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.
The alternative report on scheduled caste children in Pakistan is written by the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) and the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the 72nd Pre-sessional Working Group session (5-9 October 2015) and the review of Pakistan at the 72nd Working Group session (6 May-3 June 2016). The report examines the current situation of scheduled caste (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.
More than 75% of those out of schools are either Dalits, Adivasis or Muslims.Over 32% of those out of schools are Dalits and over 16% belong to the Adivasi communities. On further bifurcation, 3.24% of all Scheduled Castes and over 4% of all Scheduled Tribes children are out of school nationwide. This divide gets even bigger in the eastern region where more than 6.78% of ST children are out of school and in Odisha the figure is a whopping 14.81%.
An amendment to the act that was set to make child labour illegal will push millions of marginalised children in India into work rather than education
As per the victim’s statement to the police, the student was alone in her hut and cooking food when the accused— Dhiraj Yadav, his brothers Arvind and Dinesh, and their father Ram Pravesh Yadav— barged in, dragged her out, poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. “They didn’t like that I was pursuing my education because they were failing in school every year. A few months ago, Dhiraj somehow got a photograph of me and tried to blackmail me. A major altercation broke out between our families on the issue,” she was quoted as saying to the police in the community health centre. The victim was admitted with 70 per cent burn injuries.
With widespread caste discrimination and branding of communities, the effect on the rights of children can be seen in instances across the country — Dalit children being made to sweep classrooms and clean toilets at schools, eat separately and face neglect. The constant branding by teachers and classmates as the ‘other’, besides affecting the psyche of the child has been shown to increase the number of dropouts and the cycle goes on — child labour, drug abuse, alcoholism and crime. The issue of child rights is universal but the discrimination is more in India because of the socio-religious philosophy that facilitates discrimination on the basis of caste, believes social activist Vasanthi Devi, former chairperson, Institute for Human Rights Education. “Dalit children have special needs and this is not accepted by most people. Children in schools face the same issues the adults of the caste face, ” said N Thayalan, director of Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF). Pallar, Paraiyar, and Arunthathiyar are the major Dalit groups in the State. A 2010 survey was conducted among 200 Arunthathiyar families, the group engaged in manual scavenging and considered lowest, the ‘Dalits among Dalits’. This survey conducted by the Arunthathiyar Human Rights Forum revealed that 24 per cent of children dropped out from schools, starting from Class 1 and reaching a maximum at Class 8. The top reason given by students for dropping out was slow learning followed by peer group influence, family incompetence, teachers’ attitude and a difficult syllabus.
Despite caste based discrimination being illegal in Nepal, it continues to affect the country's 'untouchables'.
Dalit leader Paul Divakar and 29 other activists were arrested following a peaceful gathering of over 500 students gathered in front of the Indian parliament to protests severe cuts to budgets allocated to Dalit and Adivasi (Tribals) welfare and upholding of their rights. The arrests underscore a deeply concerning trend for Government stifling of voices of dissent in India.
Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2011. "Crossing boundaries : gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5710, The World Bank.
UNESCO’s 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report - References to caste
Seminar organised by Bangladesh Dalit Parishad and NGO Parittran
The newly released Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 and the Amnesty International 2014-15 report find that caste discrimination persists with adverse effects to human rights on multiple levels. Serious obstacles to access to justice, discrimination in education and access to services and caste-based violence, including rape of Dalit women, are among the key themes addressed in the reports. These concerns are also noted in the latest India and Nepal reports of the US State Department.
From being forced to eat mid-day meals in marked out plates to being asked to sit in the back rows of their classrooms, Dalit schoolchildren across rural Madhya Pradesh face dozens of grim abuses, a new study backed by rights group ActionAid has revealed.
Jayati Ghosh - "India may well have the most complex & entrenched system of discrimination & exclusion in the world.
Human Rights Watch South Asia Director, Meenakshi Ganguly,says caste discrimination is partly to blame for child labour in India, as discrimination pushes many Dalit children to drop out of education.