India Committee of the Netherlands
+++ In solidarity with the oppressed in India +++


2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - <2000
Feb 3, 2016:
UN Expert Report: India must act on access to adequate housing for Dalits (IDSN):
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, has released a report on housing in India. The report draws attention to the alarming state of Dalit houses and the need for Government action to improve housing and end discrimination.
Jan 6, 2016:
India blocks funding for IDSN member Navsarjan Trust (IDSN):
In the latest of a series of blocks on foreign funding to human rights NGOs, the Indian Government has revoked the foreign funding (FCRA) license from Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust. The revocation of the license means that Navsarjan can no longer receive funding from foreign donors and the organisation has had to ask its 80 staff to resign.
Dec 21, 2016:
Large-scale child slavery in Indian spinning mills making yarn for international garment brands (press release ICN):
A new ICN report shows that modern slavery is found in more than 90% of the spinning mills in South India. Young girls and women - in majority Dalit - are enslaved by employers who withhold their wages and lock them up in hostels.
Dec 21, 2016:
European Parliament report calls for EU policy on caste discrimination (IDSN):
In its 2016 Report on the "Annual Report on human rights and democracy in the world and the European Union’s policy on the matter" the European Parliament (EP) raises deep concern over grave violations of Dalit human rights. The report calls for an EU policy development on caste discrimination.
Nov 29, 2016:
(In)Equality in Aid discussed at the 9th session of the Forum on Minority Issues (IDSN):
The 9th session of the Forum on Minority Issues (the Forum) was held last week, on 24 and 25 November 2016, focusing on the situation of minorities in humanitarian crises.
Nov 25, 2016:
IDSN at the CERD consultation with civil society: joining hands to end racial discrimination (IDSN):
On 23 November 2016, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) held a consultation with civil society organisations “Joining hands to end racial discrimination”. It aimed to reflect on how the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination helped make a difference in combatting racial discrimination and seek views on how to improve and enhance its engagement with civil society.
Nov 21, 2016:
Will SDGs “leave no one behind” without a disaggregated data on caste-based discrimination? (IDSN):
In 2015, seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by world leaders to guide global development agendas for the next 15 years. Yet, to date, the indicators measuring the achievement of the SDGs have not been finalised. On 17-18 November 2016, the Inter-Agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on the SDGs held its 4th meeting, aiming to finalise global development indicators.
Oct 21, 2016:
The Special Rapporteur on Minority issues completed her visit to Sri Lanka (IDSN):
The UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, just completed her official 10 days visit in Sri Lanka. In her statement on 20 October, the SR urged the government to take concrete steps to protect Sri Lanka’s minorities. She noted that there were “remaining challenges” within Tamil and Muslim communities, including return of occupied land, missing persons, demilitarization, release of security-related detainees, poverty, violence and discrimination against women, and caste-based discrimination.
Oct 6, 2016:
A review: US State Department Report on human rights in India 2015 (IDSN):
The US State Department published its Report 2015 on human rights practices in India, which provides a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in the country. The report covers areas of deprivation of life, detention, torture, trial procedures, violence, freedom of speech, assembly and religion, cultural rights, freedom of movement, refugees, political rights, workers’ rights, and discrimination against vulnerable groups, including women, Dalits, indigenous, LGBTI, children, people with disabilities and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Sep 15, 2016:
Caste at the Human Rights Council’s 33 session (IDSN):
The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) commenced its 33rd session on 13 September. This year the report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences has a thematic focus on debt bondage. The rapporteur notes that “the majority of those in debt bondage are reported to be in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, despite the specific prohibition on such practices within the legal frameworks of these countries”, underlining that those who are trapped in debt bondage in South Asia are predominantly Dalits.
Sep 7, 2016:
Caste discrimination in the United Kingdom (IDSN):
On 28 August 2016, as a part of the regular review process, CERD published its concluding observations to the UK. The Committee expressed its concern that ‘several provisions of the Equality Act 2010 have not yet been brought into legal effect, including Section 9(5)(a) on caste-based discrimination’.
Aug 3, 2016:
Modi and India’s Dalits (The New York Times):
A protest in the Indian state of Gujarat’s largest city, Ahmedabad, on Sunday by thousands of Dalits — members of India’s lowest castes — has brought to a head the contradiction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of economic opportunity for all and a politics of division driven by right-wing Hindu ideology.
Jun 30, 2016:
MEPs make caste appeal to EU foreign policy chief (IDSN):
A cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament have asked the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to ensure that EU action to address caste discrimination is prioritised at the highest levels.
Jun 28, 2016:
Breaking down barriers to justice for Dalit women (Sisters for Change):
A new report released on 24 June by Sisters for Change and Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike (KDMV) turns a spotlight on the violence faced by rural Dalit women and girls in 8 districts of North West Karnataka, Southern India.
Jun 14, 2016:
Numerous legal instruments exist to address caste atrocities, but utter failure in implemention (Counterview):
As more Dalits assert our rights and try to engage with government services and grants we see a corresponding increase in caste atrocities against our communities. Simple assertions like voting, getting an education, obtaining legal services, accessing community resources like land and water, choosing occupations of our choice versus ritually-polluting occupations, organizing for just wages, participation in the cultural life of the community, and demands for dignity and self-respect can all end in brutal physical violence.
Jun 1, 2016:
Infamous NGO Committee excludes human rights defenders from the UN (IDSN):
For the 18th time since 2008, the Committee on NGOs has deferred IDSN’s application – the longest pending one of its kind – for UN ECOSOC consultative status. Two more questions from India have yet again delayed the process.
May 25, 2016:
IDSN cited as example of obstruction against NGOs (IDSN):
More than 230 NGOs have called on members of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to reform the practice of the Committee of NGOs that prevents certain human rights organisations – including IDSN – from associating freely with the UN.
May 24, 2015:
India: Stop Treating Critics As Criminals (Human Rights Watch):
The Indian authorities routinely use vaguely worded, overly broad laws as political tools to silence and harass critics, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The government should repeal or amend laws that are used to criminalize peaceful expression.
May 24, 2016:
HRW urges India to stop treating critics as criminals (IDSN):
A new report by Human Rights Watch examines how criminal law is used to limit peaceful expression in India, stifle political dissent and target religious minorities and marginalised communities, including Dalits.
May 11, 2016:
Global conference urged to discuss rights of 300 million Dalit and indigenous women (IDSN):
IWGIA and IDSN call on the participants in the Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen to address discrimination against hundreds of millions of Dalit and indigenous women.
May 9, 2016:
UN Special Rapporteur criticises India’s FCRA (IDSN):
A controversial piece of Indian legislation could be used to silence organisations that criticize the government. It contravenes the country’s international human rights obligations, a UN expert says.
Apr 28, 2016:
UN expert: India should legislate against housing discrimination (IDSN):
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing has completed a 12-day visit to India during which she expressed concern about India’s legacy of discrimination against Dalits and other marginalised groups.
Apr 14, 2016:
Global celebrations as ‘Babasaheb’ turns 125 (IDSN):
Today is the 125th anniversary of the birth of the legendary Dalit icon, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The event is marked across the world, although the legacy of this great man means different things to different people.
Apr 13, 2016:
Rohith suicide case continues to stir India (IDSN):
Almost three months have passed since the tragic suicide of Dalit PhD-student Rohith Vemula, but his untimely death continues to attract national and international attention.
Apr 12, 2016:
Bhim Yatra gives hope to manual scavengers (IDSN):
For the past four months, activists have criss-crossed India to protest against manual scavenging. Their march – the Bhim Yatra – concludes in New Delhi tomorrow, on the eve of the 125th birthday of the great Dalit leader, Dr Ambedkar.
Apr 7, 2016:
IDSN members lobby global community (IDSN):
The third week of March 2016 was an eventful one for IDSN. The network’s highest body assembled in Geneva, the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues presented a ground-breaking report on caste discrimination, and IDSN members met a number of high-ranking UN officials.
Mar 30, 2016:
UN Deputy High Commissioner gravely concerned about caste discrimination (IDSN):
During the 31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council, Dalit human rights campaigners met the high-ranking UN human rights official, Kate Gilmore.
Mar 30, 2016:
HRW: EU should encourage India to protect Dalits (IDSN):
On the eve of today’s EU-India Summit, Human Rights Watch has written a letter to the EU addressing numerous key human rights issues. These include the failure of the Indian government to protect the country’s Dalit population.
Mar 24, 2016:
Drowning in liquid filth – in 21st century India (New Internationalist):
We pretend that people are not condemned to the caste system, Mari Marcel Thekaekara writes.
"In 1996, I listened in disbelief as Martin Macwan, a dalit leader, told a Delhi gathering, ‘I am ashamed that as a dalit, working with my people for over 10 years, I did not know that balmiki people still carry shit on their heads everyday of their lives.’ It was on the eve of 50 years of independence from British colonialism. The Indian economy, we were told at that time, was poised to take off. Indians were ready to take over the internet world. Silicon Valley was ours for the asking. Yet we couldn’t deal with our own excrement with a modicum of decency. Women scooped it up, of different textures, from large open gutters, with a tin sheet, a stick broom and their bare hands. These were semi-urban toilets."
Mar 17, 2016:
UN expert calls on states to end caste discrimination (IDSN):
New report on caste discrimination by UN Special Rapporteur constitutes milestone, Human Rights Watch, MRG and IDSN say in joint press release.
Mar 9, 2016:
Indian budget fails to deliver for Dalits (IDSN):
The 2016 budget of the Government of India allocates less than half of the required amount to the country’s Dalit and Adivasi populations.
Mar 7, 2016:
UN expert urges states to combat caste discrimination (IDSN):
The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, has chosen caste discrimination as the theme of her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council. The report has been welcomed by IDSN and Human Rights Watch.
Mar 1, 2016:
The women who refuse to do India's dirtiest job (The Guardian):
"Every morning I would take a broom and tin plate to the homes of the upper caste thakurs to pick up their faeces. I would collect the waste in a cane basket and later throw it in a dumping ground outside the village."
As you watch a confident Ranikumari Khokar educate a group of boys and girls on how to file a police case, it is hard to imagine that this 21-year-old spent most of her adolescence working as a scavenger.
Mar 2016:
ILO asks Indian Government to react to statement by ITUC on forced labour in textile industry (ICN):
ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application on Conventions and Recommendations has requested the Indian government to react to observations by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Garment Labour Union (GLU) about forced labour and other labour rights violations in the textile industry in Tamil Nadu affecting a large number of young women employed in spinning mills.
Feb 3, 2016:
Working Conditions in Indian textile factories (Facing Finance):
In 2012 a report by Somo and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) described working conditions in Indian textile factories in the state of Tamil Nadu1. At this stage it was clear how catastrophic the conditions for workers were, many of them young women from lower castes.
Jan 26, 2016:
Dalit student suicide – the last drop in a cauldron of injustice (IDSN):
The suicide of 26 year-old Indian PHD student, Rohith Vemula, is both a human tragedy and a symbol of centuries of systemic abuse and injustice metered out at India’s Dalits. “My birth is my fatal accident,” writes Rohith Vemula in his suicide note. This notion rings true for far too many Dalits in India, destined for discrimination from birth.
Jan 19, 2016:
Dalit student suicide: University missed warning signals (The Hindu):
Rohith Vemula, the Dalit research scholar, who killed himself on Sunday, had sent warning signals long before taking the drastic step.
In a letter dated December 18, 2015 that bordered on a suicide note, he had asked the university authorities to offer “euthanasia” for him and other research scholars.
Jan 15, 2016:
Daliters möjligheter i tillväxtens Indien (Svalorna Indien Bangladesh):
Sedan Indien öppnade marknaden för utländska investerare under 90-talet har landet haft en stabil ekonomisk tillväxt, men trots det har landet misslyckats med att stärka situationen för kvinnliga daliter i arbetslivet.
Jan 13, 2016:
Dalits fight for a fair share of the budget in India (IDSN):
Following the shocking 2015 60% budget cuts on funds for Dalit and Adivasi welfare in India The National Coalition on SCP TSP Legislation (NACSTL), working to safeguard the economic rights of Dalits and Adivasis in India, has taken part in pre-budget consultations with the Finance Ministry.
Jan 4, 2016:
Milestone act amending India’s caste atrocity legislation passed (IDSN):
In a victory for the Dalit movement in India and for all committed to justice and equality, a historic act amending the ‘Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)' legislation has been passed by the upper house of parliament December 21st 2015, after the lower house passed it in August, 2015.
2015
up
Dec 18, 2015:
Report: Atrocities against Dalits rising, access to justice is not (IDSN):
Violence and atrocities against Dalits are rising in India and there is an urgent need to step up efforts to ensure justice for victims, finds a new report on access to justice released by the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), supported by Christian Aid and the European Union.
Dec 14, 2015:
Series of events held highlighting the situation of Dalits in India (IDSN):
The National Confederation of Dalit Adivasi Organisations (NACDAOR) in collaboration with various partners have organized a series of events in October-December to highlight atrocities against Dalits, violence against Dalit women, the rights of Dalit children and the impact of climate change respectively as well as a national gathering of Dalit and Adivasi organisations.
Dec 3, 2015:
Report: Dalits hit disproportionately hard by 2015 flooding in India, no relief in sight (IDSN):
An assessment report of the situation in Tamil Nadu following devastating floods on 9 November, 2015, finds that Dalit households are the main victims of the flood and are not receiving relief from the Government, despite non-Dalits having received such relief.
Dec 2, 2015:
Caste featured strongly at the 50th anniversary of the UN anti-racism convention (IDSN):
Statements by the International Movement Against all forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) brought caste discrimination to the fore as the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination celebrated the ICERD convention’s 50th anniversary on the 26th November.
Dec 2, 2015:
UN Minority Forum: Dalit rights defenders deliver statements on shocking lack of justice for Dalits (IDSN):
Three Dalit human rights defenders spoke at the UN Forum on Minority Issues. Durga Sob, from Nepal, and Manjula Pradeep and Ramesh Nathan from India, delivered strong statements on the dismal state of access to justice for Dalits and the mistreatment of Dalits in the criminal justice system.
Nov 28, 2015:
Schools of dishonour (The Hindu):
Dalit children continue to bear the brunt of untouchability.
When Sandeep reached his school in village Bedhua in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, in March 2015, the carcass of a dead dog lay rotting on the school grounds. The school cleaner was on leave. His headmistress told Sandeep to carry and dispose of the festering body of the dog outside the school campus.
