The European Commission conducted a 3 day regional workshop on Indigenous People, Minorities and Dalits in Dhaka, 15-17 June, 2009.

The EC delegation visits Dalit colony in Dhaka

IDSN was commissioned by the Commission to present a study on caste-based discrimination in the South Asia at the workshop, which also included country specific contributions by Dalit experts from Nepal, Bangladesh and India. The 22 participants from EC delegations across the region and bilateral agencies in Bangladesh, visited Dalit communities in Dhaka accompanied by the head of the European Delegation, Stefan Frowein.

“The confinement of the Dalit communities and the extreme poverty so visible in these areas are horrible and a result of social exclusion and discrimination,” Mr. Frowein commented, adding that, “the European Commission will ensure a greater focus on Dalits in EC mainstream programmes, such as education and health. The government of Bangladesh and the donor community have a responsibility to address the serious human rights and poverty challenges that Dalits face every day”.

Read the full IDSN study on caste-based discrimination in South Asia here (commissioned by the European Commission).

Read the 15 demands put forward by the Bangladesh Dalit and ExcludedRights Movement, to be included in the country’s Election Manifesto.