IDSN's November-December 2014 Newsletter - Choose to show/download pictures in your email to display this newsletter properly 
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New reports: Exclusion and untouchability remain widespread and only 5% marry out of their caste
Report findings recently released from the India Human Development Survey, the India Exclusion Report and the Nepal Multidimensional Social Inclusion Index, document that caste discrimination is very far from being history. In almost all aspects of every-day life statistics indicate that caste discrimination is deep-rooted and widespread.

Caste at the root of India and Mauritania’s position as top global slavery offenders
The Global Slavery Index 2014, released by the Walk Free Foundation, singles out India as the country in the world with the most slaves and sees caste at the root of slavery in India. Caste-affected Mauritania tops the Index on percentage of the population in slavery.

South Asian Parliamentarians meet to discuss strategies for ending caste discrimination
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.

Dalit women fight for their rights with marches and mass events in Nepal and India
Dalit women from Nepal, India and Bangladesh joined hands to assert their rights at a rally in Kathmandu, at the fringes of the people’s SAARC meeting. Hundreds of Dalit women from across Nepal gathered at the FEDO National Dalit Women conference, to put Dalit women’s rights on the agenda and in India several long marches and mass gatherings of Dalit women took place throughout November and December.

Nepal: Prime Minister’s office holds workshop to address caste discrimination
In an effort to address the persistence of caste discrimination, despite legal measures forbidding it, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) held a consultation workshop on the implementation status of UN UPR recommendations concerning caste-based discrimination.

Violence and atrocities against Dalits debated at the UN Forum on Minority Issues
Dalit activists spoke at the UN Forum on Minority Issues to highlight the issue of violence against Dalits in South Asia and the lack of access to justice for victims. They also pointed to ways forward in redressing and preventing these crimes.

Caste discrimination debated in UK House of Lords
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.

Bangladesh Dalits protest against discrimination
On the occasion of World Dignity Day, Bangladesh Dalit rights organisations arranged a colourful rally, human chain, road strikes, street gathering and mass mobilization to protest against caste discrimination highlighting the demand of immediate enactment of anti-discrimination act.

Children bearing the brunt of caste abuses
A study backed by rights group ActionAid reveals new figures on the situation of Dalit children in Madhya Pradesh, India. The report finds 79% Dalit children sit in back rows in classes, none of them allowed to drink water from the common facility, 88% discriminated against and also sometimes beaten up by teachers, and 79% can’t touch mid-day meals.

Nepal: Hundreds of Dalit women gather at conference
Hundreds of Dalit women from across Nepal gathered in Kathmandu for the “Dalit Women’s National Conference for Democracy, Justice, Sustainable Peace and Inclusive Constitution” from 2-4 December 2014. The conference was organized by the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) and international speakers included UN Women and IDSN.

UN Special Rapporteur calls for new measures to fight violence against women
The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo called for the adoption of different norms and measures to fight violence against women around the world and a binding standard of accountability at the international level.

Press clippings: ** This newsletter has been amended and resent so that the description under the headline 'Caste discrimination debated in UK House of Lords' is now correct. Apologies for the inconvenience. **

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