The report examines the current situation of Dalit children and provides information about the implementation gaps in the enforcement of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, and makes recommendations for the Committee’s examination. The observations are based on independent studies and reports, case documentation, and recommendations by other UN human rights bodies.
Ten-year-olds are made to clean their school toilets by the teachers. The elders in their families cannot have tea at local stalls or a haircut at the barber’s, and they are not invited to any social event. All these because they are from a caste considered low in the local Hindu community.
Ashok Das, the secretary of Bangladesh Dalit Parishad, which represents Dalits in Bangladesh, said: "We are submitting a 10-point memorandum to the government which includes passing an act to eliminate racial discrimination, to have quotas for their representation in all elected bodies including the National Parliament and to have quota in the higher education institutions."
By Sally Hayden. "There is no future for us here," Ratan Basfur says angrily. Basfur is an "untouchable," a member of one of Bangladesh's lowest castes, and his surname cements it. The Basfurs are part of the "sweeper class" that live in Horijon Polli, a densely packed slum in Mymensingh District that contains 1,200 households, with an average of five inhabitants in each. unni Basfur works three cleaning jobs. She wakes at 4am to clean the street, employed casually by the city government. Then she moves on to a pharmaceutical company to do a two-hour cleaning shift, and does another half an hour's work in a store. She spoke about one of the biggest concerns of the sweeper class — the fact that they've condemned their offspring to a life in the lowest caste. There have even been reports of untouchables sending their children away and encouraging them to change their names, in the hopes that the next generation can escape the stigma that has plagued their parents.
Several Dalit organisations in Bangladesh including BDERM and FAIR held rallys and other events to spread awareness of discrimination against Dalits in Bangladesh on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
When the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) convenes to discuss challenges that affect the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women at its 59th session in March 2015, there is an urgent need to address the link between caste and the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence faced by Dalit women.
Seminar organised by Bangladesh Dalit Parishad and NGO Parittran
The hearing was held by the Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement.
Kabir Akon, a child rights campaigner who works for Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, says that the complexity of class and caste is one of the main reasons it is so hard to improve labor conditions.