|** Click on the headlines to read the full stories **
UN experts speak out on caste issue
Seven independent UN human rights experts have issued a powerful media statement, focusing on the violence and discrimination suffered by the world’s ‘untouchables’, particularly the Dalits of South Asia.
Nepal: Dalits campaign for equal rights
Dalit civil society organisations in Nepal have launched a 12-day campaign against caste discrimination and ‘untouchability’. The campaign aims to put pressure on the government to implement existing legislation against caste discrimination.
UN Rapporteur: Education system fails Dalits
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.
UN side event with a focus on Dalit women
A side event during the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council will explore the multiple forms of discrimination and violence that affect Dalit women and women from similarly affected communities. The event takes place on 4 June with several states as co-sponsors.
UPR Bangladesh: Dalits need protection
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. Two states specifically addressed caste discrimination.
UN Rapporteur ends Bangladesh mission
The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, has completed her mission to Bangladesh. Her final statement includes a reference to “discrimination and violence based on caste”. Prior to Ms Manjoo’s mission, three Bangladeshi NGOs and IDSN made a joint submission to her office.
Pillay: Caste discrimination not only in India
Caste discrimination is not unique to India, but happens in many parts of the world, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said during a visit to South Africa in April. She noted that “India peculiarly thinks this word caste belongs to them and I know they have a political position that it should not be raised in international fora.” Ms Pillay has taken a strong posiition on the issue of caste discrimination.
India: SC population exceeds 200 million
Figures from the 2011 census confirm that there are more than 200 million Scheduled Castes (the official term for Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Dalits) in India. The total number of Dalits is probably much higher as Muslim and Christian Dalits are not included in these figures.
Haryana: Dalit villagers are living in fear
Following the attack on 200 Dalit families on 13 April by a dominant caste mob that was angered by an inter-caste marriage, many Dalits fled Pabnava village in Haryana. According to media reports, attempts have been made to calm down the situation, but tensions remain in the village.
IDSN issues newsletter on Dalit women
On 24 May, IDSN issued a special edition newsletter with a focus on the discrimination and violence that Dalit women and women from similarly affected communities are subjected to.
IDSN films: 11,000 views on YouTube
A year ago IDSN released two short films about caste discrimination, ’We are not untouchable’ and ’Dalit women’. Since then, the films, including versions in other languages, have been viewed almost 11,000 times on YouTube. Please watch them - and let others know about them.
More news headlines:
India: When development triggers caste violence; How a rape ruined a family; Caste discrimination catching students young; Riding a horse still a distant dream for Dalit grooms; Dalits attacked over temple festival row; Death in the gutter; Dalit representation in Bollywood; Dalit empowerment still a distant dream
; Dalit couple - caste Hindus torturing us; Dalit Christians neglected; Police aggression led to Dalit deaths
Nepal: Dalit village plagued by water shortage; Inclusion in political parties – merely a popular slogan?; A marriage of differences; Dalits attacked for entering temple; Nepali Dalit woman gets DLitt from US; The term Dalit has negative connotations; Pakistan: Minority vote crucial; Poor Hindu woman runs for PA; Sri Lanka: The caste base of our cultural roots; UK: The baggage of prejudice; International: Anti-slavery collaboration begins to come of age; Modern slavery