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


DALITS - DOSSIER ADVOCACY
2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - <2000
May 24, 2017:
UN Members States: India must do more to uphold the rights of Dalits (IDSN):
At the UN review of the human rights situation in India, more than a dozen UN Member States recommended actions to ensure the rights of Dalits. The recommendations come following reports and statements from civil society, including Dalit rights organisations, documenting the lack of enforcement and protection of the human rights of Dalits in India.
Mar 17, 2017:
Bangladesh must step up efforts to address caste discrimination say rights activists at UN review (IDSN):
IDSN members the Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) and Network of Non-Mainstreamed Marginalized Communities (NNMC), took part in the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR) review of Bangladesh in March, 2017.
Mar 15, 2017:
UPR 2017 recommendations: Caste discrimination in India and the UK (IDSN):
India and the UK will be up for review by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 4 May 2017.
Feb 13, 2017:
Answers to Parliamentary Questions by Member Voordewind (ChristianUnion)
(subm. Jan 31, 2017) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation on the exclusion of civil society organisations by the Indian government
Jan 31, 2017:
Parliamentary Questions by Member Voordewind (ChristianUnion)
to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation on the exclusion of civil society organisations by the Indian government
Jan 6, 2017:
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:
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 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.
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, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (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’.
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 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 on NGOs that prevents certain human rights organisations – including IDSN – from associating freely with the UN.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 maltreatment of Dalits in the criminal justice system.
Nov 12, 2015:
Stand for Human Rights Campaign launched by Human Rights and Democracy Network (IDSN):
Today The Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN), of which IDSN is a member has launched the year-long campaign Stand 4 Human Rights Defenders.
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.
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.
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. The National Coalition on Strengthening PoA Act (NCSPA) have struggled for six years to ensure amendments to this act strengthening the rights of the victims and witnesses, improving access to justice and introducing preventative measures. The bill now remains to be passed in the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian Parliament) also, scheduled for December.
Aug 10, 2015:
Police action against Kathmandu protest organised by Dalit lawmakers and rights activists (IDSN):
A scheduled and broadcasted protest rally on August 4 2015 in Kathmandu, organized by the Joint Dalit Struggle Committee including the Coalition of Dalit Constituent Assembly (CA) Members, Dalit civil society and the Joint Political Dalit Struggle Committee, ended in a violent altercation with police. The Dalit activists were calling for Dalit rights to be secured in the new draft Constitution and demanding proportionate representation with additional compensation in the central and provincial governments and legislature.
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, with a number of sponsors, 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 and allowed for a constructive dialogue as well as a sharing of information and recommendations between UN agencies, civil society and States.
May 14, 2015:
Answers to Questions European Parliament :
(subm. Mar 3, 2015) to the European Commission on caste discrimination
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.
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.
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. This bias can impede shared prosperity, serving as a basis for discrimination in many spheres, including in employment and other markets, as well as in public services.”
2014
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Dec 18, 2014:
Caste discrimination debated in the UK House of Lords (IDSN):
The UK Government’s action on tackling caste discrimination in India was the topic of a debate on the 26th November in the UK House of Lords. Many Lords spoke out passionately against caste-based discrimination and asked that the UK Government in its relations with India take-up fighting caste-based discrimination.
Dec 18, 2014:
South Asian Parliamentarians meet to discuss strategies for ending caste discrimination (IDSN):
Thirty-one parliamentarians from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh gathered for a meeting of the Asian Parliamentarians’ Forum on Dalit Concerns in Kathmandu, at the fringes of the 2014 SAARC meeting. The former Prime Minister of Nepal, Baburam Bhatttarai, delivered a remarkable keynote speech, calling for an international framework and a regional thematic approach to eliminate caste discrimination, and cooperation between South Asian parliamentarians for a common agenda.
Nov 14, 2014:
Answers to Dutch Parliamentary Questions by member Voordewind (ChristianUnion) :
(subm. Oct 31, 2014) about the report Flawed Fabrics on modern slavery and child labour in the production chain of clothing brands
Oct 29, 2014:
India called out at UN General Assembly for blocking IDSN’s UN consultative status (IDSN):
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):
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 21, 2014:
UN Special Rapporteur highlights unwarranted deferral of IDSN’s UN ECOSOC accreditation (IDSN):
The Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association 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 3, 2014:
UN experts increase focus on caste discrimination (IDSN):
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.
