Statement of The Netherlands at the UN Human Rights Council September 2008

Caste discrimination is an ‘outrageous phenomenon’

"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. Many millions of citizens in different countries still fall victim to unequal treatment by local authorities or by their societies, despite legal protection. A strengthened approach by national governments is needed to combat this outrageous phenomenon.

The Netherlands welcomes the pledge by India to have the practice of manual scavenging abolished by 2009. These people are among the worse victims of discrimination. By investing in decent sanitation, the people engaged in manual scavenging can dedicate themselves to other fields of work. We commend the Indian authorities for the legal steps already undertaken on this issue, and encourage them to implement these measures as soon as possible."

India Committee of the Netherlands - November 4, 2008