The draft Principles and Guidelines contain recommendations on the implementation of the following special measures:



Survey and research

20. National and local governments should conduct regular surveys and other appropriate research in the social, political, economic, cultural and criminal justice fields, including the attitudes of the general public towards the affected communities, and utilize the resulting data, including disaggregated data for the situation of women, to develop effective measures for the elimination of discrimination based on work and descent.  The surveys and research should present information on the situation of those affected by discrimination based on work and descent, and a review of the effectiveness of existing measures and proposals for the elimination of such discrimination.  Research institutions and universities should also be encouraged to independently conduct such surveys and research.

Combating segregation

21. National and local governments should ensure access to public places, including community centers, hospitals, schools, places of worships, and water resources, by those from affected communities; take measures to eliminate and prevent segregation in employment, housing and education and to ensure protection from violence against those who cross the boundaries of segregation.

22. National and local governments should introduce and apply special measures to eradicate the persistence of social and cultural stigma of impurity and pollution that de facto precludes marriages between members of affected and non-affected communities and, in some societies, gives rise to violence, collective punishment and social exclusion against couples from different communities.

Physical security and protection against violence

23. National and local governments should prohibit harmful practices of child marriages and dowry, and those forbidding the remarriage of widows, the dedication of girls to temple deities and forced, ritualized prostitution and create local law enforcement task forces for the effective implementation of the prohibition. (8)

24. State actors should take special measures, such as devising and implementing comprehensive plans of action and creating a monitoring mechanism, to protect affected communities from physical violence, including torture, sexual violence and extrajudicial killings.

25. Particular attention should be given to the situation of women and girls, including under domestic violence laws, and to sexual violence, sexual exploitation and trafficking committed against women and girls of affected communities.

26. National and local governments should investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators of all forms of violence and atrocities, and sanction anyone found preventing or discouraging victims from reporting such incidents, including public officials.

27. National and local governments should encourage victims and witnesses to report such acts to the competent authorities and protect them from acts of retaliation and discrimination, and ensure that complaints under relevant acts and other criminal law provisions are properly registered. National and local governments should make public information on the number and nature of complaints registered, the convictions and sentences imposed on perpetrators, and the remedies and assistance provided to victims of such acts.

Access to justice and equal political participation

28. Judicial, legislative, and law enforcement bodies should take specific and concrete measures to ensure equal protection of the law for affected communities.

29. National and local governments should take all necessary steps to ensure equal access to judicial remedies for affected communities, including the provision of legal aid or other kinds of support to public interest organizations representing the interests of those subject to discrimination based on work and descent.

30. State actors, including all bodies of government and public corporations, should adopt specific guidelines, including a scheme of incentives and sanctions, prohibiting discrimination based on work and descent in their internal practices.  National and local governments should encourage the recruitment of members of affected communities into law enforcement agencies.

31. Law enforcement officials, including police, judges and prosecutors should be provided with adequate training in the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of cases involving discrimination based on work and descent.

32. National and local governments should take specific measures to ensure equal rights to political participation for affected communities, including rights to participate in public elections, and to equal opportunity to run and be elected to public office.

33. National and local governments should consider the introduction and implementation of a reservation policy to all categories of public service posts, including the judiciary in order to ensure adequate, effective and meaningful, not symbolic, representation at all levels of governments and legislatures and maintain and release statistical data on such representation.

Equal employment opportunity and free choice of occupation

34. National and local governments should enact equality laws that prohibit public and private employer discrimination on the basis of caste or analogous systems, take steps to remove customary constraints on leaving traditional caste-based occupations, and promote gainful alternative employment opportunities and full access to markets for members of affected communities.

35. National and local governments should enact and enforce legislation guaranteeing decent work, a living wage and labour rights for affected communities. (9) National and local governments should ensure the complete eradication of manual scavenging (10) and other unhealthy working conditions, in accordance with international standards.

36. The government should adopt measures to enhance affected communities’ access to the labour market by introducing or extending reservation policies to the public and private sectors, which should effectively counter the impact of market liberalization and globalization.

37. The State and other agencies should secure and support the full exercise of the right of affected communities to free choice of labour and other occupations traditionally withheld from them because of their caste or other kinds of social origin.

Forced, bonded and child labour

38. National and local governments, corporations, labour groups, and international labour, financial, and development organizations should collaborate to ensure concrete mechanisms for the prevention, identification and eradication of exploitative labour arrangements and the implementation of rehabilitation schemes for forced, bonded and child labourers with special attention to affected communities.


39. National and local governments should take all necessary measures to ensure the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, equal access to healthcare and a safe health environment for members of affected communities. Governments should pay special attention to child malnutrition  and high maternal mortality rates in affected communities.

40. National, local and international health officials and practitioners should ensure equal treatment for members of affected communities including access to sanitation facilities and medical insurance and treatment at hospitals.

41. Development and financial assistance to ensure adequate hygiene and sanitation should be provided by national and local governments and international development and humanitarian organizations.

Adequate food, water, and housing

42. National and local governments should take all necessary measures to eliminate discriminatory practices that cause affected communities to suffer from inadequate food, water, sanitation, clothing and housing. (11)

43. National governments and local authorities should ensure affected communities due entitlement to land  and protect against forced eviction.

44. Governments should ensure that the ministries, district administration and local bodies develop comprehensive mechanisms and programmes for enhancing mandatory and increased access to development programmes and budgets for affected communities.