Sep 25, 2014:
India’s Prime Minister and the President urge the nation to end casteism (IDSN):
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 2014:
Briefing note presented to UN Special Procedures mandate holders: Religious Minorities in Pakistan: Scheduled Caste Hindus (PDSN/IDSN):
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 12, 2014:
UN recommends India take action to end caste-based violence against women and the Devadasi practice (IDSN):
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.
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.
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 18, 2014:
UN Rights Council: End Caste-Based Rape, Violence - Side Event Highlights Need for Concrete Action (press release IDSN/Human Rights Watch):
Senior UN human rights officials at a United Nations Human Rights Council side-event on June 17, 2014, called for immediate efforts to end caste-based rape and violence against women.
The event, co-sponsored by Human Rights Watch, followed urgent global calls for action from numerous human rights organizations, India’s UN representative, and policymakers from around the world in response to the gang-rape and hanging of two girls in India on May 27.
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 4, 2014:
: UP Govt too under fireUN experts slam India’s child rights policies (press release NCDHR):
India’s child rights policies came under sharp attack at a crucial meeting of UN experts on 2-3 June in Geneva. The UN Committee on Rights of Child had met to review the progress made under the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its two Optional Protocols in India.
Apr 7, 2014:
Answers to Written Questions European Parliament to the European Commission :
(subm. Feb 19, 2014 by MEPs Peter van Dalen and Dennis de Jong) about the report Tainted Carpets - Slavery and Child Labor in India's Hand-Made Carpet Sector
Apr 1, 2014:
Reports of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women in India and Bangladesh (DNN):
he 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 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 4, 2014:
Parliamentary questions to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation :
referring to the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights
Feb 19, 2014:
Written Questions by MEPs Peter van Dalen and Dennis de Jong to the European Commission :
about the report Tainted Carpets - Slavery and Child Labor in India's Hand-Made Carpet Sector
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.
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 Adivasis (SCP TSP Legislation) and amendments to the act meant to prevent atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis (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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 10, 2013:
Answers Dutch Minister Timmermans to parliamentary follow-up questions by ChristianUnion :
(subm. May 6, 2013) on sexual violence against women in India and constraints for human rights organizations
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.
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 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 6, 2013:
Parliamentary follow-up questions ChristianUnion :
on sexual violence against (Dalit) women in India and constraints for human rights organizations
Apr 30, 2013:
Universal Periodic Review (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 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:
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 13, 2013:
Dutch Minister Timmermans (Foreign Affairs) wants a stronger EU policy on Dalits: Parliamentary questions, motions and debate are the trigger (ICN):
During the budget session of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 18-19th December 2012, Member of Dutch Parliament Voordewind (ChristianUnion) brought up the Dalit-issue during his contribution to the debate. He also did this before while discussing with the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rosenthal.
Mar 12, 2013:
Answers from Minister of Foreign Affairs to Questions Dutch Parliament :
(subm. Jan 28, 2013) on sexual violence against women in India and constraints for human rights organizations
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.
Feb 28, 2013:
Study by European Parliament: 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.
Jan 28, 2013:
Dutch Parliamentary Questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation :
on sexual violence against women in India and constraints for human rights organizations
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 2, 2013:
Ten Members EP want action against caste discrimination (DNN):
Ten Members of European Parliament put written questions to the Vice-President / High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, and the European Commission on discrimination on the grounds of caste and caste discrimination in EU development policy. Among these Members were four Dutch politicians: Ria Oomen-Ruijten (Christian Democrats), Esther de Lange (Christian Democrats), Thijs Berman (Labour Party) and Peter van Dalen (Christian Union).
2012
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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 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 23, 2012:
Pakistan reviewed for second time by UN UPR Working Group (DNN):
Pakistan will be reviewed for the second time by the UPR Working Group at the 14th UPR session on 30 October 2012. On this occassion, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) and the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) have prepared and submitted a stakeholders' report to the OHCHR on 23 April 2012 concerning discrimination against Dalits in Pakistan.
Oct 9, 2012:
Questions to the President of the European Council by EP Peter van Dalen (Christian Union) :
on bonded (child) labour of Dalit girls in garment production in EU-based companies (follow-up to questions Jun 14, 2012)
Sep 13, 2012:
UN experts call for end to caste-based stigma and slavery (IDSN):
Two United Nations human rights rapporteurs called on UN Member states to recognise the stigma, exclusion and slavery-like conditions that are the consequences of caste-based discrimination worldwide.