Nov 10, 2015:
Kasteløse slaver i den indiske tøjindustri (The Dig Project):
Unge kasteløse piger i sydindien udnyttes groft af den lokale tøjindustri, der med slavelignende forhold producer tøj for en lang række internationale tøjmærker.
Nov 9, 2015:
Caste violence in India rises as Dalits assert their rights (IDSN):
Increasing Dalit rights assertions in India have unleashed a wave of backlash violence and abuse against Dalits. This has been evident in news reporting over the past year, and is now also reflected in official National crime statistics in India, showing a 19% rise in crimes against Dalits including violence, rape and murder committed by dominant caste members.
Nov 9, 2015:
Dalit singer arrested and film on caste refused clearance – the right to expression curtailed in India (IDSN):
New incidents add to the concerns on fresh attempts to limit freedom of expression in India. A Dalit folk singer has been arrested and kept in custody and charged with sedition solely on the grounds of singing songs with a message to close down state owned liquor stores.
Nov 5, 2015:
Nepal – UN Members deeply concerned about caste discrimination and untouchability (IDSN):
Seventeen United Nations member states raised their concerns and recommendations on caste discrimination at the United Nations Periodic Review of Nepal, urging the Government, in particular, to ensure effective implementation of the Caste-Based Discrimination and Untouchability Act of 2011.
Oct 23, 2015:
Out Damn Caste (Outlook):
Don't be emotional the editors say. Don't be sensational. But how does a mere writer get ordinary Indians to react to an ordinary Indian situation which is extraordinarily, unspeakably cruel?
Nine month old Divya and two-and-a-half year old Vaibhav were not just brutalised — they were viciously murdered. Pronounced dead on arrival at a Delhi hospital this Monday, they'd been burnt alive and charred beyond recognition.
Sep 22, 2015:
Stand up for Dalit rights at the UN SDG Summit 2015 (IDSN):
A series of events including a protest rally are being organised at the UN summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 22-26th September in New York, by the Asia Dalit Rights Forum (ADRF) and other Dalit rights networks. The events culminate in a demonstration on the 26th September at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza in NYC.
Sep 16, 2015:
Nepal Dalits demand inclusion as draft constitution goes to vote (IDSN):
Despite political chaos and widespread dissatisfaction with the draft constitution, voting on the constitution, part by part, is taking place this week. The constitution being put to a vote lacks crucial text on inclusion of Dalits and other marginalized groups that had been previously agreed by both the Constituent Assembly (CA) committees.
Sep 3, 2015:
Historic amendment to India’s caste atrocity legislation passed in the Lok Sabha (IDSN):
In a victory for the Dalit movement in India and for all committed to justice and equality, a historic bill amending the ‘Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) legislation has been passed in the lower house of the Indian Parliament, the Lok Sabha.
Aug 3, 2015:
New report: Low caste children suffer in India’s cottonseed industry (IDSN):
The new report Cotton’s Forgotten Children, released by the Stop Child Labour Campaign and the India Committee on the Netherlands (ICN), finds that almost half a million children in India work as child labourers in the cottonseed production industry. Most of them are Dalits, Adivasis or other low caste children (OBCs). The report warns that most of these children are not in school and are subjected to hazardous work and harmful chemicals.
Jul 21, 2015:
Here's proof that poor get gallows, rich mostly escape (Times of India):
A first of its kind study, which has analyzed data from interviews with 373 death row convicts over a 15-year period, has found three-fourths of those given the death penalty belonged to backward classes, religious minorities and 75% were from economically weaker sections.
Jul 20, 2015:
INDIA: Government dumps the Court’s Order in a sewer (Asian Human Rights Commission):
A total of 180,657 rural households continue to engage in manual scavenging in India, despite the inhuman practice being repeatedly outlawed by the Parliament and Judiciary. This is the state a year after the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), a flagship scheme of the incumbent government, covering 4,041 statutory towns, aiming to clean the streets, roads, and infrastructure of the country.
Jul 2, 2015:
Dalit and Adivasi women’s march for self-respect meets violence, injustice and police negligence (IDSN):
Women being beaten, raped, stripped naked and paraded through their villages and a rape case as barbaric as the 2012 Nirbhaya case. These and a whole host of other atrocities were what the women marching for self-respect, and to end violence against Dalit and Adivasi women in the state of Odisha, India, came across on their path to justice.
Jul 1, 2015:
IDSN UN side-event calls for more action to combat caste and gender-based slavery (IDSN):
At the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council, IDSN held a parallel event on “Caste and gender-based forced and bonded labour” The event included a keynote video address by the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Slavery, Ms. Urmila Bhoola.
May 29, 2015:
Report: Dalits short-changed in aid delivery in Nepal (IDSN):
A rapid assessment report of the situation of Dalit communities, traditionally marginalised in Nepal, has found that Dalits are discriminated in the distribution of relief materials in Nepal, receiving less aid than the dominant castes and being allocated leftovers from castes that rank higher in Nepal’s caste system.
May 18, 2015:
Diluting India's child labour law will trap families in cycle of poverty (The Guardian):
The Indian government is making severe cuts to budgets that address discrimination and the welfare of the country’s most marginalised people. In a deeply flawed strategy, they are relaxing legislation on child labour as a means to alleviate poverty.
Apr 30, 2015:
IDSN urges agencies to counter caste discrimination in aid delivery after Nepal earthquake (IDSN) :
As aid agencies and NGOs fight to deliver aid and help victims of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, IDSN wish to draw attention to the importance of considering caste discrimination in relation to aid delivery in Nepal.
Apr 21, 2015:
From Slavery to Self Reliance: A Story of Dalit Women in South India (IPS) :
HuligeAmma, a Dalit woman in her mid-forties, and her 22-year-old daughter lead a simple yet contented life – they subsist on half a dollar a day, stitch their own clothes and participate in schemes to educate their community in Karnataka.
Mar 31, 2015:
Historical meeting Dalit women with North American Radical Women of Color and Trans Peoples Movements (DalitWomenFight) :
A historical meeting of Dalit women leaders with North American Radical Women of Color and Trans Peoples Movements at Incite's Color of Violence 4 Conference held in Chicago, IL from March 26-29, 2015.
Mar 24, 2015:
Resolution condemning caste-based discrimination introduced in US congress (IDSN) :
The house resolution introduced on the 16th of March by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton condemns caste-based discrimination ad asks for the international community to act on this. The 1st Global Conference on Dalit Rights, which took place in Washington DC from 19-21st of March honoured the Congresswoman for introducing the resolution and urged congress to show strong support for it.
Mar 18, 2015:
New Sumangali guidance document online (Fair Wear Foundation):
To provide guidance to its members, FWF has drawn a document on the risks related to the Sumangali Scheme and India's Bonded Labour System.
Mar 12, 2015:
Government Clampdown on Dalit, Adivasi Protesters: Dalit Woman Activist Forcibly Dragged Inside Police Station (NCDHR) :
In a shocking incident, over 30 Dalit and Adivasi students and activists were arrested this afternoon from Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi when they demanded to meet the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani, over unfair budgetary allocations in education of Dalit and Adivasi students.
Mar 8, 2015:
Rape of Dalit women registers 500% increase since 2001, RTI reveals (The Indian Express) :
Rape of Dalit women rose in Gujarat over the last 13 years, reaching the highest in 2014, higher by 500 per cent since 2001, says an RTI reply. The reply to an RTI application by Mehsana-based human rights activist Kaushik Parmar, from the office of Director General of Police (DGP), Gujarat, revealed that 74 Dalit women were allegedly raped and cases were registered under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in 2014.
Mar 2015:
Annual report 2014 International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) (IDSN) :
n 2014, caste discrimination figured prominently in a number of reports and country reviews by UN human rights bodies. More treaty body reviews than ever before highlighted caste discrimination in concluding observations, and eleven thematic and country reports of special procedures mandate-holders made reference to caste discrimination addressing a broad range of themes.
Feb 27, 2015:
Dalit Girl Found Hanging in Textile Mill (The New Indian Express) :
A 19-year-old dalit girl was found dead in a suspicious manner inside a bathroom of a private textile mill near Vedasanthur, Dindigul district on Wednesday.
While police claimed the girl committed suicide as she could not bear her stomach pain, NGOs have raised doubts over the death.
Feb 26, 2015:
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International’s 2015 reports raise serious concern over caste discrimination (IDSN) :
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.
Feb 20, 2015:
India’s blocking of IDSN’s UN consultative status continues (IDSN) :
Despite serious concern raised by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association, the International Service on Human Rights and others, over the 8-year deferral of the International Dalit Solidarity Network’s (IDSN) application for UN consultative (ECOSOC) status, the unjust questioning of IDSN continues and the application is again deferred.
Feb 12, 2015:
Unique tool to track atrocities against Dalits (The Hindu) :
To monitor atrocities perpetrated against Dalits and Adivasis and to ensure speedy justice, a unique web-based tool — Atrocity Tracking and Monitoring (ATM) System — has been launched. The initiative falls under the aegis of the National Coalition for Strengthening SC/ST PoA Act (NCSPOA) by the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ).
Jan 13, 2015:
World Bank President and UN Secretary-General: Ending India’s caste-based exclusion is key to shared prosperity (IDSN) :
Speaking at the Indian Council of World Affairs UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stressed the need for inclusive growth for shared prosperity saying that, “millions of Dalits, Tribals and others still face discrimination, especially the women and girls.” On a visit to Gujarat the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, similarly cautioned that while India was an accelerating economy, “Indian society has an enduring exclusion that is based, among other things, on caste identities.
2014
up
Dec 19, 2014:
Dalit women fight for their rights with marches and mass events in Nepal and India (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
Dalit women from Nepal, India and Bangladesh joined hands to assert their rights at a rally in Kathmandu, at the fringes of the people’s SAARC meeting. Hundreds of Dalit women from across Nepal gathered at the FEDO National Dalit Women conference, to put Dalit women’s rights on the agenda and In India several long marches and mass gatherings of Dalit women took place throughout November and December.
Dec 17, 2014:
New reports: Exclusion and untouchability remain widespread and only 5% marry out of their caste (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
Report findings recently released from the India Human Development Survey, the India Exclusion Report and the Nepal Multidimensional Social Inclusion Index, document that caste discrimination is very far from being history. In almost all aspects of every-day life statistics indicate that caste discrimination is deep-rooted and widespread.
Dec 11, 2014:
It's Time to End the Conspiracy of Silence (The Huffington Post) link opent in nieuw venster:
A frantic series of emails and phone calls impolitely disturbed what had till then been a relatively uneventful May morning at the Video Volunteers office. At a human rights and media organization like ours, there are many days that shake the very foundations of one's belief systems. They make you wonder whether anything can ever change.
Dec 8, 2014:
Inde: Des jeunes filles dalits traitées comme des esclaves modernes dans l’industrie textile (Solidarité Dalits Belgique):
Un récent rapport, publié à la fin du mois d’octobre 2014 et consacré aux formes modernes d’esclavage dans les filatures indiennes, fait apparaître que, malgré les initiatives prises pour mettre fin à la pratique de travaux forcés, la situation actuelle reste alarmante. Les efforts déployés par des marques de vêtements et des distributeurs au détail pour mettre un terme à ces abus manquent tant de considérations d’échelle que d’authentique conviction. A cause de leur statut de marginalisées et de leur incapacité d’avoir accès à des opportunités alternatives, la majorité des jeunes filles travaillant dans ces usines est constituée de dalits.
Dec 5, 2014:
Children bear the brunt of caste abuses in rural MP (The Hindustan Times) link opent in nieuw venster:
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.
Dec 3, 2014:
Caste at the root of India and Mauritania's position as top global slavery offenders (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
The Global Slavery Index 2014, released by the Walk Free Foundation, singles out India as the country in the world with the most slaves and sees caste at the root of slavery in India. Caste-affected Mauritania tops the Index on percentage of the population in slavery.
Dec 2, 2014:
Report confirms high incidence of silicosis in Rajasthan’s Dholpur (The Hindu) link opent in nieuw venster:
For many mine workers here, it began as a respiratory problem. And most of them were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Only later it became known that it was silicosis — an incurable disease caused by exposure to silica dust — and not TB.
Dec 1, 2014:
Where dust brings death: Silicosis deaths in Rajasthan mines leave behind a trail of young widows (The Hindu) link opent in nieuw venster:
The Karauli-Dholpur-Bharatpur mining belt in eastern Rajasthan, which produces the country’s best quality red sandstone, also has the largest number of young widows, most of them below 40 years.
Dec 2014:
Dalit Girls in Modern Slavery in Textile Mills (Dalit Cry, p10):
The report Flawed Fabrics released by the India Committee on the Netherlands (ICN) and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), states that girls as young as 15 in South India’s spinning mills are still facing appalling labour conditions that amount to forced labour. They live in very basic company-run hostels and are hardly ever allowed to leave the company compound. The researched spinning mills have Western companies and Bangladesh garment factories among their customers.
Nov 24, 2014:
Muslims, Dalits and tribals make up 53% of all prisoners in India (The Times of India) link opent in nieuw venster:
Muslims, Dalits and adivasi — three of the most vulnerable sections of Indian society — make up more than half of India's prison population, according to an official report on prisons released this month. Although the proportion of these three communities in India adds up to about 39%, their share amongst prisoners is considerably higher at 53%.
Nov 13, 2014:
Just 5% of Indian marriages are inter-caste: survey (The Hindu) link opent in nieuw venster:
Just five per cent of Indians said they had married a person from a different caste, says the first direct estimate of inter-caste marriages in India.
Oct 30, 2014:
Report: Dalit girls in modern slavery in India’s textile industry (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
A new report following up on modern slavery in Indian spinning mills, finds that despite initiatives launched to end conditions of forced labour, the situation remains alarming. Efforts of clothing brands and retailers to end this, lack scale and conviction. Due to their marginalised status and lack of alternative opportunities, the majority of girls working in these factories are Dalits.
Oct 29, 2014:
India called out at UN General Assembly for blocking IDSN’s UN consultative status (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
At the UN General Assembly meeting on the 28th October, The UN Special Rapporteur on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, criticised India for arbitrarily blocking the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) from obtaining UN consultative status calling it “clearly unacceptable, wrong and unfair.”
