Latest news on the struggle to end caste discrimination
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IDSN urges agencies to counter caste discrimination in aid delivery after Nepal earthquake

Nepal Earthquake - SIM Central and South East Asia - Creative Commons
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.

The IDSN report Equality in aid: Addressing caste discrimination in humanitarian response represents an important tool for the work to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to combat caste discrimination in aid delivery in Nepal.
Read news article with recommendations from IDSN and ACAPS

Resolution condemning caste-based discrimination introduced in US congress

The house resolution introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton condemns caste-based discrimination and asks for the international community to act. The Global Conference on Dalit Rights honoured the Congresswoman for introducing the resolution and urged congress to show strong support.
Read more about the resolution

Global Declaration on Dalit Rights released

Following the successful Global Conference on Defending Dalit Rights, held in Washington DC from the 19-21 March, a declaration has been released demanding strong support from the UN and the United States to support the struggle to end caste discrimination and more action.
Read more about the declaration

US urged to actively support IDSN’s application for UN consultative status

IDSN and fourteen other international and regional NGOs have sent a joint open letter to US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, urging the US to take leadership in supporting IDSN’s application for UN consultative (ECOSOC) status. The application has been unjustly deferred for over 7 years.
Read the open letter

Exclusion of Dalit rights defenders from UN featured in handbook on NGO access

The International Service on Human Rights (ISHR) has released a new handbook on NGO access to the UN. The case of IDSN, whose application for UN consultative (ECOSOC) status has been unjustly deferred by the UN Committee on NGOs for 7 years, is featured prominently in the book.

A book launch was held in Geneva where the IDSN Executive Director spoke on a panel alongside the ISHR and the Vice-President of the Human rights council.

“The effective and active participation of NGOs in the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms is instrumental. We simply cannot fulfil the Council’s mandate without them … Yet, what is worrisome is the fact that ... several stakeholders have voiced concerns about the large number of deferrals and perceived lack of transparency in decisions on consultative status of NGOs.”
Vice-President of the Human Rights Council speaking at the handbook launch

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Caste featured in EIDHR Annual Action Plan

The Annual Action Plan 2015 for the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) has integrated the rights of persons affected by caste based discrimination as a cross-cutting concern. It makes specific mention of persons affected by caste discrimination in action documents on support to civil society, in its actions to support protection and promotion of human rights, human rights defenders, universities for human rights and democracy postgraduate education and in supporting key international actors – the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 
Read the caste references in the EIDHR Annual Action Plan 2015

Dalit women go viral to tell the world their story

Live streaming, hackathons, radio shows, flashmobs, a facebook and twitter campaign and an interactive online timeline charting Dalit history, curated by Dalit women, have all been a part of April’s ‘Dalit History Month’.

“A girl who was never considered to speak at any of the platforms in her hometown… speaks to the whole world on AL JAZEERA today,” tweeted a Dalit woman human rights defender ...

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Leading Dalit activists arrested for protesting massive cuts in budgets meant for Dalits

Dalit leaders Paul Divakar and Beena J. Pallical and 28 other activists were arrested following a peaceful gathering of over 500 students to protests severe cuts on state budgets for Dalit and Adivasi (Tribals) welfare. The arrests underscore a deeply concerning trend for Government stifling of dissent in India.
Read more about the arrests

UK: political parties take a stand on caste

Following a ‘cast out caste’ campaign by the Dalit Solidarity Network in the United Kingdom, demanding that UK political parties make their position on caste clear, the Liberal Democrats and Labour party are showing clear support for outlawing caste discrimination in the UK.
Read the full article

Bangladesh: Dalit community celebrate ‘International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ 

Several Dalit organisations in Bangladesh including BDERM and FAIR held rallys and other events to spread awareness of discrimination against Dalits in Bangladesh on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
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Dalit leaders awarded for their work defending human rights

In April two Dalit women received prestigious awards for their work defending the rights of Dalits in India. Manjula Pradeep, Director of the large Gujarat based NGO Navsarjan Trust, received the Femina Women 2015 Social Impact Award and Beena J. Pallical of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights received the Dr. Ambedkar Award 2015.
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Joint submission to the UN UPR review of Nepal

The Dalit Civil Society Organizations’ Coalition for UPR, Nepal and IDSN have submitted the report Human Rights Situation of the Dalit Community in Nepal, to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) review of Nepal working group. The review is to take place on 4th November 2015.
Read the full UPR submission

IDSN Input to the proposed World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework 

IDSN has provided input to the consultations highlighting that the first draft of the World Bank Environmental and Social Framework - Setting Standards for Sustainable Development from July 2014, lacks inclusion of caste-based discrimination and the specific vulnerability of 260 million Dalits and others affected. The document also notes the recent statements on caste discrimination by the World Bank President and the UN Secretary General.
Read the full submission to the World Bank


Video: Caste-based slavery in India - manual scavenging (Al Jazeera)
Video: Demonstration for Dalit rights in front of the White House (YouTube)
Video: Nepal's Dalits face caste discrimination (Al Jazeera)


Persistence of Poverty in India argues that there is a close correlation between poverty and the persistence of caste-based hierarchy of occupations in India.
"Dalits and adivasis who are still engaged as agricultural labourers have the highest incidence of poverty."

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About us

The International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) works on a global level for the elimination of caste discrimination and similar forms of discrimination based on work and descent.
Copyright © 2015 International Dalit Solidarity Network, All rights reserved.