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Urgent Global Call for Action to End Caste Discrimination Activists, members of international organisations, NGOs, Solidarity Networks and researchers from across the world, have launched a landmark Urgent Global Call for Action to Eliminate Caste-Based Discrimination.The call was launched on the 1st December, as an outcome of the International Consultation on Good Practices and Strategies to Eliminate Caste Based Discrimination, held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Global call forms part of the consultation declaration and is accompanied by a number of concrete recommendations. IDSN will send out a special edition newsletter with more information about the consultation and follow up.
Opening the door to equal justice for Dalits in Nepal: New report from OHCHR-Nepal The United Nations Human Rights Office in Nepal (OHCHR Nepal) have released an important report entitled Opening the Doors to Equality: Access to Justice for Dalits in Nepal. The report recognizes progress made by Nepal in combating caste-based discrimination but also identifies the challenges and obstacles that continue to prevent victims from accessing the justice system. In connection with the release of the report OHCHR also organised a regional symposium on access to justice for victims of caste-based discrimination, where challenges, lessons learned and good practices from Nepal were shared with participants from the country and other South Asian nations.
Dalits should save themselves through justice reforms (India) AHRC Statement - "A way to effectively address caste-based discrimination in India is by changing the manner in which institutions like the police, prosecution and judiciary function in the region. When public institutions of justice fail having a law to guarantee non-discrimination of Dalits is of no meaning."
Commitments to accountability and justice continue to be jeopardized in 2011 (Nepal) AHRC Statement: “The adoption of legislation criminalizing caste-based discrimination was a great achievement in 2011 for the Dalit community, who had long been advocating for this legislation. However, this legislation runs the risk of being rendered meaningless, if no tangible rejuvenation of the justice system takes place.”
Dalit women participate in the UN Forum on Minority Issues Dalit human rigths defenders from India, Nepal and Bangladesh voiced their concerns about effective political participation of Dalit women at the 4th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. The thematic focus of the session, which was held in Geneva on 29-30 November 2011, was “Guaranteeing the rights of minority women”.
Living Standards Survey finds Dalits are the poorest in Nepal The 2011 Nepal Living Standard Survey III, found a decrease in poverty levels in Nepal but also concludes that, “Hill Dalits and Tarai Dalits have the highest poverty level while the Hill Bhramhins and Newars have the least.”
Government should give priority to Dalits’ food security (Nepal) AHRC open letter - calls for Government attention to Nepal’s Dalits, the Gandharva community in particular, who suffer from severe food insecurity and poverty.
National Consultation on 'Addressing Caste Based Discrimination in Disaster Response' (India) A coalition of civil society organisations, together with National Dalit Watch of NCDHR and Sphere India, have organised the Consultation. The broader objective of the consultation is to combat exclusionary practices, by acknowledging caste based discrimination in the disaster management law and policy guidelines and establishing recommendations to prevent discrimination from taking place in relief and rehabilitation operations. The consultation is organised with support from IDSN and the EU
New books, features and films: New book from Routledge: Non-discrimination and Equality in India Contesting Boundaries of Social Justice; 2 New Books from World Bank & Oxford Press Poverty and Social Exclusion in India and Perspectives on Poverty in India; New Film: 'Jai Bhim Comrade'; Canadian newspaper – the Globe and Mail is running a year-long series focusing on Dalit issues in India entitled Breaking Caste
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India >> Judgement in Mirchpur Killings convicts 15 but acquits 82 – NCDHR's National Dalit Movement for Justice will challenge the judgement ; Report on police shooting of Dalits in Paramakudi released by People’s Watch; 4% of government purchases will be from dalit or tribal-run firms; Food security situation in India is alarming; National Consultation on 'Addressing Caste Based Discrimination in Disaster Response'; Thousands of Dalits march in New Delhi to mark World Dignity Day on 5th December ; Project aims at providing solar power in Dalit hamlets; Press Headlines
Bangladesh >> BDERM organize 4 day programme to highlight Dalit Rights and seminar on the 'Realisation of Rights of Dalit and Socially Excluded People of Bangladesh' in connection with the South Asian Social Forum 2011; Protest against caste discrimination in Chuknagar Organised by the Bangladesh Dalit Parishad; Dalit Human Rights Defenders in Bangladesh allege arrest on false charges; Press Headlines
Nepal >> Government appoint Dr. Madan Pariyar, from Samata Foundation, as head of the newly constituted State Restructuring Commission (SRC); E-Bulletin from FEDO; Press Headlines
Pakistan >> Discrimination against Dalits continues in flood relief efforts in Pakistan; Press Headlines
International >> Care Millenium Award given to Ashok Bharti; International Experts meeting on electoral reforms in India