Oct 27, 2014:
UN agencies in India team up to focus on fighting caste discrimination (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
Convened by the United Nations Development Programme, six UN agencies including IFAD, ILO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women are working together to help accelerate inclusion of Dalit and Adivasi issues and access to rights in national and state policy and planning processes.
Oct 23, 2014:
Caste discrimination, child labour and the Nobel peace prize winner (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
Caste discrimination is a key factor behind child labour in India, home to the highest number of child labourers in the world. This is the message coming from experts on child labour. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi, also explains how witnessing caste discrimination as a child spurred on his engagement with fighting for the rights of the most marginalised.
Oct 21, 2014:
UN Special Rapporteur highlights unwarranted deferral of IDSN’s UN ECOSOC accreditation (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
The Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the context of multilateral institutions to be considered by the UN General Assembly, highlights IDSN’s application for accreditation as an NGO with the UN (ECOSOC) and its continued deferral for seven years.
Oct 19, 2014:
Lynching of boy underlines how the curse of caste still blights India (The Guardian) link opent in nieuw venster:
Sai Ram, burned alive because of a stray goat, was just one of 17,000 Dalits to fall victim to caste violence in the state of Bihar.
Oct 3, 2014:
UN experts increase focus on caste discrimination (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
In a recent Geneva meeting of UN Special Rapporteurs and civil society, caste-based discrimination was highlighted by the Rapporteurs as a key cross-cutting issue of concern. A team from IDSN were present at the meeting and raised the issue of caste-based discrimination, to which there was a significant response and engagement from the Special Rapporteurs.
Oct 2, 2014:
Urgent Appeal: Brutal police torture of Dalit human rights defender - perpetrators must be held accountable (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
A 28 year old Dalit human rights defender, Mr. Poovarasan, was abducted from his house by five police officers in Tamil Nadu, and brutally tortured and abused using derogatory caste names. Following the abuse, the police filed false charges against him. Unable to walk, the victim was taken to court in an ambulance, and the Police inspector forced the ambulance with Mr. Poovarasan in it to drive off the court premises, while he threatened Mr. Poovarasan to remain silent about the assault. An urgent appeal has been launched to ensure proper medical treatment for the victim and consequences for the involved police officers.
Oct 2, 2014:
Desperate, disgusted but proud - India's human waste removers (CNN) link opent in nieuw venster:
I normally don't dwell on what I am going to wear before I go on a shoot. It's usually something presentable, comfortable and preferably in a bright "TV" color that makes my cameraman Rajesh happy.
This time, though, I was perplexed.
I was about to film a story on manual scavenging.
Sep 30, 2014:
India temple appoints two Dalit widows as priests (BBC News) link opent in nieuw venster:
Two Dalit widows have been appointed as priests at a temple in south-west India, in a rare move for a country where caste prejudice is still rife.
Sep 26, 2014:
Dalits in Pakistan suffer from severe drought – despite promises to act (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
1.2 million people and five million livestock in district Tharparkar are now once again in the grip of a severe drought and efforts to prevent future human catastrophies must be stepped up.
Sep 25, 2014:
Dalit girls in Nepal particularly vulnerable to child marriage (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
In an analysis entitled Nepal: why child marriage persists, based on findings by Save the Children, World Vision, and Plan, IRIN news highlights that Dalit girls are at particular risk of child marriage in Nepal, and that concerted efforts to change the social welfare for Dalits in Nepal are needed.
Sep 25, 2014:
India’s Prime Minister and the President urge the nation to end casteism (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
In two separate speeches India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, have stressed the urgent need to end casteism and communal violence splitting the Nation and hampering India’s developement.
Sep 24, 2014:
Thousands of Dalits protest over attacks and discrimination in Pakistan (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
In a mass protest 15,000 Hindus, the majority of them Dalits, marched through the streets of Karachi to push for the provincial Government of Sindh in Pakistan to meet their demands for provisions to stop escalating discrimination against Hindus in the region.
Sep 19, 2014:
UN CERD urges Japan to act on discrimination against the Buraku (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recommends that Japan effectively apply its legislation to protect Burakumin and provide information and indicators on concrete measures to uplift their living conditions and position in society.
Sep 14, 2014:
Discrimination even in death at Rajasthan crematoriums (The Hindu) link opent in nieuw venster:
It is the Chandpole cremation ground in the heart of Jaipur city. Groups of people have come to perform the last rites of their loved ones.
The mood is sombre. But the exercise, one will observe, is rather mechanical. Each family seems to know under which shed they have to perform the last rites. If they don’t, they are directed to the right one by the workers at the crematorium.
Sep 10, 2014:
Can’t Teach Students on Ambedkar’s Life? (The New Indian Express) link opent in nieuw venster:
Caste discrimination in the Southern districts has gone worse to such an extent that even classroom lessons on Dr B R Ambedkar are being frowned upon. An official probe into the recent attack on a Dalit boy at Thiruthangal in Virudhunagar district revealed that even teachers at the SR Government Higher Secondary School are being prevented from teaching about Ambedkar by caste Hindu students.
Sep 7, 2014:
Caste discrimination in India's elite institutions: Students (DNA India) link opent in nieuw venster:
The death of Aniket Ambhore, fourth year electrical engineering student at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay on Thursday under mysterious circumstances (he fell from the sixth floor of a hostel inside the campus), has brought to the fore certain unsavoury issues which the administration in the premier institution seeks to brush under the carpet.
Caste-based discrimination is one among them.
Sep 2014:
Briefing note presented to UN Special Procedures mandate holders: Religious Minorities in Pakistan: Scheduled Caste Hindus (PDSN/IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
Discrimination, persecution and violence against religious minorities and a steady erosion of their citizenship rights is on the rise in Pakistan. Growing extremism and a heightened sense of religious identity among the majority population, at the expense of identity as citizen of a state, has deepened the minorities’ sense of alienation from the mainstream society. Rising incidents of mob violence, target killings, cases of alleged blasphemy, forced conversion of minor girls and the inability of the State to curb violations of rights against minorities indicate a very disturbing reality. The level of violence and the extent of threat to their identity, culture, religion, to their life and property have reached a point where the minorities are pushed to live a life in perpetual fear and anxiety of an impending disaster.
Aug 25, 2014:
India: Caste Forced to Clean Human Waste - ‘Manual Scavenging’ Persists With Local Officials’ Support (Human Rights Watch) link opent in nieuw venster:
The Indian government should end “manual scavenging” – the cleaning of human waste by communities considered low-caste – by ensuring that local officials enforce the laws prohibiting this discriminatory practice, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The government should implement existing legislation aimed to assist manual scavenging community members find alternative, sustainable livelihoods.
Aug 12, 2014:
UN recommends India take action to end caste-based violence against women and the Devadasi practice (IDSN) link opent in nieuw venster:
The concluding observations and recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 2014 review of India have been released. The committee raises serious concern about human rights violations against Dalit women, caste-based violence and rape, land rights and the lack of implementation of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and other key legislation meant to protect Dalit women. The concluding observations however lack adequate mention of discrimination against Dalit women in education and employment, specifically manual scavenging, despite the fact that these were areas of concern captured in the List of Issues and review by CEDAW experts.
Aug 5, 2014:
'India ignoring UN's recommendations to curb violence against women' (TwoCircles.net) link opent in nieuw venster:
India is ignoring the recommendations made by the United Nations on issues of discrimination and violence against women, experts said here Tuesday.
Jul 25, 2014:
This YouTube channel shows what it’s like to be an ‘untouchable’ (Los Angeles Daily News) link opent in nieuw venster:
One talks about being beaten up. Another describes how people humiliate her. Many more speak about rape — a common danger facing women of India’s lowest caste.
Meet the Dalits, better known in the West as “untouchables” — an Indian caste so denigrated that they suffer explicit discrimination and abuse.
Now, they’re fighting back, taking to the internet to tell their stories.
Jul 21, 2014:
'Sexual violence against Dalits on rise in Haryana' (Hindustan Times) link opent in nieuw venster:
There has been steep rise in incidents of sexual violence against Dalit girls in Haryana, a report released on Monday in Chandigarh said.
The report was prepared by Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), some survivors and kin of survivors. The report deals with the atrocities committed against the naive and innocent girls in the name of caste politics. It deals with their experiences and also suggests some demands to enable them to lead a dignified and meaningful life.
Jul 20, 2014:
India's courts in the dock, fail to give justice to Dalit village (Hindustan Times) :
Indian democracy is dishonoured from time to time by brutal massacres of the country’s historically oppressed communities — mostly Dalits and Muslims. But its even greater disgrace is that mass killers who periodically target people only because of their religion or caste are rarely punished. This legal impunity of mass murderers indulging in hate crimes derives from deep institutional prejudice, which scars India’s otherwise independent judicial system.
Jul 4, 2014:
India's sewer cleaners keep working despite ban on job (Los Angeles Times) :
Dharamani Kale emerged from the manhole, sewage clinging to his body. Next to him, Sona Bai gathered filth in a small round basket and carried it on her head to the end of the street. The unpleasant process had started at dawn and would continue for at least 12 hours.
Jul 3, 2014:
UN CEDAW Committee raises serious concern for Dalit women and the lack of implementation of laws (IDSN) :
In the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), review of India on 2nd July 2014, the issues of Dalit women and girls were brought up by several experts of the Committee and the Committee noted that Dalit women and the lack of implementation of laws were matters of serious concern.
Jul 2, 2014:
Open Letter: A Call for Transparency in the ECOSOC NGO Accreditation Process (IDSN) :
IDSN has joined other NGOs in sending an open letter to the ECOSOC members calling on them to take measures to stop the Committee on NGOs' members from blocking legitimate human rights organisations from gaining ECOSOC status.
Jul 1, 2014:
Sexual Assault On Four Girls In Haryana In The Context Of Dalit Rights To Common Land - A Status Report on Bhagana by AFDR, PUDR and WSS (CounterCurrents.org) :
A joint team comprising Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR) from Punjab , People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) from Delhi visited Bhagana village of Hisar district on May 13, 2014. The main purpose of this visit was to meet the villagers after the gruesome gang rape incident of the four Dalit girls earlier on March 23 by five men of the Jat community and to understand its links with the ongoing struggle that the Dalit community has been waging since May 2012 for access to common land.
Jun 30, 2014:
Report: UN HRC26 side-event on 'Caste-based violence against women' (IDSN) :
Report on the UN Human Rights Council 26th session, 17th June 2014, side-event on 'Caste-based violence against women: The role of the UN in combatting caste-based violence and discrimination'.
Jun 23, 2014:
Sexual violence against Dalit women: Minister Timmermans discusses Dalit issue with Indian government - commitment in UN still largely absent (DNN) :
MPs from the Dutch political parties ChristianUnion, Socialist Party, GreenLeft, D66 and SGP urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Timmermans on June 11 to raise the issue of mostly unpunished violence against Dalit women with the Indian government, the UN Human Rights Council and the EU.
Jun 12, 2014:
UN Human Rights Chief to speak out on caste-based rape and violence at HRC26 side-event (IDSN) :
On Tuesday 17th June the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, will give the opening statement at a side-event on caste-based violence against women, at the UN Human Rights Council. The event comes following a series of brutal rape cases against Dalit women and the rape and hanging of two teenage cousins in India.
Jun 9, 2014:
India's Caste Culture is a Rape Culture (TheDailyBeast.com) :
A Dalit woman explains how the caste system is a lethal one where, according to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, four Dalit women are raped, two Dalits are murdered, and two Dalit homes are torched every day.
Jun 7, 2014:
Dalit Camera gives a voice to India’s long-abused lower castes (The National) :
The gang rape and murder of two teenage Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh on May 28 has outraged the world, but, in India, it’s just another in a shockingly long series of crimes against the lower castes.
The horrific incident received heavy media coverage across the subcontinent, but Bathram Ravichandran remains unconvinced that Dalits will benefit from the furore. He founded DalitCamera, where he and like-minded friends upload videos on YouTube of Dalits giving first-hand accounts of their lives.
Jun 6, 2014:
Rape and India’s “Untouchable” Caste - The brutal rape and murder of two Dalit women has cast a spotlight on sex crimes and India's caste system (Vocativ.com) :
Roughly a week has passed since one of the most grisly murders in recent memory, and the rage is still palpable here in this small town some 120 miles from New Delhi. Two young girls, both of them from India’s Dalit or “untouchable” caste, were abducted last week from their homes, then raped and hung on the branches of a mango tree in town, where everyone could see their corpses.
May 30, 2014:
Violence against Dalit women 'not taken seriously' (DW.de) :
Indians are outraged over police handling of a case involving teenage girls who were gang-raped and hanged from a tree. Legal expert Indira Jaising says the problem lies in a lack of legal and political accountability.
May 5, 2014:
UN: Plight of Dalit women highlighted by the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (IDSN) :
"The intergenerational nature of caste-based discrimination condemns women to a life of exclusion, marginalization and disadvantage in every sphere of life. Many of those women are denied an education and economic opportunities, and perform dangerous and unprotected work, including … modern forms of slavery," stated the SR on Violence against Women, Ms. Rashida Manjoo, in her report following her mission to India.
May 1, 2014:
Dalit Women, Sexual Violence and the Geography of Caste: A Journey towards Liberation – An Interview with Asha Kowtal and Thenmozhi Soundararajan (TheFeministWire.com) :
In 2012, the Haryana district in India witnessed a significant and historic moment in Dalit women’s movement. Organized and led by Dalit women – the Dalit Mahila Garima Yatra (Dalit Women’s Dignity March) traveled to ten districts across the state of Haryana. The Yatra met with survivors, spoke to families and community groups, confronted police and district officials, throughout the journey. They organized awareness programs, street theater, held protests and discussions in villages across Haryana.
As a result of this process, the All Indian Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) decided to launch the Dalit Mahila Swabhiman Yatra (Dalit Women’s Self-Determination March) in 2014 – a month long journey of Dalit activists across multiple states in India. From February to March 2014, the Dalit Mahila Swabhiman Yatra traveled hundreds of kilometers – in Haryana, Utter Pradesh, Bihar, Chattishgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and finally – on March 12, 2014 – arrived at Jantar Mantar in Delhi for a public meeting.
Apr 30, 2014:
Human Rights Watch Report: India’s marginalized denied education (IDSN) :
Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims are most at risk of dropping out of school and being denied an education in India – states the comprehensive report “They say we’re dirty” – Denying an Education to India’s Marginalised, just released by Human Rights Watch.
