Bangladesh was reviewed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 15-16 March 2018. An IDSN delegation, including Dalit representatives from Bangladesh, took part in the review where several issues relating to caste-based discrimination were discussed. Ahead of the review IDSN and its members in Bangladesh - BDERM and NNMC submitted a joint report for the consideration of the committee. BDERM also issued a press release on the review.
Activists and Members of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) review of Pakistan on 12-13 June 2017, drew attention to the serious human rights violations faced by Dalits in Pakistan. Nonetheless, the Government of Pakistan neglected to adequately acknowledge the issues and failed to outline action to combat it.
Joint submission for the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights review of Pakistan
IDSN and the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) have submitted an alternative report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ahead of the June 2017 review of Pakistan. The report details serious human rights issues resulting from caste-based discrimination in Pakistan.
Bangladesh is scheduled for consideration by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women during its 65th session, on 8 November. Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) and IDSN has jointly submitted an alternative report focusing on the situation for Dalit women in Bangladesh, who face discrimination at multiple levels as they are discriminated by the dominant caste and other groups in society. While other groups of women and some Dalit men are moving forward in education, economic empowerment, access to justice and government services, Dalit women are left behind.
On 28 August 2016, as a part of the regular review process, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published its concluding observations to the UK. The Committee expressed its concern that ‘several provisions of the Equality Act 2010 have not yet been brought into legal effect, including Section 9(5)(a) on caste-based discrimination’. Once again the UK government is being urged to ‘Invoke Section 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act 2010 without further delay to ensure that caste-based discrimination is explicitly prohibited under law and that victims of this form of discrimination have access to effective remedies, taking into account the Committee’s general recommendation No. 29 (2002) on descent’.
IDSN members the Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) and Network of Non-Mainstreamed Marginalized Communities (NNMC), took part in the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR) review of Bangladesh in March, 2017.
On 7 and 8 November, Bangladesh was reviewed under the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Prior to the review thirteen civil society organisations submitted alternative reports, outlining various issues that women and girls face in Bangladesh. Two of them highlighted concerns about the intersecting discrimination affecting women and girls, including caste-based discrimination.
On 23 November 2016, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) held a consultation with civil society organisations “Joining hands to end racial discrimination”. It aimed to reflect on how the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination helped make a difference in combatting racial discrimination and seek views on how to improve and enhance its engagement with civil society.