IDSN's December 2012 Newsletter - Choose to show/download pictures in your email to display this newsletter properly 
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European Parliament adopts historic resolution on Dalits
In a strongly worded resolution on caste discrimination, the European Parliament urges India to amend and enforce the law banning this practice. The EP also calls on EU institutions to develop a policy on caste discrimination.

Caste included in EP resolution on human rights
The European Parliament includes text on caste discrimination in its resolution on the EU Annual Human Rights Report 2011. Till date, it is the strongest text ever in a resolution on this matter.

Thousands march against scavenging
A national march – the Maila Mukti Yatra - is crossing India with a call for the total eradication of ‘the slavery of manual scavenging’. It happens at a time when prominent campaigners have expressed scepticism towards new legislation against this banned, but continuing, practice.

IDSN urges UN to be caste-inclusive
The theme of this year’s UN Human Rights day - inclusion and the right to participate in public life - is particularly relevant to the issue of caste discrimination.

Bangladesh: Dalit campaigners discuss law
Two official bodies have agreed to work on a set of recommendations to the Government of Bangladesh on special legislation against caste discrimination. The move was announced during a regional consultation on the rights of Dalits and socially excluded communities.

Pakistan: Brutal rape of six-year old Dalit girl
A six-year old Dalit girl from Umerkot district of Sindh province was abducted, raped and left in a pool of blood on 4 December, the Asian Human Rights Commission said in an appeal. She remains in critical condition in a hospital. According to AHRC, the police are aware of the identity of the perpetrator, but have not arrested him as he belongs to a party with  close ties to the military. Journalists attempting to cover the case have received death threats. Read more here

UK gov't urged to ban caste discrimination
A coalition of human rights organisations, politicians and community groups have urged the UK  government to  activate legislation that will protect the country’s Dalit population from caste discrimination. The coalition includes the Dalit Solidarity Network UK. News reports: The Guardian; National Secular Society; People Management 

Police accused of targeting Dalits
Police action during the incident in Gujarat that lead to the killing of three Dalit youth in September suggests clear discrimination against the Dalit community. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the police in India lack the necassary training to undertake their job as required in a democratic society. Read the original AHRC appeal here and a newspaper article on the case here.

Caste discrimination rampant in schools
More than 180 schools serving the mid-day meal (MDM) across five Indian states have allowed caste- or gender-based discrimination over the last two years. According to reports by 41 independent monitoring institutes to a government ministry, Dalit children are routinely segregated from other children, and food cooked by Dalits is often refused by children or their parents.

India's landless poor await reforms
A promise from the Indian government to advance land reforms has created cautious optimism among the country's landless poor, many of whom are Dalits. The government's commitment came during a march of 50,000 landless people organised by the NGO Ekta Parishad. A similar promise was made five years ago, but this time the movement of landless people is hoping for results. News reports: Politics and the art of land grabs; We walk. For the good earth that is ours; Landless end march at Agra; Indian gov't caves in to demands

Photo series from Yemen: A remarkable series of photos on the BBC website depicts the lives of Yemen's marginalised Al-Akhdam people. This community suffers a form of discrimination that is similar to caste discrimination.

More news headlines:
India: Battling social odds; Caste in a different mould; Silent revolution is going on at grass roots; The quiet grip of caste; For a Dalit perspective; Dalits demand a dignified life; Discrimination keeps Dalits from gainful employment; Dalits face isolation in villages;                        
Nepal: Most inter-caste marriages fail; Dalits forced out of village; HIV hits Dalit settlement  
Bangladesh: Campaign launched for dignity of Dalits

Asian Human Rights Commission reports: The State of Human Rights in India (2012); The State of Human Rights in Nepal (2012); The State of Human Rights in Pakistan (2012)

Copyright © 2012 International Dalit Solidarity Network