Apr 28, 2014:
Fighting Violence against Women: Manjula Pradeep, Dalit leader (Mari Thekaekara) :
I have watched Manjula Pradeep grow from a novice, an inexperienced young girl in the early 90's into a confident, assured, gutsy Dalit leader over the last 20 years. In this interview, Manjula traces the history of her struggle for Dalit rights from her early induction into Navsarjan Trust, as a raw, young recruit and her tumultous journey to her present post as head of Navsarjan Trust, often representing Dalits in the UN and other national and international fora.
Apr 22, 2014:
India: Marginalized Children Denied Education - Use Monitoring, Redress Mechanisms to Keep Pupils in School (Human Rights Watch) :
School authorities in India persistently discriminate against children from marginalized communities, denying them their right to education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Four years after an ambitious education law went into effect in India guaranteeing free schooling to every child ages 6 to 14, almost every child is enrolled, yet nearly half are likely to drop out before completing their elementary education.
Apr 20, 2014:
Dalit girls exploited in India's garment industry (IDSN) :
A new report finds that Dalit girls in India's garment industry live in hostels, with little freedom of movement, are underpaid for long working-days and working under hazardous conditions. Press Release from the India Committee on the Netherlands.
Apr 18, 2014:
Groundbreaking Report on Claiming Justice for Dalits in India (IDSN) :
Told directly from victims, witnesses, community members, human rights defenders and public officials, the report analyzes over 400 atrocity cases, with 20 in-depth case studies covering atrocities such as murder, rape, mass attack, and land grabbing. Press Release from Nazdeek and NCDHR.
Apr 9, 2014:
Dalit women ignite the audience at the Women in The World Summit in New York (IDSN) :
“Even if no one else recognizes us as human, we will shout it from the rooftops... The shame is not on the women, the shame is on India,” said US Dalit woman filmmaker Thenmozhi Soundararajan in the talk she gave together with Asha Kowtal from AIDMAM, at the high profile Women in The World Summit in New York. Uma Thurman introduced the talk by playing the part of a Dalit woman rape victim and NBC anchor Cynthia McFadden moderated the discussion.
Apr 5, 2014:
International garment brands not transparent about labour exploitation by their Indian suppliers: report (Down to Earth) :
An international organisation working for welfare of workers has drawn attention to the hazardous and exploitative working conditions of young girls working for the garment sector in Tamil Nadu.
An estimated 100,000 children and teenage girls are working in extremely oppressive conditions in the spinning mills and garment factories in Tamil Nadu, according to a report released by FNV Mondiaal (international department of Dutch trade union confederation) and the India Committee of the Netherlands. Most of the girls belong to Dalit communities and live in hostels, with little freedom of movement. They are underpaid, made to work for long hours in hazardous and unhealthy conditions. They are victims of "bonded labour" or "modern slavery", says the report.
Apr 1, 2014:
Reports of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women in India and Bangladesh (DNN) :
Reports of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women in India and Bangladesh:
The reports contain the findings of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, on her visit to India from 22 April to 1 May 2013 and to Bangladesh from 20 to 29 May 2013. In the report, the Special Rapporteur examines violence against women in the country, including root causes and consequences, and the implications of such violence on the effective exercise of human rights by women. She also discusses the State's responses and provides recommendations.
Mar 31, 2014:
A landmark judgement in the fight to eradicate manual scavenging (IDSN) :
Reports of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women in India and Bangladesh:
The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that the continuance of manual scavenging in the country is in blatant violation of Article 17 of the Constitution of India by which, “untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden”. The court was emphatic about the duty cast on all states and union territories “to fully implement the law and to take action against the violators”.
Mar 19, 2014:
Dalit women in India stage month-long march for justice (IDSN) :
For a full month Dalit women have marched in India to fight the vicious cycle of caste and gender discrimination that severely restricts the lives of Dalit women and subjects them to violence, rape and violations of their basic human rights in almost every sphere. They are marching to empower other Dalit women to stand up for themselves and join in the fight and they are demanding justice.
Mar 19, 2014:
Member states urged to address caste discrimination at UN Human Rights Council (IDSN) :
The European Parliament are urging EU member states to address caste discrimination at the March session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC25), currently underway. IDSN has issued recommendations for the HRC25 and Navi Pillay and Ban Ki-moon mention caste in their contributions to the council session.
Mar 10, 2014:
Drought in Pakistan kills over 100 children - many are Dalits (IDSN) :
Urgent and sustainable relief is needed for Dalits residing in the Thar desert who are repeatedly struck by drought. Over 100 children have died in this last drought and the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network have issued a press release calling for action to address the cause of these humanitarian catastrophes in Thar and find sustainable solutions to protect Dalits from droughts in future.
Feb 19, 2014:
When a Dalit family approaches the police (IndiaTogether) :
The oppression of the Dalit community, and especially its women, by upper caste society is still widely prevalent in Rasulpura village of Rajasthan’s Ajmer district. Shirish Khare visits the village to find that the agents of law are often equally discriminatory.
Feb 4, 2014:
South Asian parliamentarians join together to fight caste discrimination (IDSN) :
Parliamentarians from India, Nepal and Bangladesh have formed the ‘South Asian Parliamentary Forum’ (SAPF) to combat caste discrimination, at the historic ‘South Asia Parliamentarians Conference on Dalit Concerns’ in Kathmandu 8-9th December.
Jan 30, 2014:
UNICEF: Dalit girls most excluded from primary education in India (IDSN):
A report just released by UNICEF and UNESCO on out of school children in India highlights that Dalit girls have the highest primary school exclusion rate in India. The report also finds that half of the Pre-School age Dalit children are not attending school.
Jan 29, 2014:
Aid institutions gather in Delhi for launch of caste discrimination in disaster relief report (IDSN):
Key humanitarian actors including UNDP, ECHO, the Asian Disaster Reduction & Response Network, USAID and DFID gathered in New Delhi for the launch of the report Equality in Aid – Addressing Caste Discrimination in Humanitarian Response.
Jan 27, 2014:
Americans Declare Empathy with Dalits at US Congress event (IDSN):
Descendants of prominent African American families, who led the civil rights movement, presented a Declaration of Empathy to the US congress. The declaration appeals to all Americans to stand in solidarity with the Dalits of South Asia to fight caste discrimination and caste-based slavery.
Jan 24, 2014:
New Law to Ban Manual Removal of Human Waste Disappoints (New York Times):
Last month, human rights advocates should have rejoiced after the central government enacted the most stringent law against what is euphemistically called manual scavenging, which is the removal of human waste with bare hands.
Jan 18, 2014:
Dhaka Dalits push for anti-discrimination law (Al Jazeera):
Rickshaw-pullers in Dhaka will take their passengers inside almost any residential colony. But one loyal customer was surprised when a puller refused to enter Ganaktuli City Colony, a dilapidated area housing more than 3,000 members of the Dalit population. The Dalits were once known as "the untouchables" in many parts of South Asia.
Jan 6, 2014:
With Pakistan’s Hindu Dalits facing increasing violence, a need for reform (The Atlantic Post):
Long accustomed to discrimination, Pakistani Hindu Dalits in the Sindh Province of Pakistan, located in the southern part of the country, are fighting discrimination on two fronts due to their status as non-Muslims in a Muslim state and their low caste standing. Dalits have also been traditionally regarded as “untouchable” in the Hindu religion.
2013
up
Dec 19, 2013:
Arrest of 15 Dalit and Adivasi activists protesting against the government’s broken promises (IDSN):
Dalit and Adivasi activists protested in front of the Indian Parliament Tuesday, to convey their anger that India’s ruling parties have broken their promise to table important budget bills, meant to benefit Dalits and Adivasi (SCP TSP Legislation) and amendments to the act meant to prevent atrocities against Dalits and Adivasi (the SC/ST PoA act).
Dec 4, 2013:
Dalits and women suffer harsh impact of Nepal elections (IDSN):
Democracy in Nepal looks to have taken a sharp turn away from inclusion, with November’s Constituent Assembly election First-Past-the-Post results yielding close to zero representation for Dalits and only sparse representation of women. This is a major blow to Dalits, and particularly to Dalit Women, who have fought long and hard to have their voices heard in previous Parliament and Constituent Assemblies and have over the years gained influence in committees and in the constitution drafting process.
Dec 4, 2013:
New Manual Scavenging Legislation: New Hope and New Challenges (IDSN):
India is introducing new manual scavenging legislation meant to eradicate the humiliating practice of manual scavenging, which perseveres despite being outlawed for decades. Indian civil society are welcoming the initiative to introduce new legislation, but are flagging that the proposed draft legislation is missing critical necessary aspects that must be included before legislation is introduced on the 6th December.
Dec 4, 2013:
Campaign to stop Government shortchanging Dalits (IDSN):
Dalits in India have had enough of clever Government tricks to divert money meant for Dalits – under the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan – to other areas unrelated to them. They are demanding new legislation, to ensure that this practice, which has prevailed for years, is stopped and money is returned to the scheduled castes that were meant to benefit from them.
Nov 29, 2013:
Dalit speaks at UN Minority Forum (IDSN):
This year’s UN Forum on Minority Issues on 26-27 November focused on the rights of religious minorities, an issue of much relevance to Dalits in Pakistan and India. A Dalit representative from the latter country made an intervention in association with IDSN.
Nov 8, 2013:
UN Human Rights Chief: Bring down the beast of caste discrimination (IDSN):
UN High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, delivers a powerful speech on the urgent need to wipe out the “insidious stain” of caste discrimination and urges the UK not to tarnish their excellent record on human rights, by delaying implementation of UK anti-caste discrimination legislation.
Oct 22, 2013:
Global Slavery Index: Caste a major factor (IDSN):
Caste systems are present in four out of five countries ranked the worst slavery offenders, in the 2013 Global Slavery Index. India alone accounts for half of the people on the planet regarded as ’modern slaves’.
Oct 15, 2013:
IDSN report: Disasters hit Dalits harder (IDSN):
A new report reveals that Dalits are particularly vulnerable to disasters before and after they strike. Consequently, humanitarian actors must pay particular attention to their situation when preparing for and responding to emergencies.
Oct 15, 2013:
Finland vows to fight caste discrimination (IDSN):
The Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs has promised to take active measures in fighting caste discrimination. His statements came at an event organised by the Dalit Solidarity Network in Finland (DSN-Fi), which formed part of an impressive campaign week by DSN-Fi.
Oct 14, 2013:
Acquittals in massacre case shock Dalits (IDSN):
Almost 16 years after the savage killings of 58 Dalits in a Bihar village, the survivors’ fight for justice has suffered a severe blow. On 9 October, the Patna High Court acquitted 26 men who were sentenced for the crime three years ago.
Oct 10, 2013:
EP: The EU must fight caste discrimination (IDSN):
The elected representatives of half a billion Europeans from 28 countries in the European Parliament (EP) today adopted a strongly worded resolution on caste discrimination.
Oct 2, 2013:
Dalit women desperately seeking justice (IDSN):
The National Tribunal on Violence Against Dalit Women, organised by AIDMAM, heard over 45 testimonies of Dalit women who had been subjected to kidnapping, murder, physical assault, sexual violence and other crimes against them, and have yet to obtain justice.
Sep 19, 2013:
EP Committee approves caste resolution (IDSN):
Next month, the European Parliament will express serious concern about caste discrimination and urge the EU to take action on this serious human rights issue.
Sep 19, 2013:
Change in sight: New law for manual scavengers in consultation mode next week (The Hindu):
In order to discuss the new law The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, and to provide inputs in framing model rules for effective implementation of the law, a consultation has been organised on September 25 in the Capital.
Sep 9, 2013:
India passes bill on manual scavenging (IDSN):
A long awaited bill prohibiting manual scavenging was passed by the Indian parliament on 7 September. But two leading campaign organisations say that much needs to be done before the total eradication of this inhuman practice is achieved.
Sep 8, 2013:
Casting Rape: 101 Cases of Sexual Violence Against Dalit Women After Damini that Failed to Generate Mainstream Outrage (India Resists):
In the recent months, incidents of rape and other forms of violence against women have created lots of furore and anguish, and rightly so amongst middle class throughout the country. However, what is interesting to note is that the response to such crimes was/is highly selective. This table enlists 101 cases of brutal crimes against Dalit Women (reported between Damini/Nirbhaya Case, 16th Dec 2012 and Aasaram Arrest, 31st Aug 2013) which could hardly outrage the consciences of people. Hence, it’s important to ask that, Why Do Some Rape Deserve Anger and Others Do Not?
Aug 30, 2013:
Strong Dalit protests over Haryana death (IDSN):
The alleged rape and murder of a 20-year old Dalit woman in Haryana has prompted civil society groups to protest against the inaction of the authorities. Her body was found on 25 August in the city of Jind. The victim’s family and activists believe that she was gang-raped before being killed.
Aug 19, 2013:
Caste discrimination mars midday meal scheme: Ambitious program hobbled by the prejudice it aimed to end (UCAN India):
India's midday meal scheme for schoolchildren, billed as the world's largest hunger intervention project, lies on the fault lines of caste discrimination that is gnawing away at its social fundamentals, say ground level workers.
Aug 13, 2013:
Dalits in media feel the sting of caste discrimination (FirstPost):
Dalit journalists believe caste-based discrimination and antagonism against them is pervasive in the mainstream media, both print and electronic. They say this phenomenon is more rampant in Hindi and other language media than in the English media.
Aug 12, 2013:
Knock the Door Campaign: Knocking the Door of Parliamentarian for Early Passage of Law on Manual Scavenging Eradication (Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan):
Inhuman practice of manual scavenging is unabated till today despite having 20 year old law to prohibit it which is no longer effective. In order to effective total eradication of the practice, The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 3, 2012 by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Mukul Wasnik. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment. The Committee presented the recommendation report to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 4th March 2013. The bill will be discussed in the Monsoon Session 2013 of the Parliament thus Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan has launched a campaign Knock the Door.
Aug 9, 2013:
Scavengers threaten to block parliament (IDSN):
Hundreds of manual scavengers demonstrated in Delhi on 7 August against government apathy in abolishing the inhuman practice of manual scavenging. Unless legislation is introduced soon, they will return in their thousands and prevent parliament from functioning.
Jul 29, 2013:
No exits from these tunnels of death (The Hindu):
Deep-rooted caste biases and the brazen disregard by civic authorities of court judgments are the main reason for the frequent deaths of sewerage workers across India.