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 8, 2012:
Answers to Questions European Parliament :
subm. Jun 14, 2012) on bonded (child) labour Dalit girls in garment production EU-based companies
Jul 30, 2012:
Ten Members EP want action against caste discrimination (DNN):
Ten Members of European Parliament put written questions to the Vice-President / High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, and the European Commission on discrimination on the grounds of caste and caste discrimination in EU development policy. Among these Members were four Dutch politicians: Ria Oomen-Ruijten (Christian Democrats), Esther de Lange (Christian Democrats), Thijs Berman (Labour Party) and Peter van Dalen (Christian Union).
Jun 14, 2012:
Questions European Parliament :
on bonded (child) labour Dalit girls in garment production EU-based companies
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.
May 31, 2012:
UN increasingly concerned about caste (IDSN):
Following yesterday’s release of the reports on the UN human rights reviews of India and the UK, it is evident that UN member states are increasingly concerned about caste discrimination, affecting an estimated 260 million people worldwide.
May 30, 2012:
Caste included in the adopted report on the UK UPR review (IDSN):
The report on the UN human rights review of the UK was adopted today. A significant recommendation on caste discrimination has been included in the final report. This will provide the basis for monitoring and reporting on the UK’s efforts to amend its legislation to include caste and promote a national strategy to eliminate caste discrimination in the next four years.
May 24, 2012:
Dalit rights activists enraged at the failure of Indian delegations to address questions raised at the UN today (press release NCDHR):
Dalit rights activists gathered in Geneva are disappointed at the Indian delegation's immediate response to the real challenges that Dalits face, when India was reviewed at the UN Universal Periodic Review of India on 24 May.
May 14, 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.
May 14, 2012:
India: 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.
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.
Apr 25, 2012:
Motion Dutch Parliament :
on full supply-chain transparency and the eradication of child labour in the textile chain
Mar 13, 2012:
Answers to Questions of Member Voordewind (ChristianUnion) :
(subm. Jan 16, 2012) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation about child labour and the position of Dalits in India.
Feb 28, 2012:
Answer to Question European Parliament :
(subm. Dec 21, 2011) on torture and deaths during detention in India
2011
up
Dec 21, 2011:
Questions European Parliament :
on torture and deaths during detention in India
Dec 2, 2011:
Urgent Global Call for Action to End Caste Discrimination (press release IDSN):
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.
Nov 23, 2011:
Answers to parliamentary questions by ChristianUnion :
(submitted Oct 31, 2011) on child labour and the position of Dalits in India
Oct 31, 2011:
Parliamentary questions by ChristianUnion :
on child labour and the position of Dalits in India
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 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.
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.
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 1, 2011:
Large majority in Dutch Parliament supports motion to combat caste discrimination : Dalit Network Netherlands pleased about Dutch policy support for 250 million Dalits (press release DNN):
Yesterday the Dutch Parliament adopted a motion requesting the Minister of Foreign Affairs to continue an active approach to combat caste-based discrimination and improving the position of the roughly 250 million Dalits (so-called ‘outcastes’) in South Asian countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
An almost two-third majority of Dutch Parliament (95 out of 150 members) of the opposition parties like the Social Democrats, the Christian Union, the GreenLeft Party, the Socialist Party as well as the ruling Christian Democrats, supported the motion. The Dutch Minister of Foreign affairs, Dr. U. Rosenthal, said that he can take the four specific requests in the motion into his policy.
May 30, 2011:
Nepal: Passing of ‘Untouchability Bill’ is a historic achievement for the Dalit movement (press release IDSN):
The Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability Crime Elimination and Punishment Act, which was adopted unanimously by Nepal’s interim Parliament on May 24, prohibits the practices of ‘untouchability’ both in the public and private sphere. Dalit groups have advocated for two years to ensure that the law did not only extend to the public sphere, but also to the private. It is the first time that a law, which criminalises ‘untouchability’ practices in the private sphere, has ever been introduced.
May 2011:
Human Rights Council 17th session, 30 May – 17 June 2011 - Written statement on item 'Promotion and Protection of Human Rights - Discrimination based on work and descent' (IMADR):
The issue of discrimination based on work and descent, also known as caste-based discrimination, has been addressed by an increasing number of UN human rights bodies over the last years. Nevertheless, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has failed to take action to comprehensively address the issue, despite the fact that it is estimated to affect approximately 260 million persons globally.
Mar 20, 2011:
Caste discrimination: stop talking, action now! (New Europe):
The EU needs to take a much more robust stand on caste discrimination, severely affecting the human rights of 260 million people globally. We must take action through our External Action Service – they need to make caste discrimination a priority. We are concluding a free trade agreement with India and we must include a clause on caste discrimination. This was my plea at the European Parliament hearing on caste discrimination, held Monday 28th February.
