IDSN's latest newsletter on caste and human rights
View this email in your browser

Vulnerable workers in supply chains need urgent protection to survive impact of Covid-19

IDSN issued a statement and key recommendations urging governments and companies with supply chains in South Asia, to take measures to urgently protect migrant and informal workers, including Dalits, against a loss of income, social benefits, shelter and a means to feed themselves and their families, as Covid-19 measures and repercussions threaten their lives and livelihoods.

The statement has also been published on the Ethical Trading Initiative website and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre’s online portal. Photo by Jakob Carlsen/IDSN
Read the full IDSN statement and key recommendations
Tweet this statement Tweet this statement
Share on Facebook Share on Facebook

New EU due diligence legislation will help Dalits in supply chains

The EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, has announced that the EU Commission will introduce a legislative initiative next year on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence for EU based companies. If this legislation is introduced, EU companies can be held responsible for human rights violations in their supply chains.

This is very good news for Dalits, Adivasis and other vulnerable workers. These workers often bear the brunt of serious human rights violations in supply chains, including forced and bonded labour, child labour, exploitative and dangerous working conditions and hostile and abusive work environments – as documented in the Ethical Trading Initiative’s guidance Caste in Global Supply Chains. These workers are often found far down in the supply chains as agricultural workers, construction or stone workers or working in spinning mills or leather tanneries supplying the global garment industry.
Read the IDSN article to get the full story
Tweet this story Tweet this story
Share on Facebook Share on Facebook

COVID-19 poses new risks to India's enslaved waste pickers

Indian waste pickers are struggling to obtain information or equipment to inform and protect them during the coronavirus pandemic. Thomson Reuters has run this article by IDSN Ambassador Aidan McQuade and IDSN’s Ritwajit Das, looking at the current challenges faced by Dalit waste pickers in India.

While this article looks at India, similar situations are found in other South Asian countries. Photo by Jakob Carlsen/IDSN of a Dalit sweeper in Bangladesh.
Read the Thomson Reuters article
Tweet this story Tweet this story
Share on Facebook Share on Facebook

IDSN members and associates support Dalits affected by the impact of Covid-19

IDSN members in South Asia and international associates have been quick to offer immediate response and assistance, as the ramifications for Dalits of Covid-19 measures have become clear. While IDSN has issued two general statements on the situation for Dalits, below you will find a collection of publicly available information, appeals and initiatives from our members and associates. 

South Asia
All IDSN members in South Asia are engaged with supporting Dalit communities through the Covid-19 crisis within their areas of expertise. Some are providing relief materials and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families who have lost their income overnight, some are raising awareness and providing protective equipment and all are advocating for Government attention and support to Dalits who are struggling to cope. Below we have linked to some of the public appeals and resources made available online by our members:
A web portal by Jagaran Media Centre documenting the situation in Nepal (JMC) – JMC also plan to make the site available in English. 
Feminist Dalit Organisation in Nepal have issued an Appeal and Situation Report (FEDO)
Covid-19 Appeal by the Dalit NGO Federation in Nepal (DNF)
Jan Sahas in India has launched a comprehensive web portal with updated information on Government efforts in all the states, solutions, status reports and innovations as well as a telephone helpline offering toll free support and advice. They are also offering humanitarian support and rapid situational assessments.
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) in India has issues an Appeal by Dalits and Adivasis to the Central Government in the view of Covid-19 and is launching an App entitled C.L.A.I.M. (Community Live Access to Inclusive Measures) designed to support Dalits and other marginalised groups in accessing relief and claiming their rights. 

International Associates
IDSN’s international associates have also been quick to respond to the situation. Below are some of the statements and initiatives relevant to Dalits. 
Anti-Slavery International has published Guidance for policymakers, donors and business leaders to ensure that responses to Covid-19 reach victims of modern slavery and people vulnerable to slavery with several clear references to caste.
The International Movement Against all forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) has developed a Covid-19 related database of national human rights institutions (NHRIs), equality bodies, NGOs and other bodies that can receive complaints on incidents of racism and discrimination – including caste discrimination. The list is also available in a PDF version
COVID-19 emergency relief must reach everyone, including minorities, Dalits, Roma, Muhamasheen and indigenous peoples (Minority Rights Group)
COVID-19: A Human Rights Checklist (Human Rights Watch)

Other useful resources from friends of IDSN
COVID-19: State action must be human rights compliant and protect human rights defenders – a compilation of all the UN recommendations and guidance on human rights (International Service for Human Rights – ISHR) 
Wayve Foundation Helpline – providing collaborative assistance between volunteers and vulnerable sections (India)

India’s COVID-19 Lockdown: Human Rights Assessment and Compilation of State Relief Measures (Housing and Land Rights Network)

Covid-19 advice and resources - sharing guidance, learning and resources that relate to international development, peacebuilding and humanitarian response (BOND – UK)

Tracking tool – Impact of States of emergencies on civil and political rights - the Centre for Civil and Political Rights has launched a tracking tool related to states of emergencies declared after the COVID-19 pandemic (CCPR)
See this compilation on the IDSN website
Tweet this article Tweet this article
Share on Facebook Share on Facebook

Selected Headlines:

COVID-19 Lockdown: Domestic Workers And A Class-Caste Divide (Feminism in India) 

Sewer Cleaners Wanted in Pakistan: Only Christians Need Apply (New York Times)
Indian Dalits find no refuge from caste in Christianity (BBC News)
No work, new debt: Covid-19 creates perfect storm for slavery in India (Today)
5 Dalit Artists Casteism Through Music, Films And Literature (Feminism in India)



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 © 2020 International Dalit Solidarity Network, All rights reserved.