Jul 25, 2013:
Nepal – Women Suffer From Four Levels Of Discrimination (Jagaran Media Center):
Although the caste system was made illegal in 1962 in Nepal, it is still very much active throughout the country. The caste system is firmly embedded into Nepali culture in a complex structure that is difficult to untangle.
Jul 9, 2013:
MEPs question EU policy on caste issue (IDSN):
A discussion in the European Parliament’s Development Committee on 8 July focused on the need for an EU policy on caste discrimination. MEPs believe that this serious human rights problem warrants EU priority action and are preparing a resolution on the issue.
Jul 5, 2013:
Economic Empowerment Key To End Violence Against Dalit Women (República):
Violence against Dalit women will continue as long as they are not economically empowered, states a yet-to-be-published report.
Jun 29, 2013:
Affirmative action: Indian reservations (The Economist):
It has been a busy week for America's Supreme Court, as it returned rulings on cases regarding not only gay marriage but also affirmative action (to use the American euphemism) in the public universities. Looking ahead to this week two months ago the print edition considered affirmative action from a worldwide perspective. That issue took a very critical line on the entire phenomenon and paid special attention to examples from America, South Africa and Malaysia. India's experience was judged to be too exceptional—in large part because it does not concern race as such—for consideration in that briefing. But as America's Supremes have remanded the issue to lower courts for a while longer, we thought this would be a fine time to take a look at the case of castes.
Jun 28, 2013:
Steel project threatens thousands of Dalits (IDSN):
Rights groups have urged the Indian government to end human rights abuses tied to its project with South Korean steel giant POSCO and to stop illegal seizures of land that may forcibly displace thousands of Dalits and other vulnerable communities.
Jun 13, 2013:
In the land of Gandhi and Modi, Dalits still render water 'impure' for others (Daily Bhaskar):
Just 45 kms from the cosmopolitan hub of Ahmedabad, a village in Bavla Talika district has been found to be using caste as a parameter for distribution of water supply. On the scale, the highest castes of Rajputs and Patels have exclusive access to the well in the morning from 8 to 10 am, with Bharwas and Vaghris using the well from 10 to 12 am. Dalits, or Harijans as they are locally known, are only allowed access after 12 am till 2 pm.
Jun 10, 2013:
Dalit women raise their voices in the UN (IDSN):
Nine Dalit women activists from South Asia attended the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week. Members of the group spoke at a side event on Dalit women on 4 June, and they appealed to UN member states to address their situation.
Jun 7, 2013:
Take action to improve conditions for Dalit women (IDSN):
Women and girls facing caste-based discrimination need special protections: press release from Human Rights Watch, IMADR, Minority Rights Group International and IDSN.
Jun 5, 2013:
Pillay pledges support for Dalit women (IDSN):
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has reiterated her commitment to ending caste discrimination. In a statement to a UN side event on Dalit women, she also called on UN member states to address the issue.
May 31, 2013:
Manual scavenging: Death in the gutter (Frontline):
That manual scavenging continues to be a national shame became evident once again when two Dalits died of asphyxiation while cleaning a sewage tank in a private hotel in Chennai in Tamil Nadu on April 20. Shekar (45) and Robert (47) were the latest casualties of the abhorrent system of workers entering drains to clear blocks manually. Between February 2011 and December 2012, 19 people have died in this manner in the State, 15 of them in the capital city alone.
May 30, 2013:
Nepal: Dalits campaign for equal rights (IDSN):
Dalit civil society organisations in Nepal have launched a 12-day campaign against caste discrimination and ‘untouchability’. The campaign will put pressure on the government to implement existing legislation against caste discrimination.
May 29, 2013:
India: Official Dalit population exceeds 200 million (IDSN):
Figures from the 2011 census confirm that there are more than 200 million Scheduled Castes (the official term for Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Dalits) in India. The total number of Dalits is probably much higher as Muslim and Christian Dalits are not included in these figures.
May 24, 2013:
UN experts speak out on caste issue (IDSN):
Seven UN Special Procedures mandate holders have issued a powerful media statement, focusing on the violence and discrimination suffered by the world’s ‘untouchables’, particularly the Dalits of South Asia.
May 22, 2013:
Call for UN focus on Dalit women (IDSN):
IDSN has urged UN member states to recognise Dalit women as a particularly vulnerable group in the upcoming annual resolution in the Human Rights Council on violence against women.
May 15, 2013:
UN expert: Education system fails Dalits (IDSN):
In his most recent report, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism notes that discrimination against Dalits in the educational system is widespread in caste-affected countries. It leads to high dropout rates and even suicides.
May 2, 2013:
UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women: Culture of impunity harms Dalit women (IDSN):
On the last day of her visit to India, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms Rashida Manjoo, said that Dalit women experience some of the worst forms of discrimination and oppression.
May 2, 2013:
Half of India’s Dalit population lives in 4 states - UP, West Bengal, Bihar and TN (Kractivist):
Four states account for nearly half of the country’s Dalit population, reveals the 2011 census. Uttar Pradesh stands first with 20.5% of the total scheduled caste (SC) population, followed by West Bengal with 10.7%, says the data released by the Union census directorate on Tuesday. Bihar with 8.2% and Tamil Nadu with 7.2% come third and fourth. Dalits form around 16.6% of India’s population.
May 2013:
Young Women Exploitation in Tirupur Textile & Garment Industries with reference to Sumangali Scheme (International Journal of Engineering and Management Research):
After agriculture, the Textile and Clothing (T&C) Industry is the second largest sector in the Indian economy in terms of output, foreign exchange earnings and providing employment and employment-generating Industry in India. The latest estimates reveals that the direct employment of over 35 million people are engaged with Textile and Garment Industries across India, Tirupur and nearby Coimbatore have long been the centre of a textile and garment industry supplying a national market. Now, Tirupur is declared as a corporation from being just a municipality town, because of its demographic and geographical growth. The Textile Industry in Tamil Nadu particularly Tirupur has been reported to be exploiting young women workers in the spinning and textile units under what is called the “Sumangali Scheme.”
Apr 30, 2013:
Haryana: Dalit villagers are living in fear (IDSN):
Following the attack on 200 Dalit families by a dominant caste mob that was angered by an inter-caste marriage, many Dalits have fled Pabnava village in Haryana. Those who remain feel extremely insecure.
Apr 30, 2013:
UPR Bangladesh: Dalits need protection (IDSN):
When Bangladesh was reviewed by the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism on 29 April, concerns were expressed about the human rights situation of the country’s minorities, including Dalits.
Apr 26, 2013:
Britain moves a step closer to combating caste (New Internationalist):
There's been jubilation in some British circles. After several years of Dalit solidarity groups combating caste discrimination there, the House of Lords finally voted for legal protection to be given to the most vulnerable British citizens of Indian descent, primarily Indian and Sikh communities.
Apr 24, 2013:
Caste discrimination in Great Britain (DNN):
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recommends that the UK Government prohibit caste discrimination and provide remedies to victims of this form of discrimination.
Apr 2, 2013:
Child labour in the Indian textile industry: Rescue of Sumangali Girls (ICN):
Poverty stuck families where agriculture no longer wins them bread, send their daughters to jobs in textile mills under Sumangali scheme, also as a way for getting the girls married because they can earn their in the factories.
The Indian organization SAVE however writes: "Once the girls land into the industry, the core reality hits hard on them. The worst form of exploitation by the management make the workers exhausted and most of the bitter experiences remain unsaid inside the hearts of many girls."
Apr 2, 2013:
Pakistan: Dalits demand representation (IDSN):
Participants in a consultation on Dalit political representation have adopted a resolution urging political parties in Pakistan to nominate members of ‘scheduled castes’ for seats in the country’s elected assemblies.
Mar 28, 2013:
Answers Dutch Minister Timmermans to parliamentary questions on sexual violence against women in India and constraints for human rights organizations: Reaction by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN):
An almost two-third majority of the Dutch Parliament did ask the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Timmermans and the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Ploumen to undertake more action against (sexual) violence against women, especially Dalit women who frequently are victims. The Parliament was also very concerned about the fact that the Indian government put a large number of Indian and international organizations on a 'suspect list' and imposed visa restrictions on the latter. A reaction by the ICN....
Mar 23, 2013:
Karnataka: How a Government Job Spelt Doom for 37 Dalit Families (Tehelka):
When Lakshmamma, 33, applied for a job as a cook at an anganwadi, little did she know that it would blow up into a crisis, not only for her, but for all the 37 Dalit families in her village. For nearly four months, the Dalit community of Shivanagar village in Chitradurga district, 200 km from Bengaluru, has been protesting at Freedom Park in the state capital, against their ostracisation by the upper-caste residents of Majure, a village 12 km from Shivanagar.
Mar 7, 2013:
MRG: End violence against Dalit women (IDSN):
It is time for comprehensive action to end violence against Dalit women and girls, says Minority Rights Group International on International Women’s Day. The full statement follows here.
Mar 4, 2013:
Rally decries UK government caste policy (IDSN):
As anti-caste discrimination campaigners demonstrated outside the British Parliament, the House of Lords decided to back an amendment to a bill that would make caste discrimination illegal in the UK.
Mar-Apr 2013:
Inefficiency of the buyer-driven value chains of big multinational retail houses causes women labour exploitation (International Journal in Multidisciplinary and Academic Research (SSIJMAR)):
United States and European garment brands and retailers have failed in their attempts to structurally improve labor conditions at their suppliers in Tamil Nadu, South India. Despite corporate promises and a range of well-meaning initiatives, workers, mostly very young women, continue to suffer exploitative working conditions. Even today, thousands of women in the garment and textile industry in Tamil Nadu work under recruitment and employment plans that amount to bonded labour. Workers are recruited within as well outside of the state of Tamil Nadu. The majority of the workers are Dalit (outcaste) girls under 18 coming from poor families, who are lured with promises of a decent wage, comfortable accommodation and, in some cases a sum of money upon completion of the contract that may be used for their dowry. These recruitment and employment practices are often referred to as 'Sumangali scheme'.
Mar 2013:
Report Dalit Network Netherlands 2012 (DNN):
The Dalit Network Netherlands continued its political lobbying efforts in 2012 – with some very positive results. DNN contributed to a range of questions by MEPs, the European Parliament’s resolution on caste discrimination in India, and questions in the Dutch Parliament on the issue. The commitment by the new Dutch Foreign Minister to take up the Dalit issue in the EU can be considered a particular achievement.
Feb 28, 2013:
Study: The EU should be caste-inclusive (IDSN):
A new study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Committee on Development recommends a stronger EU role in the fight against caste discrimination. The study has been well received by Members of the European Parliament.
Feb 28, 2013:
Dalits affected by 'implementation gap' (IDSN):
The UN Independent Expert on minority issues spoke at a UN event on 28 February of the lack of implementation of laws that are supposed to protect Dalits from discrimination and caste-related crimes.
Feb 21, 2013:
Caste inequalities recognised in post-2015 development agenda (IDSN):
As the discussion on how to take the global development agenda beyond the original Millennium Development Goals intensifies, IDSN recommends that issues related to caste discrimination be included in this important framework.
Feb 4, 2013:
Dalit NGO Navsarjan wins award (IDSN):
The Dalit human rights organisation and long-standing IDSN associate, Navsarjan, has won a prestigious award instituted by The Times of India newspaper.
Jan 31, 2013:
Scavengers’ march sends message of hope (IDSN):
After travelling thousands of kilometres through 18 Indian states, the Maila Mukti Yatra – a march to eradicate manual scavenging – concluded today with an event in New Delhi. The attendance by high level officials from the Government of India as well as the United Nations is a measure of the Yatra’s success.
Jan 30, 2013:
Dalit women in Pakistan - denied a life in dignity and respect (IDSN):
A new report documents the situation of Pakistan's Dalit women; one of the most socially excluded and impoverished sections of the population. The shadow report for a UN CEDAW review of Pakistan in February calls on the Government to focus on education, access to basic services, and laws and special programmes to protect the rights of Dalit women.
Jan 17, 2013:
EP urges India to fight violence against women (IDSN):
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on violence against women in India. The document contains several references to caste discrimination and the situation of Dalit women.
Jan 11, 2013:
Denied passport, Dalit activist fails to receive Dutch honour in person (The Hindu):
Marimuthu Bharathan, a Dalit activist who was selected for the Dutch Human Rights Tulip 2012 award from among 66 contenders across the globe, could not attend the function held on Wednesday (January 9) after being denied a passport.
Jan 9, 2013:
Dalit award winner is refused passport (DNN):
The winner of the Dutch Human Rights Tulip 2012 is barred from traveling to the Netherlands to receive his award. Marimuthu Bharathan, a Dalit human rights defender from Tamil Nadu, has been refused a passport by the Indian authorities.
Jan 5, 2013:
Delhi Gang-Rape Protests: What About The Sex Crimes Against Untouchable Women? (International Business Times):
The gang rape of a young Indian medical student on a bus in Delhi - and her subsequent death - has unexpectedly galvanized a huge protest movement calling for a complete overhaul of the nation's attitudes toward and treatment of women.
2012
up
Dec 13, 2012:
European Parliament adopts historic resolution on Dalits (press release IDSN):
A strongly worded resolution on caste discrimination in India was debated and adopted today by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Parliament condemned the high number of atrocities committed against Dalits in India and the Indian government’s insufficient action on the issue of caste discrimination.
Nov 29, 2012:
Dalits march against manual scavenging (IDSN):
A national march – the Maila Mukti Yatra - will cross India with a call for the total eradication of ‘the slavery of manual scavenging’. It happens at a time when prominent campaigners have expressed scepticism towards new legislation against this banned, but continuing, practice.
Nov 26, 2012:
Minister promises amendments to PoA Act (IDSN):
Thousands of Dalits and Adivasis gathered in Delhi on Friday to demand amendments to the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. The government may bring in these amendments early next year.
Nov 1, 2012:
UN states strongly concerned about minority rights in Pakistan (IDSN):
When Pakistan was reviewed by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism on 30 October, many states expressed concern about the human rights situation of religious minorities, including scheduled castes.
Oct 26, 2012:
Huge Dalit rally planned for November (IDSN):
A coalition of 150 Indian NGOs is demanding amendments to - and proper implementation of - the laws that are supposed to protect Dalits and Adivasis from atrocities. The campaign is gathering momentum.
Oct 26, 2012:
Huge Dalit rally planned for November (IDSN):
A coalition of 150 Indian NGOs is demanding amendments to - and proper implementation of - the laws that are supposed to protect Dalits and Adivasis from atrocities. The campaign is gathering momentum.