Caste discrimination, which exists predominantly in South Asia, is a consequence of a hierarchically structured caste system that grades people according to the caste they were born into – where Dalits are the lowest and seen as ‘impure’ and ‘untouchable’.
Dalits are subjected to segregation, rape, murder, modern slavery, cleaning human excrements by hand, and discrimination in access to basic services, education, health, political participation and more.
Mar 1, 2011:
MEPs: The EU must act now to help end one of the biggest human rights issues in the world (press release IDSN):
MEPs stated that EU action must be taken to help end caste discrimination, affecting 260 million people worldwide. The statements came during a hearing on caste discrimination in South Asia, at the European Parliament Monday afternoon. This was also the message delivered by Dalit rights advocators at the hearing, who informed MEPs that concerted action to combat caste discrimination through EU development work, trade agreements and political dialogues, must be taken if development goals in caste-affected countries including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, are to be achieved and human rights respected.
Jan 24 2011:
UN Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya on the situation of human rights defenders in India, on concluding her visit (IDSN):
I am particularly concerned at the plight of human rights defenders working for the rights of marginalized people, i.e. Dalits, Adavasis (tribals) religious minorities and sexual minorities, who face particular risks and ostracism because of their activities."
This is one of the observations of Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, at the conclusion of her visit to India. From 10 to 21 January 2011, Sekaggya carried out a fact-finding mission to assess the situation of human rights defenders in India. She travelled to New Delhi, Bhubaneshwar (Orissa), Kolkata (West Bengal), Guwahati (Assam), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Jammu and Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir). Her press release at the conclusion of her visit gives a six-page account of her preliminary observations and recommendations.
2010
up
Oct 28, 2010:
Indian Churches: ‘Zero tolerance´ for caste discrimination (World Council of Churches):
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 21, 2010:
Open letter IDSN to Ms. Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security of the EU and Vice President of the European Commission (DNN):
IDSN urges Catherine Ashton to address caste discrimination in upcoming EU dialogues with India, ensure that the issue is given proper attention in EU cooperation with caste affected countries and pursue an EU policy on the issue.
Oct 18, 2010:
Open letter to Barack Obama ahead of his visit to India (IDSN):
IDSN urges President Barack Obama to raise the issue of caste discrimination on his upcoming visit to India.
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 7, 2010:
Letter CHR&GJ and Navsarjan Trust to Unicef (CHR&GJ/Navsarjan Trust):
"Help to end discrimination against Dalit children in India"
Apr 15, 2010:
National Call to Abolish Untouchability (press release E & E Coalition):
On the occasion of the presentation on 15 April 2010 of the National Call to Abolish Untouchability by Dalit and non-Dalit organizations in India with support from international solidarity groups.
Mar 18, 2010:
Answers to questions in Dutch Parliament by ChristianUnion, SGP and CDA :
(subm. Feb. 8, 2010) to the Ministers of Foreign and Economic Affairs about the report Understanding Untouchability in India
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.
Feb 8, 2010:
Questions in Dutch Parliament on measures against ‘untouchability’ and caste-based discrimination and violence against Dalit Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa :
Three Dutch political parties (including two of the three parties in the present coalition government) have raised two sets of questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Economic Affairs (in charge of trade issues) on the situation Dalits in India and on the situation in Kandhamal, Orissa.
Feb 8, 2010:
Questions in Dutch Parliament by ChristianUnion, SGP and CDA :
to the Ministers of Foreign and Economic Affairs about the report Understanding Untouchability in India
2009
up
Dec 23, 2009:
Opinion poll in The Netherlands: Companies and governments should take a stand against caste discrimination (press release DNN):
More than seven out of ten persons in The Netherlands are of the opinion that the Dutch government should take a stand against caste discrimination in the United Nations as well as in the European Union. Also two out of three people feel that Dutch multinationals who are operating in countries where caste discrimination exists, should tackle the issue in their own company and in their supply chain.
Dec 7, 2009:
Experts condemn India’s UN stance on caste (IDSN):
India should adopt the UN principles and guidelines to end caste discrimination, a group of eminent panelists said at a press briefing in New Delhi on 4 December.
Oct 12, 2009:
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 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 25, 2009:
The European Commission takes up the fight against caste discrimination (IDSN):
The European Commission conducted a 3 day regional workshop on Indigenous People, Minorities and Dalits in Dhaka, 15-17 June, 2009.
Apr 24, 2009:
Human rights violations against 170 million people is not an "international issue" (press release IDSN):
Despite caste-discrimination being left out of the official programme and the final outcome document at the Durban Review Conference, states and NGOs spoke out strongly on the issue in statements at the conference yesterday.