45. Donor agencies have an obligation to help governments ensure effective outreach in providing food, water and housing to affected communities on an equal footing with other parts of the population.


46. National and local governments should take all necessary measures to ensure equal access to free quality primary and secondary education for children from affected communities, as well as equal opportunity to receive tertiary education. Effective special measures should be enacted for affected communities in admissions to public and private higher education institutions.

47. National and local governments should take effective measures to reduce dropout rates and increase enrolment rates among children of affected communities at all levels of public and private schooling, by providing scholarships or other financial subsidies, combating classroom segregation, harassment and discrimination against pupils of affected communities and ensuring non-discriminatory access to such schemes, including through provision of adequate equipment, staffing and quality of teaching in public schools, as well as adequate means of physical access to schools for children living in dominant caste neighbourhoods and armed conflict areas.

Governments should take all necessary measures to remove obstacles, including child labour, which keep children from regular full time education. Governments should also pay particular attention to the need of providing adequate education to children and adults who are unable to read and write because of lack of formal education.

48. National and local governments should review and eliminate language in school textbooks that conveys or encourages stereotypical and prejudicial beliefs, attitudes, and actions against members of affected communities and ensure that the content of education and curricula reflect the contributions of affected communities and emphasize the need to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent through, among other things, inclusion of human rights education.

Public awareness raising and elimination of discriminatory customs

49. National and local governments should take specific measures to raise awareness both among the public and among government officials, teachers, and media practitioners on discrimination based on work and descent, such as through internal training and public campaigns. Areas of attention should include not only the print and broadcasting media but also alternative avenues of information dissemination, such as local oral information through theatre, songs, etc. as well as information via internet.

50. National and local governments should, wherever necessary, review or enact libel, slander, and hate speech laws to explicitly prohibit and punish libellous and slanderous speech or speech inciting discrimination, hatred, or violence based on work and descent.

51. Governments should take special measures to promote due representation in the mass media of affected communities, and carry out sensitization campaigns and awareness raising programme with media representatives. It is recommended that government and other relevant institutions encourage media outlets to profile and publicize abuses faced by descent-affected communities, as well as promoting tolerance and positive examples of combating descent based discrimination.

52. The media, religious, educational and cultural institutions and other parts of civil society, and international organizations should contribute to correcting the spread of negative images of affected communities, and endeavour to build the capacity of those communities, as well as recognize the contributions of affected communities to the development of society.

Multiple discrimination against women

53. National and local governments should collect, analyze and publicly provide disaggregated data on the situation of women affected by discrimination based on work and descent.

54. National and local governments should take into account the situation of women and girls of affected communities in all measures taken to address discrimination based on work and descent, and explicitly create provisions tailored to ensure the rights of women and girls affected by discrimination based on work and descent wherever possible.

Participation of affected communities

55. Any measures taken for the effective elimination of discrimination based on work and descent should be made on the basis of genuine and informed consultations with affected communities . Procedural mechanisms of those measures should be set up to ensure that the affected communities’ interests are adequately represented .

Humanitarian and development assistance

56. All States should recognize and take measures to address  the special problem of increased discrimination based on work and descent in situations of humanitarian crises, such as internal conflicts, wars, or natural disasters.

57. Governments and international organizations should develop measures to tackle exclusion and discrimination in all development and disaster recovery programmes, such as social equity audits and caste analysis frameworks. Appropriate ‘affected community inclusion tools’ should be developed and applied effectively in the planning and monitoring of programmes. Agencies should provide training on discrimination based on work and descent to their staff and should take responsibility to monitor and counter untouchability practices. Members of affected communities should be fully involved in decision-making on and the planning and evaluation of programmes, and agents involved should actively seek to employ members of affected communities in  the recovery or development operations.

58. States should investigate all alleged cases in which members of affected communities have been denied assistance or benefits equal to that received by other people, or cases in which they have been discriminated against during the relief, rehabilitation and development processes, and compensate or retroactively grant such benefits to the victims of affected communities.

Market enterprises and financial allocations

59. International financial institutions and private companies should affirm the unacceptability of discrimination based on work and descent within own organizations as well as within the sphere of influence including supplies and business partners with special focus on equal to markets and services and actively to implementing anti-cast laws; and such entities should incorporate caste and gender analyses as well as anti-discrimination policy measures into their corporate social development strategies.

International cooperation

60. International, regional and sub-regional bodies should provide support for the effective elimination of discrimination based on work and descent, through financial, technical and legal assistance.  Inter-governmental bodies, including financial institutions, bilateral donors and diplomatic organizations including embassies, should ensure that the development assistance projects which they support are consistent with efforts to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent.  Regional and international human rights institutions and procedures, as well as international civil society, should monitor and support efforts to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent.  Humanitarian organizations should recognize affected communities as being at special risk of rights violations and deprivations, and prioritize the distribution of aid accordingly.

61. All international organisations, including United Nations agencies, should pay particular attention to discrimination based on work and descent and seek to prevent and address the multiple forms of human rights violations resulting from this form of discrimination.  It is recommended that all agencies include analyses of the situation of affected communities in their country and regional strategies, and develop policies, strategies and instruments to address work and descent based discrimination as well as operational guidance to staff.

Responsibilities of States with diaspora communities

62. Governments of the countries with diaspora communities where discrimination based on work and descent is practiced should take effective measures to prevent such discrimination.

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