Oct 11, 2012:
Employment or Exploitation: Are suppliers to retailers like Walmart, Carrefour sweatshops? (The Economic Times):
It isn't often that the biggest rivals in the world of retail - Walmart and Carrefour - find themselves on the same side of a negotiations table.
That they did so one afternoon early last month at the old-wordly headquarters of the Southern India Mills' Association, a body of yarnmakers based in Coimbatore that accounts for half of India's yarn exports, is a pointer to the heady challenge facing them and the mills.
Oct 3, 2012:
Washing off this stain will need more (The Hindu):
The 2012 Bill on banning manual scavenging cannot achieve its objective without a roadmap for rehabilitation.
Sep 27, 2012:
When did rape cease being news? (New Internationalist):
A few days ago, major TV channels highlighted a case in which a Dalit girl was gang-raped in Haryana, near Punjab. That’s not really news, here in India. Rape, today, is India’s fastest-growing crime.
Sep 13, 2012:
UN experts call for end to caste-based stigma and slavery (IDSN):
IDSN press release: UN officials and Dalit activists called on states to address the stigma and exclusion caused by caste discrimination at a side event during the 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Aug 31, 2012:
Employers of manual scavengers to face prison (IDSN):
The Indian government is ready to introduce new legislation to end manual scavenging. The proposed bill includes tough penalties for those who continue to employ people as scavengers.
Aug 20, 2012:
Casting out Caste in Britain (blog Geeta Bandi-Phillips, Huffington Post):
“What is your caste?” I would be asked. In London. When walking with my husband, who is white, I’d be asked, “Could your parents not find any good Indian boy? What is your caste anyway?” When my answer was just to smile or walk away, the quiet whisper was always “She must be from a low caste. Otherwise why would you not tell? I can’t imagine our children doing that. My husband would kill us all”.
Aug 11, 2012:
Corporate Boards in India - Blocked by Caste? (Economic & Political Weekly):
An examination of the caste diversity of Indian corporate boards of a thousand top Indian companies – accounting for four-fifths of market capitalisation of all companies listed in the major stock indices in India – measured by the Blau index shows that their median score for 2010 is zero, indicating that there is no diversity at all. Indian corporate boards continue to remain “old boys clubs” based on caste affi liation rather than on other considerations (like merit or experience).
Jul 13, 2012:
Can Bollywood shatter India's caste system? (New Internationalist):
Recently, Aamir Khan – leading film star and household name all over the India where Bollywood reigns supreme – began a prime-time show tackling India's most serious issues. And the whole country is riveted.
Jun 22, 2012:
> Manual Scavengers: The Dirty Picture (Part 2) (NDTV):
Manual scavenging, the shameful practice of scooping human excreta from dry toilets with brooms and metal scrapers, continues to persist in the country.
Jun 15, 2012:
> Manual Scavengers: The Dirty Picture (Part 1) (NDTV):
Manual scavenging, the shameful practice of scooping human excreta from dry toilets with brooms and metal scrapers, continues to persist in the country.
Jun 13, 2012:
India’s ‘human rights exam’ at UN Human Rights Council (ICN):
On the 24th of May India is undergoing its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council. It is the second time that India has to do this 'human rights exam' in which it will be questioned by other countries on its human rights record and recommendations will be given to improve it. By the way: on October 30th 2012 it is Pakistan’s turn for the UPR.
Jun 11, 2012:
UPRs of India and the UK: Observations on outcomes and follow up (IDSN):
As a follow up to the Universal Periodic Reviews of India and the UK on 24 May, IDSN calls for the effective implementation of all caste-related recommendations and for constructive engagement with civil society in the implementation process.
Jun 10, 2012:
Take those earplugs out (Hindustan Times):
A group of upper caste youth allegedly urinated on the face of a Dalit vendor, Ashok Kumar, after beating him up in Rohtak on May 28. He was beaten up outside a liquor store when he tried to stop five Jat youths from stealing his money and the eggs that he sells everyday. Though some onlookers rescued him, the gang attacked him again at an isolated place in the night.
Jun 3, 2012:
Caste Off (Good.is):
When Sathya walked out of Saravana Polythreads in 2009, she was aided by an Arunthathiyar NGO called READ (Rights, Education and Development Centre. Sathya later got a job at READ, where she met Veran, the man who is now her husband. Last summer, she left READ and had a baby girl.
Sathya is one of the luckier people in JJ Nagar. According to READ, there are still 146 people cleaning human excrement by hand. The stigma of this archaic practice extends to their children, who are often tasked with cleaning toilets at school, perpetuating the cycle.
May 14, 2012:
UN Members Should Act to End Caste Discrimination says Human Rights Watch and IDSN (IDSN):
United Nations member states should make ending caste-based discrimination a priority when they review India’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in late May, 2012, Human Rights Watch and the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) said today. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India at the Human Rights Council is scheduled for May 24. [press release HRW/IDSN]
May 13, 2012:
ARTICLE 17: An innovating video campaign to end untouchability (DNN):
ARTICLE 17 is a campaign launched by Video Volunteers on April 14th, 2012, to urge the National Commission for Schedule Castes, (the government body that is constitutionally appointed to direct and implement the safeguards against untouchability), to prosecute cases of untouchability. Community Correspondents across the country are documenting video testimonies of different forms of untouchability. The first 22 videos are featured here and more will be added as the campaign continues.
May 10, 2012:
Tøjindustrien udnytter stadigt kasteløse (AktiveForBrugere.dk):
Unge kasteløse kvinder udnyttes stadigt i Indiens tøjindustri. Det dokumenter en ny rapport Maid in India som følger op på en tilsvarende rapport Captured By Cotton fra 2011.
...
Alt dette afslører en ny rapport Maid in India fra Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) og the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN).
May 9, 2012:
Motion passed in Dutch Parliament on full supply chain transparency in India's garment industry, following report highlighting Dalits in bonded labour (IDSN):
A Motion in the Dutch Parliament on full supply chain transparency in the garment industry in India has been adopted in the wake of the report Maid in India by SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands.
May 1, 2012:
India's Dalit women and the real cost of fast fashion (Women's Views On News):
The High Street frenzy that follows when the Duchess of Cambridge is snapped wearing a new dress can lead to 24-hour shifts for women working in some of India's garment factories.
That's one of the findings of a new report Maid in India that reveals the impact that unexpected orders and the frequency at which high street stores change their collections is having on some of India's most disadvantaged women.
May(?) 2012:
Maid in India - Young Dalit women continue to suffer exploitative conditions in India's garment industry (Eldis):
In Tamil Nadu young women workers continue to suffer exploitative working conditions while making garments for Western brands. Thousands of girls work under recruitment and employment schemes that amount to bonded labour. In this report the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) present their findings on the labour conditions in the South Indian garment and textile industry.
Apr 30, 2012:
Dalit women exploited in garment supply chain (Just-Style.com):
Clothing supplied to leading European and US brands by the Indian garment industry is being produced by young Dalit (or Untouchables, as they were formerly labelled) women, a new report claims.
Apr 27, 2012:
Manual Scavenging highlighted by ILO and others in conferences, reports and a hearing (IDSN):
These past months have seen a flurry of activity to support the struggle to end the abhorrent practice of Dalits being employed to remove human waste from dry latrines manually which persists despite having been officially abolished by law in India since 1993. In India, the ILO has organised a conference to address this problem.
Apr 27, 2012:
Saga of 'Maid in India' (The Hindu):
Thousands of young Dalit girls, between the ages of 14 to 25 employed in the garment and textile industry in Tamil Nadu continue to work under exploitative conditions akin to bonded labour, concludes a report Maid in India.
Apr 26, 2012:
Reacción de la moda a denuncias en India “es insuficiente” (FashionUnited.es):
A pesar de las promesas de cambio e iniciativas con buenas intenciones de algunas empresas europeas y americanas de vestimenta, los trabajadores textiles en la región de Tamil Nadu, al sur de India siguen siendo explotados.
Así se señala en el informe Maid in India dado a conocer ayer por el Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations -una organizaciín independiente holandesa sin ánimo de lucro que escruta a las grandes multinacionales- y el India Committee of the Netherlands -una ONG del mismo país impulsora de la campaña Clean Clothes (Ropas Limpias) contra la explotación vinculada al comercio textil.
Apr 26, 2012:
Maid in India (Saubere-Kleidung.de):
Die holländischen NGOs The Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) und The India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) haben eine Folgestudie unter dem Titel Maid in India veröffentlicht, die die Arbeitssituation der Textilangestellten in den Indien in den Blick nimmt. Die vorangegangene Studie Captured by Cotton aus dem Jahre 2011 verdeutlichte die katastrophale Arbeitsrechts- und Lebenssituation der TextilarbeiterInnen in der Region Tamil Nadu (Distrikt im Süden Indiens). Auf der Grundlage dieser Ergebnisse kündigten einige Unternehmen, die in den Fabriken dort produzieren oder sich von dort mit Rohmaterial beliefern lassen, an, dass sie Schritte zu Verbesserungen einleiten wollen.
Apr 26, 2012:
Trotz der Versprechen von Seiten der Industrie leiden junge Dalit-Frauen weiterhin unter ausbeuterischen Bedingungen in Indiens Bekleidungsindustrie (FemNet-ev.de):
Die holländischen Organisationen the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) und The India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) haben eine Folgestudie unter dem Titel Maid in India veröffentlicht, die die Arbeitssituation der Textilangestellten in den Indien in den Blick nimmt. Die Lebens- und Arbeitssituation junger, oft unter 18-jährigen Dalit-Frauen, den sogenannten "Unberührbaren", sowie das Sumangali-Schema werden dabei aufführlich dargestellt und die bisherigen Bemühungen der europäischen und UA-amerikanischen Bekleidungshersteller kritisiert.
Apr 26, 2012:
BSCI responds to Sumangali report Maid in India (BSCI):
On 25 April a joint report entitled Maid in India was released by Dutch organisations, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN). Maid in India follows up on SOMO and ICN’s initial research Captured by Cotton, released in May 2011 which highlighted the poor conditions imposed on Dalit girls in the garment industry in India. In the conclusions of the report, actions from producers and companies were requested along with recommended actions for companies. Maid in India follows up on this report and evaluates to what degree these actions have been implemented.
Apr 3, 2012:
Census 2011 belies Gujarat's claims, 2,500 households still use manual scavenging (The Indian Express):
For Gujarat, that has declared itself as a “manual scavenging free state” since 1992, the data from Census 2011 reveals a presence of over 2,500 households in the state where the night soil is removed physically by humans.
Mar 31, 2012:
Pakistan's caste system: The untouchable's struggle (The Express Tribune):
Sabir Arif, a student of finance and cost management in one of Lahore's private institutions lives in a hut made of wood, cloth and plastic sheets. His only source of income is the private tuitions he provides to others to keep his makeshift home intact.
The son of a daily wager, Sabir is not a typical victim of abject poverty in the city. Reminiscing about how he read Russian literature when he came across old story books while picking garbage in class seven, Sabir says his great challenge in life has been his caste – that he was born a Deendar Changar – Pakistan's version of the 'untouchables'.
Mar 30, 2012:
A blot upon the nation (The Hindu):
A national public hearing on rehabilitation of manual scavengers throws up several issues that need immediate redress to restore dignity to the community.
Mar 27, 2012:
Manual scavengers in Erode district, Tamil Nadu (YouTube):
Recent research exposed 146 manual scavengers found in ERODE dist, Tamil Nadu. Most of them are belong to Arunthathiyer community (Research study done by Rights education Development Centre (READ), Sathyamangalam).
Mar 24, 2012:
A law for atonement (The Hindu):
The new Bill on eliminating manual scavenging with stronger accountability mechanisms can be a major milestone in our journey for equality.
Mar 23, 2012:
Trabajo esclavo en la India: tres empresas españolas están incluidas en la 'lista negra' (ElConfidencial.com):
Niñas y adolescentes trabajando sin contrato, privadas de libertad y en condiciones insalubres durante más de 72 horas a la semana por un salario de 0,88 euros al día, del que sólo podrán disponer cuando hayan transcurrido de tres a cinco años y que servirá para pagar su dote matrimonial. Ese es el sombrío escenario laboral de miles de jóvenes del estado de Tamil Nadu, al sur de la India, que son empleadas en condiciones que rozan la esclavitud por empresas textiles de aquel país que luego suministran sus productos a grandes firmas internacionales, entre ellas las españolas Inditex, El Corte Inglés y Cortefiel.
Mar 13, 2012:
Dalit human rights defenders need urgent protection says UN expert at UN Side-event (IDSN):
The UN Expert on Human Rights Defenders, Ms. Margaret Sekkagaya, spoke out against the unacceptable situation faced by those defending Dalit human rights in South Asia, at a UN side-event, held on March 9th in Geneva, where panellists also included Dalit human rights defenders from several caste-affected countries in the region.
Mar 5, 2012:
Dalits still working in bonded labour in the cotton industry despite some improvements, new report finds (IDSN):
Follow-up report highlights improvements but warns that root problems remain and bonded labour continues to exist in the cotton industry (Based on Fact Sheet from SOMO & ICN).
Feb 9, 2012:
UN expert deeply disturbed by the situation of Dalit human rights defenders in India (IDSN):
The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders has released a report with a strong focus on the dire situation of Dalit human rights defenders, following her 2011 visit to India.
Jan 10, 2012:
Atrocities against Dalit women go unpunished - new study from Navsarjan Trust (IDSN):
Navsarjan Trust have released the study 'Gender Violence and Access to Justice for Dalit Women in collaboration with Minority Rights Group International. The report finds Dalit women face severe difficulties in accessing justice and are extremely vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and other atrocities.
2011
up
Dec 14, 2011:
Opening the door to equal justice for Dalits in Nepal: OHCHR-Nepal disseminates its report (IDSN):
The United Nations Human Rights Office in Nepal (OHCHR Nepal) organized a regional symposium on access to justice for victims of caste-based discrimination. Challenges, lessons learned and good practices from Nepal were shared with participants from the country and other South Asian nations. The Office’s report - Opening the Doors to Equality: Access to Justice for Dalits in Nepal - served as the basis for the discussion.