Nepal spoke with great concern about the many problems associated with inhumane untouchability practices, resulting from caste discrimination in Nepal, and alongside Slovenia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Mauritius put the issue back on the conference agenda. India, who has a history of considering caste discrimination an internal issue, objected strongly to the issue of caste being brought up at this conference. Meanwhile, there are at least 170 million victims of caste discrimination in India alone and 260 million globally.
Apr 22, 2009:
UN Racism Conference fails to address caste-based discrimination affecting 260 million people (press release Human Rights Watch/Lutheran World Federation/Pax Romana/IMADR/IDSN/NCDHR/FORUM-ASIA):
The international community should take action on caste-based discrimination which violates the rights of 260 million people globally, a group of nongovernmental organizations including Human Rights Watch, Lutheran World Federation, Pax Romana, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) and FORUM-ASIA, said at a news conference on caste-based discrimination and the Durban Review Conference.
The Durban Review Conference was organized to evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. Millions of victims of caste-based discrimination, hoping that the conference would serve as a platform to highlight their problems, were left deeply disappointed.
Apr 20, 2009:
Durban Review Conference: Break the UN silence on caste discrimination (press release HRW/IDSN/NCDHR):
260 million people worldwide suffer from caste discrimination and are being silenced by the Durban Review Conference, which claims to aim at protecting all victims affected by discrimination and contemporary forms of racism. To break this silence, Human Rights Watch, IDSN, NCDHR and other human rights organizations, have issued a joint position paper calling on the conference to address this crucial issue.
Apr 2009:
Durban Review Conference and Caste-Based Discrimination (HRW/IDSN/NCDHR):
Position paper.
Caste-based discrimination is a form of discrimination prohibited by international human rights law, which subjects an estimated 260 million people globally to discrimination on the grounds of work and descent. This form of discrimination is an entrenched human rights violation, which is mainly found in South Asian countries but also occurs in communities in Japan, Yemen, some African countries and Diaspora communities.
Mar 27, 2009:
European Parliament: Ensure that Dalits benefit from EU-India Free Trade Agreement (press release IDSN):
In a report on the EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) the European Parliament (EP) calls on the European Council and Commission to work together with the Indian Government to move towards ending caste based discrimination, which affects more than 166 million Dalits in India. It urges the EU to ensure that the FTA is not harmful to Dalits and that the potential benefits reach all members of society. According to the EP, this should be part of an ‘ambitious sustainable development chapter’ in the FTA.
Mar 25, 2009:
India must show leadership in combating caste-based discrimination, says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (press release IDSN):
During her first official visits to Nepal and India from 18-24 March, the High Commissioner for Human Rights delivered two historic speeches urging the Government of India to show global leadership in the fight against caste-based discrimination, and calling upon the Government of Nepal to apply existing laws to end such discriminatory practices.
Mar 23, 2009:
UN Commissioner Human Rights asks Indian government to show leadership in fighting caste discrimination at home and globally (DNN):
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. N. Pillay, has urged the Indian government to be more active in fighting caste discrimination. In her address to the National Human Rights Commission and State Commissions she said:
'Of particular concern is caste-based discrimination which is still deplorably widespread, despite efforts by the government and the judiciary to eradicate this practice. I note that in 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh strongly condemned the practice of “untouchability” and compared it with apartheid. Moreover, Dalits, as well as tribal peoples, continue to live in abject poverty. Policies and measures that have been established to ensure relief for these groups, their access to justice, and accountability for perpetrators of abuses against them, have neither sufficiently alleviated their conditions, nor have they satisfactorily curtailed the climate of impunity that enables human rights violations. This is an area where India can not only address its own challenges nationally, but show leadership in combating caste-based discrimination globally.'
2008
up
Sep 9, 2008:
Reports for the Universal Periodic Review (‘UN Human Rights Exams’) of India and Pakistan (ICN):
Official reports and reports submitted by IDSN (international Dalit Solidarity Network) and other organizations on India and Pakistan, fully or partly on caste-discrimination.
Sep 2008:
Statement of The Netherlands at the UN Human Rights Council September 2008 (ICN):
"The Netherlands attaches great attention to countering all forms of discrimination. Discrimination based on work or descent is a topic that deserves consideration by the members of this Council. Therefore, the Netherlands fully supports the report of the HRC Advisory Committee....."
