The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, has chosen caste discrimination as the theme of her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council. The report has been welcomed by IDSN and Human Rights Watch.
Three Dalit human rights defenders spoke at the UN Forum on Minority Issues. Durga Sob, from Nepal, and Manjula Pradeep and Ramesh Nathan from India, delivered strong statements on the dismal state of access to justice for Dalits and the mistreatment of Dalits in the criminal justice system.
Keynote Speech delivered by Professor Verene Shepherd (Member of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent) at the UN General Assembly on the Occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Dalit activists spoke at the UN Forum on Minority Issues to highlight the issue of violence against Dalits in South Asia and the lack of access to justice for victims. They also pointed to ways forward in redressing and preventing these crimes.
The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo called for the adoption of different norms and measures to fight violence against women around the world and a binding standard of accountability at the international level.
At the UN General Assembly meeting on the 28th October, The UN Special Rapporteur on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, criticised India for arbitrarily blocking the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) from obtaining UN consultative status calling it “clearly unacceptable, wrong and unfair.”
The Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the context of multilateral institutions, raises particular concern for the continuous unwarranted defferal of IDSN’s application for ECOSOC status.
In a recent Geneva meeting of UN Special Rapporteurs and civil society, caste-based discrimination was highlighted by the Rapporteurs as a key cross-cutting issue of concern.
The reports and statements of the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on Slavery and Special Rapporteur on Water and Sanitation at the HRC27 session offered general, thematic as well as state specific observations and recommendations on caste-based discrimination.
The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intorlerance, M. Mutuma Ruteere, has made numerous references to caste in his report from his mission to Mauritania and in his Interactive Dialogue at the HRC26.
"Referring to India’s opening statement at CEDAW, senior advocate Vrinda Grover noted that “seriousness of engagement was lacking on many issues and basic understanding was lacking in responses”. By Sowmiya Ashok
IDSN recommendations to the OHCHR and UN Agencies to end caste-based discrimination and caste-based violence against women and girls presented at a side-event on 17 June at the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council
The side-event heard calls from top UN officials for a coherent and coordinated approach from the UN in tackling caste-based violence and discrimination, with a particular focus on women and girls. Ms. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed great concern for the issue of caste-based violence and discrimination. UN Women - Saraswathi Menon also spoke passionately against caste discrimination.
2014 Cluster and analysis by IDSN.