Dec 13, 2011:
Dalit women participate in the UN Forum on Minority Issue (IDSN):
Dalit human rights defenders from India, Nepal and Bangladesh voiced their concerns about effective political participation of Dalit women at the 4th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. The thematic focus of the session, which was held in Geneva on 29-30 November 2011, was “Guaranteeing the rights of minority women”.
Dec 13, 2011:
AHRC Statement: India: Dalits should save themselves through justice reforms (IDSN):
A way to effectively address caste-based discrimination in India is by reforming institutions of justice administration. This means changing the manner in which institutions like the police, prosecution and judiciary function in the region. At the moment, what are obtained in the name of human rights are only empty promises. When public institutions of justice fail having a law to guarantee non-discrimination of Dalits is of no meaning. What is achieved in India will have tremendous influence in the region.
Dec 10, 2011:
AHRC Statement: NEPAL: Commitments to accountability and justice continue to be jeopardized in 2011 (IDSN):
"The adoption of legislation criminalizing caste-based discrimination was a great achievement in 2011 for the Dalit community, who had long been advocating for this legislation. However, this legislation runs the risk of being rendered meaningless, if no tangible rejuvenation of the justice system takes place."
Dec 10, 2011:
Urgent Global Call for Action to End Caste Discrimination (IDSN):
Press Release: Activists, members of international organisations, NGOs, Solidarity Networks and researchers from across the world, have launched a landmark Urgent Global Call for Action to Eliminate Caste-Based Discrimination.The call was launched on the 1st December, as an outcome of the International Consultation on Good Practices and Strategies to Eliminate Caste Based Discrimination, held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Oct 22, 2011:
AHRC Letter: Nepal: Government should prioritize Dalits’ food security (IDSN):
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) calls for Government attention to Nepal’s Dalits, the Gandharva community in particular, who suffer from severe food insecurity and poverty.
Oct 20, 2011:
Liberated manual scavenger women met 64 parliamentarians for new legislation (Garima Abhiyabn/Jan Sashas):
Inhuman practice of manual scavenging is unabated till today despite having 18 year old law to prohibit it which is no longer effective. Rastriya Garima Abhiyan has demanded a new law to curb this practice effectively. The campaign has been striving for last one decade to abolish manual scavenging in various states of India.
Oct 3, 2011:
UN: End the bonded labour system in Nepal (IDSN):
The UN and national level Dalit bodies are urging the Government to end the bonded labour system in Nepal, known as the Haliya system, and implement rehabilitation schemes for freed Haliyas. Haliyas in Nepal are predominantly Dalits, excluded from other work due to rampant caste discrimination.
Sep 26, 2011:
Pakistan’s Dalits denied flood relief because of caste discrimination (IDSN):
Desperately needed shelter and relief items are not reaching hundreds of thousands of Dalits who are left homeless after the severe flooding in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Dalits are being discriminated against because their caste relegates them to the bottom of the social order in Pakistan and ‘untouchability practices’ exclude them from sharing the same shelters as other members of society.
Sep 20, 2011:
Caste-based slavery in the mining sector highlighted in UN debate (IDSN):
The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery noted with concern that children from marginalised groups, including tribal and lower caste communities, are "doubly vulnerable to abuses" in the mining sector.
Sep 15, 2011:
Police kill at least six Dalits in shoot out - Evidence of torture found (IDSN):
People’s Watch Tamil Nadu have launched a fact finding mission in relation to the alleged police shooting of at least 6 Dalits, when police fired into a crowd on Sunday 11 September at Paramakudi in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The preliminary findings confirm that police were to blame for the incident and that several of those allegedly shot dead had in fact been subjected to brutal police torture.
Sep 12, 2011:
UN Committee: Caste discrimination in the UK should be outlawed (IDSN):
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recommends that the UK Government prohibit caste discrimination and provide remedies to victims of this form of discrimination.
Sep 3, 2011:
In Perali village, Dalits can't cycle in upper caste areas (The Hindu):
After several years of struggle and agitation, the Dalits of Perali village in Perambalur district say they continue to face discrimination at the hands of caste Hindus. They still cannot ride a bicycle on streets where upper caste members reside. Those who dare to violate the ‘ban' face abuse and threats.
Aug 17, 2011:
UN Committee urges Nepal to increase political participation of Dalit women (IDSN):
The UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) examined Nepal on 20 July, and recommended the Government to take specific measures to increase the “very low” political representation of Dalit and indigenous women at national and local level.
Aug 8, 2011:
India 'Shines' While It Sinks: Dalits Hit by 'Globalization' (Basantipur Times):
'India shining' truly does encapsulate the experience of some Indians, but this banal slogan is a cruel joke as far as literally hundreds of millions of other Indians are concerned, whose conditions have rapidly worsened in recent years at the same time as ruling elites and the burgeoning Indian middle-classes have thrived and prospered. As numerous studies have shown, the unprecedented prosperity the latter have witnessed has been at the cost of a huge section of the Indian population, whose grueling exploitation has made their prosperity possible. [...] A recently-published study, titled Captured by Cotton: Exploited Dalit Girls Produce Garments in India for European and US Markets, brilliantly brings out how multinational corporations and Indian corporate houses are raking in vast profits by exploiting cheap Indian Dalit women's labour on a vast scale, with these labourers living in slavery-like conditions. A joint publication of the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, the India Committee of the Netherlands, and the Campaign Against Sumangali Scheme, the report highlights the grueling conditions under which Dalit girls are compelled to work in hundreds of spinning mills and garment factories across Tamil Nadu that are oriented to the foreign market and are one of India's major sources of foreign exchange earnings.
Jul 29, 2011:
Dutch parliament urges end to caste discrimination (Radio Netherlands Worldwide/SouthAsiaWired.org):
Dutch parliament supports a proposal to combat caste discrimination which is still rife in South Asian societies such as India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It has urged Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to work with South Asian governments to improve the position and life of the 250 million 'Dalits'.
Jul 23, 2011:
Ruth Manorama: A relentless crusader (The Hindu):
Ruth Manorama started her work with the urban poor in her youth; there has been no turning back ever since. She is the powerful voice of Dalit women today.
Jul 14, 2011:
Conference on Dalit Rights & the UN (IDSN):
The Conference on Decade of Dalit Rights UN, 2011-20: Decisive Decade against Discrimination based on Work and Descent was held in Geneva on June 24-25, 2011.
Jun 29, 2011:
India: Dalit girls exploited in garment industry (OneWorld South Asia):
The report Captured by Cotton published by Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) vividly outlines the plight of Dalit girls working in the textile mills of Tamil Nadu. These girls are lured in with promises of good food, accommodation and salaries, but delivered inhuman working and living conditions.
Jun 26, 2011:
Eyewitness Account: Child Labor in North India's Hand-Woven Carpet Sector (GoodWeave):
The carpet belt of North India stretches across the state of Uttar Pradesh from the town of Allahabad, east to Bhadohi, ending in the rural reaches beyond Varanasi. The author has visited this area several times across the last decade, and despite recent pronouncements by the government of India that child labor no longer exists in the country's hand-woven carpet sector, there are still innumerable shacks and village huts in this area in which children as young as 10 years of age are coerced to work 16 or more hours a day weaving carpets for export to Europe and North America.
Jun 15, 2011:
UN: Better protection against discrimination for Roma and victims of caste systems (IDSN):
In a report stressing the need for better protection against discrimination for Roma and victims of caste systems, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mr. Githu Muigai, warns that the rights of an estimated 250 million people across the globe are at risk because they are subjected to discrimination on the basis of caste or other social systems based on inherited status.
Jun 2011:
Captured by Cotton (InfoChange India):
Excerpts from a report published by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporation (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN). The report features case studies of four large manufacturers: Eastman Global Clothing Exports, KPR Mill, Bannari Amman, and SSM India. These enterprises produce for Bestseller (eg Only, Jack &Jones), C&A, GAP, Diesel, Inditex (eg Zara), Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, and many other European and US garment companies. A number of companies have undertaken steps towards the elimination of the Sumangali Scheme, but abusive labour practices remain widespread.
Jun 2011:
Dalit girls exploited in supply chain of high street retailers (Dalit Freedom Network):
A recently published report by two Dutch based organisations has highlighted the exploitation of Dalit girls in the supply chains of major UK high street retailers. The report focuses on the Sumangali Scheme in Tamil Nadu state, which is claimed to be akin to bonded labour, a form of modern slavery still widely practised in India even though it has been outlawed.
Jun(?) 2011:
Slavery or Sumangali? Exploitation of Dalit Girls Exposed (Im4Change):
Women's stepping out of their homes to work is often seen as a symbol of empowerment. But what if girls and young women are first lured to work in factories on the false promise of decent wage, comfortable accommodation and payment of a lump sum amount at the end of 3 years contract, and then made to toil for pittance and their labour rights are violated?
May 27, 2011:
Captured by Cotton (HAQ):
In India, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, girls and young women are recruited and employed on a large scale to work in the garment industry.
May 26, 2011:
Worst Forms of Child Labor Occur in India's Garment Industry, Says Report (Ecouterre):
It is an appalling fact that child labor is still an issue in various countries across the world. Children as young as 10 are subjected to unacceptable work conditions to produce garments for the European and U.S. markets, according to a new report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), a nonprofit based in the Netherlands. A collaboration with the India Committee of the Netherlands, “Captured by Cotton” shines the spotlight on the exploitative Sumangali scheme, a form of bonded labor in India's garment industry, particularly in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
May 25, 2011:
Captured by Cotton (Media Voices For Children):
This report, jointly produced by SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations) and ICN (India Committee of the Netherlands) highlights several labour rights violations faced by girls and young women employed under the Sumangali Scheme in the Tamil Nadu garment industry.
May 21, 2011:
Captured by Cotton - A Story of Dalit Girls of Tamil Nadu (GroundReport.com/Ummid.com/Aid Netherlands/IndianMuslimObserver.com):
Jack & Jones, C&A, GAP, Diesel, Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, well these names rings the tune of global brands manufacturing high class cotton merchandise.
Little is known fact about such high profile garment manufactures chain is about the nature of their sourcing activity. These big garment brands have their products made under exploitative and unhealthy conditions by girls in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, India. The girls, mostly younger than 18 and from a Dalit ('outcaste') background are employed under the 'Sumangali Scheme.'
May 21, 2011:
Worst forms of child labour in garment sector, SOMO-ICN report (Fibre2Fashion):
Big garment brands and retailers have their products made under exploitative and unhealthy conditions by girls in Tamil Nadu, South India. The girls, mostly younger than 18 and from a Dalit ('outcaste') background are employed under the Sumangali Scheme.
May 20, 2011:
Captured by Cotton: Exploited Dalit girls produce garments in India for European and US markets (International Labor Rights Forum/PratigyaIndia.org):
This report highlights several labour rights violations faced by girls and young women employed under the Sumangali Scheme in the Tamil Nadu garment industry.
May 20, 2011:
Exploited Dalit Girls Produce Garments in India for European and US Markets - Companies Have Taken Steps, But Exploitation Remains Widespread (PR Newswire/DesignLookOut.com/National Academy for Dalit (NAD)/Rights for People/Bahujan News/EthicalQuote.com):
Big garment brands and retailers have their products made under exploitative and unhealthy conditions by girls in Tamil Nadu, South India. The girls, mostly younger than 18 and from a Dalit ('outcaste') background are employed under the Sumangali Scheme. In its worst form, this employment scheme stands for bonded labour, as described in 'Captured by Cotton', a report published today by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporation (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN). The report features case studies of four large manufacturers. These enterprises produce for Bestseller (e.g. Only, Jack & Jones), C&A, GAP, Diesel, Inditex (e.g. Zara), Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, and many other European and US garment companies. A number of companies have undertaken steps towards the elimination of the Sumangali Scheme, but abusive labour practices remain widespread.
May 20, 2011:
The Sumangali Girls?, of What? Rampant abuse of young Dalit girls to produce Export Garments? (Zimbio):
Big garment brands and retailers have their products made under exploitative and unhealthy conditions by girls in Tamil Nadu, South India. The girls, mostly younger than 18 and from a Dalit (´outcaste´) background are employed under the Sumangali Scheme. In its worst form, this employment scheme stands for bonded labour, as described in Captured by Cotton, a report published today by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporation (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN).
May 20, 2011:
Captured by Cotton: Dalit girls produce garments in India for European and US markets (IndiaMike):
Captured by Cotton: Dalit girls produce garments in India for European and US markets
May 19, 2011:
Dalit girls working under slave like conditions in India's garment industry (IDSN):
Multinational clothing brands are sourcing from cotton spinning mills in Tamil Nadu that exploit teenage girls, subjecting them to what the ILO terms the ‘worst forms of child labour’.
May 16, 2011:
The Cost of Cotton (ICN/CHR&GJ): Every 30 minutes an Indian farmer commits suicide:
India is failing to address its farmer suicide crisis, says the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), in a report released yesterday that has indentified an agrarian crisis in India where farmer suicides are on the rise and caste discrimination only exacerbates the problem.
Apr 15, 2011:
Lives Wasted In Gutters (VideoVolunteers):
Two manual scavengers were killed while working without any safety masks or gloves which necessarily have to be provided by the government.
Mar 24, 2011:
Microcredit Pitfalls: The Experience Of Dalit Women In India (Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)):
Microfinance is often regarded as having significant potential to alleviate poverty. Despite some success stories, though, micro-credit arrangements with unscrupulous lenders frequently contribute to making bad situations worse by driving women deeper into poverty and desperation. Many Dalit women have experienced the down-side of microcredit, the most common form of microfinance.
Jan 19, 2011:
Mari Thekaekara on what caste discrimination means in practice to Dalit women, men and children (DNN):
On the website of Dalit Network Netherlands (www.dalits.nl), Mari Marcel Thekaekara will write a series of at least six articles on issues relating to Dalit women, men and children. The series is giving 'views from the inside' on a number of aspects of what caste discrimination means in practice but also what is done against it in India.
2010
up
Oct 28, 2010:
Indian Churches: 'Zero tolerance´ for caste discrimination :
Caste discrimination, or casteism, was designated a sin and a "crime against humanity" at the Ecumenical Conference on Justice for Dalits held in New Delhi on 22-24 October. Commitment to exercise zero tolerance for the sin of caste discrimination were given by the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI).
Oct 26, 2010:
Manu Over Ambedkar: Gujarat's Balmiki kids face daily humiliations in school and village (Outlook):
Children of safai karmacharis in Gujarat are forced by teachers to clean toilets and mop floors in school. They are abused and beaten if they refuse to do the menial tasks. They are treated as untouchables and kept at arm’s length by upper caste students. In some areas, they are not even allowed to drink from a common source of water. Reports of their notebooks were never being corrected since teachers don’t like to handle their books.