Jul 19, 2008:
Caste Discrimination and Social Exclusion (PSAARC Workshop):
This workshop was organized by ADRM - Asia Dalit Rights Movement – an umbrella body of the Dalit Platforms from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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 22, 2008:
Nepalese Dalit Rights (DNN):
Nepal’s new constitution must recognize and protect the fundamental human rights of Dalits, says a new report (Recasting Justice: Securing Dalit Rights in Nepal’s New Constitution) released today by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University School of Law.
Apr 11, 2008:
India questioned on caste discrimination in the UN (press release IMADR/NCDHR/IDSN):
On 10 April, the human rights situation of India was scrutinized by the Human Rights Council under the newly established Universal Periodic Review procedure. India was among the first countries up for review.
The Indian delegation presented its report to the Council projecting an image of the human rights situation which according to international and national human rights organisations is a far cry from reality. Broad-based evidence of human rights violations, including the continued discrimination and violence committed against India’s 170 million Dalits, was largely ignored or played down.
2007
up
Dec 2007:
Prevention of Discrimination: Final report of Special rapporteurs on the topic of discrimination based on work and descent (Mr. Yozo Yokota & Ms. Chin-Sung Chung):
The present final report on the question of discrimination based on work and descent has been prepared pursuant to the resolution 2006/14 in which the Sub-Commission endorsed the Special Rapporteurs’ proposals to organize two regional workshops, one in Asia and one in Africa, before the end of the first quarter of 2007 and a consultation meeting in Geneva during the second quarter of 2007. Pending the Human Rights Council decisions, such workshops and consultation meeting were not formally held. However, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights organized in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 23-25 April 2007, a workshop on Social Inclusion: Supporting Political Participation and Economic Empowerment in which the issue of discrimination based on work and descent was included, and the two Special Rapporteurs fully participated in this workshop.
Nov 5, 2007:
2007 RAFTO Prize for National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (ICN):
International prize for human rights defenders awarded to NCDHR......
Jul 23, 2007:
Resolution on Untouchability passed in US House of Representatives (ICN):
On July 23, 2007 a historic resolution was passed in the US House of Representatives that denounces the practice of “untouchability” and declares that the United States should take steps to address the issue.
May 16, 2007:
Rights Groups Issue Concerns over India Uncontested bid for Re-election to the UN Human Rights Council (press statement FORUM-ASIA):
In an open letter addressed to Indian prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, several human rights groups, including FORUM-ASIA, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE), South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR), Peoples Watch (PW) and others, have demanded that India honour its commitments to human rights while it goes for an uncontested bid for its re-election to the UN Human Rights Council slated for 17 May 2007 at UN General Assembly in New York.
May 16, 2007:
Open Letter to the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh (FORUM-ASIA):
Subject: India’s Voluntary Pledges and Commitments in relation to its candidature for re-election to the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2007-2010.
May 2007:
European Parliament: protection of Dalits is ‘grossly inadequate’ (DNN):
The European Parliament on 1st February 2007 adopted a resolution on the human rights situation of Dalits in India. The Parliament states that implementation of laws protecting Dalits is ‘grossly inadequate’.
Mar 12, 2007:
India: UN Finds Pervasive Abuse Against Dalits - After Review by UN Anti-Discrimination Body, Government Should Move From Talk to Action (press release CHR&GJ/IDSN/HRW):
The Indian government should take immediate steps to implement the recommendations of a United Nations committee that found persistent violence and discrimination against Dalits, or so-called “untouchables,” a group of international human rights organizations said today.
The organizations include Human Rights Watch, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law, and the International Dalit Solidarity Network.
Feb 21, 2007:
New Report Making things worse: Lessons on caste discrimination from post-tsunami relief (media release DNN/IDSN):
An in-depth report on caste-based discrimination in the aftermath of the tsunami that hit the coast of Tamil Nadu, India, shows that many providers of recovery programmes unwittingly, carelessly or cynically contributed to a widening divide between caste fishermen and neighbouring Dalit communities. The study, completed over more than a year of research, involved visits to 31 Dalit communities along the Tamil Nadu coast, interviews with stakeholders, and analysis of reports by NGO and media sources.
Feb 13, 2007:
India: 'Hidden Apartheid' of Discrimination Against Dalits - Government Fails to End Caste-Based Segregation and Attacks (press release HRW/CHR&GJ):
India has systematically failed to uphold its international legal obligations to ensure the fundamental human rights of Dalits, or so-called untouchables, despite laws and policies against caste discrimination, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. More than 165 million Dalits in India are condemned to a lifetime of abuse simply because of their caste.
