dalit women who are discriminated against, not only because of their caste, but because of their gender. These women are “particularly subject to bonded debt in the area of domestic work”. It is a practice that is prevalent in many countries in Asia and one that needs to urgently be addressed. IDSN and MRG urged the Rapporteur to continue monitoring those who are discriminated against on the basis of their caste, specifically those who are subject to servitude and modern slavery.
On 28 August 2018, five prominent Indian human rights activists were arrested during simultaneous police raids conducted across India. The raids were part of an investigation into events that occurred earlier this year during a Dalit commemoration of an 1818 battle in Bhima Koregaon in which many Dalits lost their lives, and they follow a wider crackdown on Indian activists in recent months.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have released a statement asking the Indian Government to end politically motivated arrests of Dalit rights activists who are simply doing their work to defend human rights in the country. IDSN continuously raises this issue in international fora and fully endorses and supports this statement.
Joint statement by the International Dalit Solidarity Network, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network, International Movement Against All Forms of Racism and Discrimination (IMADR), Minority Rights Group International, Anti-Slavery International and FORUM-ASIA. As the UN review Pakistan’s human rights record on 13 November, we urge the Government to commit with time bound action plans to end ongoing serious human rights violations against Dalits in Pakistan. Despite general commitments made to this effect at previous UN UPR reviews of Pakistan these have not been implemented and violations such as bonded labour, forced conversions and disappearances, murder and persecution of Dalit rights defenders continue unabated. As a newly elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, Pakistan must ensure that commitments to protect the rights of Dalits are urgently and duly implemented.
National Confederation of Dalit Adivasi Organisations (NACDAOR) organised a national assembly of Dalit women contributing to the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Dalit and Adivasi Women which started on 25th November, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and lasted until 10 December, Human Rights Day. The assembly included delegates from different part of India to celebrate their leadership achievement and share struggle. The organisation also organised Dalit women caravan in Haryana.
Inputs from the President of the Human Rights Council to the 2016 HLPF: the work of the Human Rights Council in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On 7 June, the Asia Policy Director of Human Rights Watch, John Sifton, testified before a human rights hearing on India in the United States Congress. The hearing coincided with the arrival in the US of Indian Prime Minister Modi. Sifton made numerous references to caste discrimination and called on Members of Congress to include the issue in their dialogues with the Indian authorities. “The United States government should also encourage US companies investing in India to ensure that their hiring and management practices do not further entrench caste or other discrimination,” he added.
I am Sami Al-Naggar, representative of All Youth Network for Community Development and a member of the marginalized community in Yemen.
Tom Palakudiyil, Head of South Asia Region for WaterAid (Statement on 28th August 2014) in connection with the release of the Human Rights Watch report Cleaning Human Waste: "Manual Scavenging," Caste, and Discrimination in India
"With the criminal justice apparatus of the country in such an appalling state, what use is there in a law against torture? India doesn't lack laws. Good and bad, convoluted and archaic, the country has all forms of it in place. What is absent in India is respect for the concept of justice.A culture of justice cannot be instilled via a new law. It has to be taught by establishing institutions that can deliver justice without fail. In India this is unfortunately not a priority."