Oct 12, 2010:
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: 'Tear down the wall of caste' (DNN):
Governments in countries with caste systems should respond to the call from a top UN official to end this form of discrimination, Human Rights Watch, the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) and the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) said today. The organisations urged governments in South Asia and other regions to cooperate with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who has issued a strong call to end caste discrimination.
Sep 2010:
Launching of Samajik Parivartan Yatra for Eradication of Manual Scavenging in India (Safai Karmachari Andolan):
Manual scavenging is the most obnoxious and inhuman practice violating the dignity and human personhood of safai karmacharis. It involves the engagement or employment of sections of people to manually dispose human excreta from dry latrines with bare minimum aids such as scarappers, brooms and baskets.
Jun 5, 2010:
How mining effects children, women, Adivasi, Dalits / ISO 26000 Guidance (Dalit News from Kerala):
Here is another round of news on the activities of the India Committee of The Netherlands (ICN) and some coalitions in which it participates.
Jun 2010:
Mining and its effects on children, women, Adivasi and Dalits (ICN):
Reports recently released by Indian NGOs reveal the desperate situation for children and adults living and working in mining areas in India. Among them Dalits, Adivasi and women are the main victims. The report India's Childhood in the "Pits" published by HAQ, SAMATA and mines, minerals and People (mmP) shows that districts that are entirely dependent on mining have a lower literacy rate than the national average. The mortality rate of children under five years of age is higher. Child labour is rampant. GRAVIS has released the report Women Miners in Rajasthan, India. The report explores the harsh everyday life and work for female quarry workers in Rajasthan.
Apr 16, 2010:
Caste discrimination against India's 'untouchables' is an international issue (Daily Telegraph):
The caste system may be outlawed in India, but legislation is poorly implemented, and the country's 200 million Dalits continue to suffer appalling forms of discrimination, writes Rikke Nohrlind, coordinator of the International Dalit Solidarity Network.
Mar 9, 2010:
Ten years of global struggle against caste discrimination (press release IDSN):
As the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) marks its tenth anniversary, the struggle for Dalit rights is gaining increasing international momentum, including an endorsement by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Much, however, remains to be done if one of the world’s most serious human rights issues, which affects 260 million people,is to be eliminated.
Jan 28, 2010:
'Untouchability' still rife in modern India (IDSN):
A ground-breaking study on caste discrimination in the Indian state of Gujarat shows that the practice of 'untouchability' is still prevalent. The report also makes clear that the Indian legal system is failing to address the issue.
2009
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2009:
Sexual Violence against young adivasi female workers on cottonseed farms of Gujarat and the forums available for justice (CRY):
Every year a large number of young adivasi girls from South Rajasthan go for cross pollination work on the cottonseed farms of Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts of Gujarat. They migrate seasonally in groups with a labour contractor, who is also from the same community. For 2-3 months, these young workers live and work on the cottonseed farms away from their families under the supervision of the labour contractor, sharecropper or the farm owner. During this period they are exposed to several risks – rains, snake bites, exposure to pesticides, physical and sexual violence. The purpose of this study was to understand the nature and the magnitude of violence these young workers face, mostly focussing on the sexual violence. Effort was made to understand the reasons for the violence, dynamics of dealing with it and forums the workers have access to seek relief, justice and rehabilitation.
Sep 2009:
The Ambedkar Principles: Principles and Guidelines to address Caste Discrimination in the Private Sector [revised edition] (IDSN):
The principles and guidelines are developed to address caste discrimination, which remains one of the most serious human rights issues in the world today.
Jun 2009:
The Status of Dalit Women in India's Caste Based System (Sonia Mahey, University of Alberta):
Paper presenting the devastating effects of the caste system on the educational, social, and economical status of Dalit women in modern India.
May 2, 2009:
Bite The Caste Bullet (Outlook Business):
Caste inequities can be reduced only by highlighting caste and other differences. It's time India Inc went from being caste-blind to becoming caste-sensitive.
Apr 2009:
We are not untouchable: Caste Discrimination and the Durban review Conference - 260 million reasons why the world should react (press kit IDSN):
It is estimated that more than 260 million people worldwide are affected by caste discrimination. Victims suffer a hidden apartheid of segregation, modern-day slavery and other forms of discrimination as a result of having been born into a marginalized group or caste. Caste discrimination constitutes one of the most serious and widespread global human rights challenges today and continues to function as a deeply rooted system of grave human rights violations.
2008
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Jun 22, 2008:
Corporate responsibility and Dalits: A campaigning perspective (Dalit Voice):
The India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) is an independent NGO campaigning on human rights issues in India in a global context. For the last ten years ICN has been working on corporate social responsibility (CSR), especially on child labour and labour rights, and since about six years on caste discrimination. ICN is an active member of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), the European Stop Child Labour campaign and the Dutch CSR Platform.
Jun 4, 2008:
European Parliament hosts meeting on caste discrimination in South Asia, 04-06-2008 (EuAsiaNews):
Representatives of the Dalit community in India as well as defenders of Dalit human rights in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Europe have urged the European Union (EU) to support the cause of the Dalits in fighting discrimination.
Apr 9, 2008:
Women, Dalit Seek Change From Historic Elections in Nepal (AdvocacyNet):
Advocates for lower-caste Dalit and women are anxiously awaiting the outcome of tomorrow's election in Nepal, and hoping that a peaceful vote will boost their efforts to end discrimination.
Feb 4, 2008:
'No reservation please, you are a Muslim' (OneWorld South Asia):
Islam may have been perceived as an egalitarian religion without any oppressive and hierarchal social order, but Indian Muslim society is typically caste-ridden.
Jan 27, 2008:
Caste difference contributes to violence against Dalit women - Central India (Women News Network (WNN)):
Pursuing justice is not easy for a lower caste woman in Central India if the crime is rape. It is not uncommon in Madhya Pradesh for women to suffer callous vendettas, including sexual violence, for the actions of their male relatives.
2008:
Facing Despair: Struggles and Challenges of Dalit Women (Burnad Fatima, Tamil Nadu Women's Forum):
India has celebrated its 60th year of Independence. The country is now recording 2-digit economic growth every year and successfully takes quite an important and dominant position in international politics and in the economic arena. The success of India is built up with the international reputation of well-educated human resources, “democratic and stabled” political circumstances, and promises of land, benefits and other resources to the foreign and national investors- which are all based on exploitation of Dalit women. In reality India remains the world leader in maternal mortality, female infanticide and foeticide, deaths due to preventative disease, and other indicators of human development. Even in 2007, in Raitara village of Vanarasi in Uttar Pradesh, a five-year-old Dalit girl is facing imminent death from starvation as the family being slaved in a farm for free labour. Likewise, vulnerable villagers, namely, rural women, meanwhile, get a lot of impacts in the gap between two faces of the country. Those bad indicators are always appeared in Dalit women.
2007
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Aug 2007:
Floods in India: most of the victims are Dalits (LIW):
...news and background information...
Jun 21, 2007:
A 'Broken People' in Booming India (Washington Post):
The hip young Indians working inside this country's multinational call centers have one thing in common: Almost all hail from India's upper and middle castes, elites in this highly stratified society.
Feb 5, 2007:
Caste clouds India's high hopes (BBC News):
Indians want to see their country punch its weight around the world - but are worried the caste system is holding it back, a BBC poll suggests.
Jan 19, 2007:
Gov't Failing Low Caste Women, U.N. Says (Inter Press Service):
India, the world's most populous democracy, has come under fire from a United Nations body for its failure to protect low caste women and those belonging to the country's religious minorities from discrimination.
2006
up
Dec 16, 2006:
Special on Dalits (Frontline (Vol.23 No.25)):
- At a crossroads: The Dalit leadership faces a credibility crisis in the absence of a radical political vision.
- Khairlanjis of the past: Eleven Dalits stabbed to death by upper caste landlords.
- Victims, still: Reports from States: Dalit activism has enabled the community to make some progress, but it is still subjected to oppression across the country.
- Power brings death: Political power in its real sense continues to elude Dalits in Tamil Nadu, notwithstanding the reservation of seats in elected bodies from village panchayats to Parliament.
- Story of deprivation: The promises of the freedom movement and the Constitution remain largely unfulfilled in the case of Dalits.
- A road-map for liberation: A road-map for Dalit emancipation was drawn up in 1996 in the form of a Dalit manifesto.
- Power of touch: The concept of untouchability travels from rural locations to the cities.
- A real agenda for Dalit liberation: The militant Dalit protests provoked by the Khairlanji carnage highlight India's failure to combat social exclusion and the need for an alternative strategy.
Mar 20, 2006:
OHCHR will work jointly with Dalit NGOs in Nepal (Himalayan News Service):
Chief of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Nepal Ian Martin said OHCHR will work jointly with the Dalit NGOs in Nepal in preparing a more comprehensive report on Dalit issues.
Jan 2006:
Dalit Atrocities (Sep-Dec 2005) (HRLU):
Chief of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Nepal Ian Martin said OHCHR will work jointly with the Dalit NGOs in Nepal in preparing a more comprehensive report on Dalit issues.
2005
up
Sep 2005:
Dalits in Pakistan [book review]:
Caste, the scourge of Hinduism, is so deeply entrenched in Indian society that it has not left the adherents of Islam, Sikhism, Christianity and buddhism—theoretically egalitarian religions—unaffected. So firmly rooted is the cancer of caste in the region that it survives and thrives in neighbouring Pakistan, where over 95% of the population are Muslims, as this slim book tells us.
Aug 20, 2005:
Dalit girl crosses the hurdle (Times News Network):
When 15-year-old Mamata Nayak of Narasinghapur village passed the matriculation examination, she became the first girl from the Bauri community to achieve the distinction.
Jul 28, 2005:
Police inaction regarding assault of Dalit woman (AHRCK.net):
The Asian Human Rights Commission(AHRC) has received information from People's Watch-Tamil Nadu of a caste-based assault on a Dalit woman in Vengamedu village, Perunthrai Taluk, Erode District, Tamil Nadu, India, on 31 March 2005. The only reason for the assault and sexual harassment of Ms. Pappathi was that she used the pathway which she is forbidden to use. The victim was severely assaulted and sexually harassed by a upper caste man, Ramasamay Goundar, in front of people passing by. He pulled off Ms. Pappathi's sari, tore her blouse and beat her left breast region, right shoulder, and upper right arm twenty to thirty times. He continued to verbally abuse her, using derogatory caste words, in front of people passing by. Ms. Pappathi was extremely humiliated and experienced much physical pain.
Jun 1, 2005:
Industry backs plan for SCs, STs (The Hindu):
Several leading industrial houses have backed the Government's commitment to provide greater opportunities to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as part of affirmative action, including job reservation in the private sector.
Jun 2005:
Caste Discrimination and the Private Sector: Employment Principles for Foreign Investors in South Asia (Dalit Solidarity Network UK):
This report outlines the main arguments and issues raised in the seminar entitled Employment Principles for Foreign Investors in South Asia held on September 22nd 2004 in St Ethelburga’s centre, London. The seminar raised a number of important issues in relation to caste discrimination and foreign investment in South Asia.
May 17, 2005:
UN rapporteurs to energise movement for Dalit rights (OneWorld South Asia):
The recent announcement by the UN Commission on Human Rights to appoint two special rapporteurs to tackle the deep-rooted problem of caste-based discrimination is a shot in the arm for activists fighting for the rights of the Dalits, the oppressed classes, in India.
Mar 8, 2005:
PM forms panel of ministers for Dalit schemes (Express News Service):
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday constituted a committee of ministers on Dalit affairs to supervise programmes being run by various ministries and departments for welfare of Dalits.
2004
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Nov 10, 2004:
Reservations for Dalits as CSR? (OneWorld South Asia):
The policy of reservations in the public sector is being used as a strategy to overcome discrimination and act as a compensatory exercise.
Nov 8, 2004:
EU and India agree 'Strategic Partnership' (IPS News Agency):
The European Union and India have signed an unprecedented 'strategic partnership' deal amidst concerns over India's human rights record.
Jan 14, 2004:
Dalits barred entry into temple (The Hindu):
Activists participating in a national Dalit Swadhikar rally that crossed Rajasthan the other day were denied entry into the famous Shrinath temple in Nathdwara, despite a 15-year-old judgment of the Rajasthan High Court directing the State Government to ensure unhindered access for Dalits to the temple.
2003
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Sep 2003:
The 'Dalit Muslims' and the All-India Backward Muslim Morcha (Yoginder Sikand):
Forming almost a fifth of the Indian population, the Scheduled Castes or the Dalits, a conglomeration of numerous caste groups considered as untouchable, by caste Hindus, are victims of the most sternly hierarchical social order that human beings have ever devised. Since the social and economic oppression of the Dalits has been so closely intertwined with the Hindu religion, over the centuries many Dalits have sought to escape from the shackles of the caste system by converting to other religions. Consequently, a considerable majority of India's Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Sikhs today consist of descendants of Dalit and other 'low' caste converts.
2002
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May 2002:
Manual scavenging - the most indecent form of work (Anti-Slavery International):
This paper draws attention to one of the most indecent, inhuman and degrading forms of work performed by Dalits (untouchables) in South Asia - the manual removal of human and animal excreta using brooms, small tin plates, and baskets carried on the head.
2001
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2000
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May 2000:
Caste and Descent-Based Discrimination (Communalism Combat):
In much of South Asia, race has become coterminous with caste in the definition and exclusion of distinct population groups distinguished by their descent. Despite formal protections in law, discriminatory treatment remains endemic and discriminatory societal norms continue to be reinforced by government structures ranging from the police and the lower courts to state and municipal authorities.
In India alone, close to 160 million1 so–called “untouchables” or Dalits are routinely discriminated against, denied access to land, forced to work in degrading conditions, and routinely abused, even killed, at the hands of the police and of higher–caste groups that enjoy the state's protection. In what has been called India's “hidden apartheid”, entire villages in many Indian states remain completely segregated by caste.
vóór 2000
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Apr 25, 1999:
Caste is a word India just doesn't want to hear (AHRChk.net):
The Indian government is involved in a series of diplomatic initiatives to prevent caste-based discrimination from being included on the agenda of a major United Nations conference on racism, and it appears to be winning the early rounds.