The 113-page report, Hidden Apartheid: Caste Discrimination against India’s ‘Untouchables’, was produced as a “shadow report” in response to India’s submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). The committee will review India’s compliance with the convention during hearings in Geneva on February 23 and 26.
Feb 1, 2007:
MEPs say protection of Dalits in India is "grossly inadequate" (European Parliament):
Parliament adopted a resolution put forward by the Development Committee on the human rights situation of the Dalits in India. The resolution notes that implementation of laws protecting the rights of Dalits remains grossly inadequate, and that atrocities, untouchability, illiteracy, inequality of opportunity, manual scavenging, underpayment of wages, bonded labour, child labour and landlessness continue to blight the lives of India’s Dalits.
Jan 18, 2007:
Anti-discrimination committee urges India to lift convention reservations, take steps on behalf of sexual violence victims, most-marginalized women (General Assembly, United Nations):
As the world’s largest democracy, India, with its vast population and complex cultural, religious and communal system, should join the ranks of other democracies by removing its reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and ratifying its Optional Protocol, lifting barriers to justice for the victims of sexual violence, and intervening on behalf of its most marginalized women, experts on the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said today, as it considered the country’s combined second and third periodic reports.
2006
up
Dec 19, 2006:
European Parliament: India must get rid of caste discrimination (media release IDSN):
A resolution was adopted today by the Committee on Development of the European Parliament urging the Government of India to stop the violence against Dalits (formerly called ‘Untouchables’) and the widespread practices of untouchability. The Committee expressed its concern about the recurring refusal by the police to register and pursue cases of crimes committed against Dalits and the dismally low number of convictions of perpetrators for crimes against Dalits.
Nov 24, 2006:
"We Want To Transform our Pain To Power"International Conference seeks urgent action on discrimination and violence against Dalit Women (press release IDSN):
Dalit women from South Asia are determined to "transform their pain into power". That was the main message of the two day international conference held in The Hague on the 20th and 21st of November 2006. It was the first international conference to discuss the issues of discrimination and violence against more than 100 million Dalit women. In The Hague Declaration on the Human Rights and Dignity of Dalit women the participants urged the governments of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as the international community to support their struggle.
Nov 21, 2006:
'The Hague Declaration on the Human Rights and Dignity of Dalit Women' (IDSN/DNN/....):
"We, the participants of the Hague Conference on Dalit Women’s Rights, held in The Hague on 20 and 21 November 2006, after deliberating upon the issues of discrimination, violence and impunity against Dalit women, adopt this Declaration on the Human Rights and Dignity of Dalit Women......"
Sep 26, 2006:
Answer European Commission to letter International Dalit Solidarity Network (Aug 28, 2006) :
on discrimination based on work and descent as point of dialogue at the EU-India Summit
Sep 22, 2006:
Questions to the European Commission, by Margrete Auken :
Subject: 'Points of interest for the EU-India Summit'.
Sep 13, 2006:
Written questions to European Commission by Max van den Berg (PvdA) :
on Dalits as points of interest for the EU-India Summit
Aug 28, 2006:
Letter International Dalit Solidarity Network to European Commission (IDSN):
on discrimination based on work and descent as point of dialogue at the EU-India Summit
Jan 1,:
The Ambedkar Principles: Principles and Guidelines to address Caste Discrimination in the Private Sector (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.
2005
up
Nov 8, 2005:
Answers by European Commission to written questions by Max van Berg (PvdA) :
(subm. Sep 20, 2005) on discrimination of Dalits
Sep 12, 2005:
Questions by member of Dutch parliament Tjon-A-Ten (PvdA) :
to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the discrimination of Dalits
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.
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
up
Nov 19, 2004:
Linking trade to human rights (Deccan Herald):
Many human rights organisations hold that diversity trade audits can be used to eliminate Dalit discrimination.
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.
Oct 2004:
Dalit Network Netherlands on the campaign trail (Dalit International Newsletter):
On October 9th 2004 the Dalit Network Netherlands (DNN) officially launches its campaign, Stop Caste Discrimination - Support the Dalits. It is a three-year campaign by several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) coordinated by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN). The campaign will combine informing the Dutch public about the situation of Dalits in countries affected by caste discrimination and advocating an active policy by policy makers in the (Dutch) government and the European Union. As ICN is also working on issues of labor rights, as well as child labor and education, it will also work on those issues from the angle of the plight of Dalits. For example, while campaigning on the implementation of labor rights by multinational companies in India, as well as in their sub-contracting chains, we will also draw attention to the need for a non-discrimination affirmative policy that creates job opportunities for Dalits on non-exploitative terms.
