The Wire speaks to rehabilitated manual scavengers as identified by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and finds their condition and profession unchanged
A short film produced by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch to highlight the impunity of caste-based sexual violence and the barriers to justice that Dalit women face in India
Social accountability initiatives fail to bring improvements for workers in the South Indian textile industry. New report from ICN finds that complaint mechanisms have not remedied labour rights violations affecting girls and young women.
The National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) is formulating guidelines, for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in India, on how to prevent caste-based violence in schools as part of its campaign of achieving zero discrimination.
Prior to the International Symposium on UN Guidance Tool on Descent-Based Discrimination in Tokyo. IMADR and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) held the International Consultation for the Elimination of Descent- Based Discrimination in Osaka on 9 April. The Consultation was attended by representatives from Dalit civil society in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, leaders of Buraku Liberation League (BLL), the former UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues and a representative from the OHCHR. As an outcome document of the consultation, Dalit and Buraku civil society organisations adopted the “Declaration for the Elimination of Descent-Based Discrimination”.
The Australian Parliament has passed a landmark motion urging the Government to take action on fighting caste-based discrimination. The motion requests the government to consider interventions in inclusion and non-discrimination in humanitarian aid; inclusive recruitment practice and management practice in all business partners; and strengthening policy and human rights dialogues for the elimination of caste-based discrimination in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The motion also urges the Government to support projects combating caste-based discrimination through Australian International Development Programmes.
IDSN member National Dalit Watch-NCDHR has taken part in a vulnerability mapping initiative, identifying areas where marginalised communities in four districts of Kerala have been excluded from the rescue operations and relief activities following devastating flooding in the area. IDSN members in India are responding to the reports of discrimination with relief measures, fact-finding and supporting those affected by the flooding, to claim their rights.
IDSN member the Feminist Dalit Organisation – FEDO, in collaboration with Nepal Human Rights Commission and Open Society Justice Initiative, organised a three-day conference on "Equal access to justice for all: Using law to dismantle caste based discrimination in South Asia." This was attended by national human rights practitioners and advocates from the region, key state champions and regional actors to highlight the state and national efforts to advance the rights of Dalit and marginalized communities. The practitioners shared their experiences, examples of how organizations and coalitions are implementing wide-ranging changes to advance justice, and discuss ways that legal advocates and community partners can collaborate across organizations and coalitions to forge a way forward.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, has been asked by a Member of the European Parliament, Jean Lambert, to outline any specific steps that the EU has taken to proactively support IDSN’s Consultative Status at the UN to date and what plans exist for future support.
IDSN and 257 other NGOs issued a statement for the meeting between the ECOSOC NGO Committee and accredited NGOS, raising concern over the “practices of the Committee that have inappropriately blocked the participation of some NGOs, in particular human rights NGOs, through procedural tactics including perpetual and repetitive questioning of applicants."
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.