IDSN's January/February 2014 Newsletter - Choose to show/download pictures in your email to display this newsletter properly 
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Aid institutions gather in Delhi for launch of Equality in Aid report Key humanitarian actors including UNDP, ECHO, the Asian Disaster Reduction & Response Network, USAID and DFID gathered in New Delhi for the launch of the report “Equality in Aid – Addressing Caste Discrimination in Humanitarian Response” and the “Inclusive Vulnerability Mapping & Monitoring of Post Disaster Response” manual. Reuters published an article on the report and the report is also referenced in the January report of the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues.

Americans Declare Empathy with Dalits at US Congress event Descendants of prominent African American families, who led the civil rights movement, presented a Declaration of Empathy to the US congress. The declaration appeals to all Americans to stand in solidarity with the Dalits of South Asia to fight caste discrimination and caste-based slavery. US citizens can sign the declaration online here. 

South Asian parliamentarians join together to fight caste discrimination Parliamentarians from India, Nepal and Bangladesh have formed the ‘South Asian Parliamentary Forum’ (SAPF) to combat caste discrimination, at the historic ‘South Asia Parliamentarians' Conference on Dalit Concerns’ in Kathmandu 8-9th December. 

UNICEF: Dalit girls most excluded from primary education in India A report just released by UNICEF and UNESCO, on out of school children in India, highlights that Dalit girls have the highest primary school exclusion rate in India. The report also finds that half of the pre-school age Dalit children are not attending school.

Petition to end atrocities against Dalit women The National Movement for Land, Labour and Justice in India has launched an online petition to push for Government to act to combat rape, murder and assault of Dalit women and girls. The petition lists 180 selected cases of atrocities and calls for the enactment of the amendments to the Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Pakistan: Dalit appointed a key political adviser on minorities Surendar Valasai has been appointed adviser on minority affairs to the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. An important step in acknowledging the rights of Dalits in Pakistan.

Slavery and Child Labour in India’s Hand-Made Carpet Industry New Harvard report finds that, “minority castes and ethnic groups remain heavily exploited in India’s carpet sector. The fact that 99.9% of cases documented belonged to these communities is a blistering indictment of the country’s inability to protect and empower its most vulnerable and disenfranchised citizens.”

Caste a major challenge says report on the child friendliness of Governments in South Asia ”Discrimination faced by children on the basis of caste, ethnicity and disability continues to be one of the biggest challenges in our country,” says an Indian Child Rights Defender in the report published by Save the Children. Read caste extracts from the report here.

UN human rights review of Yemen IDSN and All Youth Network for Society Development submitted a report on the human rights situation of Al-Akhdam in Yemen prior to the Universal Periodic Review of Yemen on January 29th. Unfortunately no direct references to Al Akhdam or caste were made in the review. An event to highlight the plight of the Al Akhdam is being held in Brussels on February 13th.

Urgent Appeal from the Asian Human Rights Commisson Two years on, and the family of a young Dalit man in Nepal who was poisoned to death are still waiting for justice. The AHRC urges the government to conduct an investigantion immediately and compensate the victim.

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