Aug 12, 2004:
Discrimination based on work and descent (VN):
Resolutie of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights; with Statement of Indian Government about this resolution.
Jul 10, 2004:
India: Probe Police Attacks on 'Untouchables' (Human Rights News):
The Indian government should immediately launch a full investigation into allegations that police used excessive force against Dalits (or "untouchables") who tried to participate in a religious ceremony in Tamil Nadu last week, Human Rights Watch said today.
May 28, 2004:
New PM Faces Human Rights Challenges (Human Rights Watch):
"Dear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:
Human Rights Watch congratulates you on assuming the office of prime minister.
India has long been recognized as an important model for a vibrant political culture in Asia. However, as you well know, India also faces serious human rights problems. Some of these have been exacerbated by government inattention, while others, unfortunately, are the direct result of government policies......."
Mar 24, 2004:
Indian activists hail Dutch NGO's call to UN on caste, riots (Yahoo! News):
Indian activists are supporting a demand by eight Dutch non governmental organizations (NGOs) to raise the issue of human rights violations in India at the ongoing session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
In a letter to the Dutch foreign minister, the NGOs have stressed the need to highlight at the 60th session of the commission, on in Geneva till April 23, caste discrimination and the status of Muslims in Gujarat, a western Indian state that witnessed widespread anti-Muslim violence in 2002.
2003
up
Dec 11, 2003:
Dec 2003:
Alternative report to the 16th periodic report of State Party Nepal to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Asian Legal Resource Centre):
The Asian Legal Resource Centre has prepared this report to coincide with the consideration of the joint 15th and 16th reports of the State of Nepal (the State) to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (the Committee), under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The initial reports were due on 1 March 2000 and 2002 and were submitted in 2003, for consideration at the 64th session of the Committee, 23 February - 12 March 2004.
Nov 7, 2003:
Letter of Member of European Parliament Bob van den Bos to EU commissioner Chris Patten :
with regard to "Caste discrimination and the EU-India Summit, Nov 2003"
Oct 17, 2003:
Letter of the International Dalit Solidarity Network to EU commissioner Chris Patten (IDSN):
with regard to "Caste discrimination and the EU-India Summit, Nov 2003"
Jan 30, 2003:
Questions and answers European Parliament :
concerning caste discrimination in India
2002
up
Aug 8, 2002:
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.
Jan 2002:
The Bhopal Declaration :
Adopted unanimously by The Bhopal Conference: Charting A New Course For Dalits For The 21st Century, held at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, 12-13 January 2002.
2001
up
Nov 23, 2001:
Statement on Dalits and the EU-India Summit: Cooperation Vital to Eradicate Caste Discrimination (IDSN):
The International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) is deeply disappointed that governments attending the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) in Durban failed to address the issue of caste discrimination and related forms of discrimination based on work and descent. This form of discrimination affects the lives of an estimated 250 million Dalits in South Asia, as well as 3 million Burakumin in Japan and an unknown number in parts of Africa.
Nov 19, 2001:
Answer to Letter to EU-commissioner Lamy :
(van 7 nov 2002) concerning caste discrimination with regard to the EU-India Top
Nov 8, 2001:
Open Letter Members European Parliament :
on Dalits and the EU-India Summit
Nov 7, 2001:
Letter to EU-commissioner Lamy :
concerning caste discrimination with regard to the EU-India Top
Nov 2001:
Caste and the World Conference Against Racism - A Roundup :
The issue of caste-based discrimination (and the similar forms of discrimination referred to by the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights as 'discrimination based on work and descent') was not addressed in the Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in Durban. Despite this lack of official recognition, the issue of discrimination based on caste and related forms of discrimination reached unprecedented levels of international prominence and media exposure during the WCAR and the preceding NGO Forum, due to the high degree of organization and visibility of the Dalit caucus.
Sep 2001:
Caste Discrimination: A global concern (Human Rights Watch):
A Report by Human Rights Watch for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Durban, South Africa, September 2001.
Apr 25, 2001:
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.
Mar 2001:
Final Declaration Of the Global Conference Against Racism and Caste-based Discrimination: Occupation and Descent-based Discrimination Against Dalits :
A conference in preparation for the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
The Global Conference Against Racism and Caste-based Discrimination was convened in New Delhi, 1-4 March 2001, and included representatives and victims from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, Japan, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Feb(?) 2001:
Caste and descent-based discrimination (IDSN):
Statement by the International Dalit Solidarity Network to the first preparatory committee for the WCAR (the world conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance).