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IDSN newsletter on the struggle to end caste discrimination
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In this newsletter:
  • Invitation to the #DalitWomenFight UN side-event
  • UN anti-racism committee issues strong recommendations on caste in Nepal
  • Dalit rights inadequately addressed at the UN rights review of Bangladesh
  • UN rights chief references 10-year deferral of IDSN’s ECOSOC application
  • UN experts condemn deadly police response to protest in India
  • UN experts urge immediate release  Mauritanian blogger – writing about caste
  • Caste-based violence highlighted in international annual human rights reports
  • Pakistan's first Dalit woman senator to champion girls' education 
  • Dalit Boys as Young as 12 remain in jail following Aprils protests in India 
  • Dalit beaten to death, 5 arrested after the video goes viral 
  • The United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism visit to the UK
  • Caste in Britain by Annapurna Waughray
  • ‘Dalit theology on caste Discrimination’ event in London
  • Other news headlines

Invitation to the #DalitWomenFight side-event at the UN human rights council – 21 June

IDSN is supporting the side-event #DalitWomenFight against Caste-Based Violence, taking place on 21 June in Geneva, in connection with the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The side-event will explore and discuss aggravated caste-based violence faced by women and girls in India, often with little recourse to justice. Dalit women activists will present witness accounts of the state of affairs in India and a panel of experts will respond to the testimonies. IDSN has also issued a set of recommendations for the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council.
Download the invitation flyer

UN anti-racism committee issues strong recommendations on fighting caste discrimination in Nepal

The Concluding Observations of the May 2018 review of Nepal, by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), includes dozens of remarks relating to caste-based discrimination and several strongly worded recommendations on fighting it.
Read the full IDSN analysis

Dalit rights inadequately addressed at the UN rights review of Bangladesh

Despite ample information provided by the UN system itself and civil society groups working on Dalit rights in Bangladesh, only one recommendation addressing the rights abuses faced by Dalits was brought forward at the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the human rights situation in Bangladesh.
Read the IDSN news on this outcome

UN rights chief references the unjust 10-year deferral of IDSN’s application for UN accreditation

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has presented his Annual Report to the UN Human Rights Council. The report features concern over the continuous deferral of applications for UN consultative status from civil society organisations and includes direct reference to IDSN’s application, which has been unjustly deferred by the NGO Committee for 10 years.
Read the IDSN news on this

UN experts condemn deadly police response to protest against copper smelting plant in India, call for probe (OHCHR)

Many Dalits were among the protesters when police opened fire and shot and killed 10 people protesting in India. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has reacted by calling for a probe and condemning what is seen as an unwarranted use of force by the police.
Read the full OHCHR statement

UN experts urge immediate release of detained Mauritanian blogger – writing about caste (OHCHR)

A group of UN human rights experts have expressed grave concerns about the continued detention of Mauritanian blogger Cheikh Ould Mohamed M’kheitir on charges that violate his human rights. Mr. M’kheitir was arrested in January 2014 and sentenced to death for apostasy after publishing an article online questioning the use of religious justification to legitimise caste discrimination. 
Read the full OHCHR statement

The need to address caste-based violence highlighted in international annual human rights reports

The newly released Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, Amnesty International Report 2018 and the US State Department reports on India and Nepal, find that caste-based discrimination and violence remain a serious threat as hate crimes against Dalits are widespread. Other themes raised in the reports include discrimination in accessing services, ´manual scavenging´ and bonded labour.
Read the IDSN summary of these reports

Pakistan's first Dalit woman senator to champion girls' education (Reuters)

As the first Dalit woman senator in Pakistan, Krishna Kumari Kohli, has an ambitious to-do list, from improving the health and education of women and girls to tackling honour killings, kidnappings and child marriage.

“There are a lot of laws in place - for honor killing, for abolition of bonded labour, for protection of girls and boys against underage marriage,” said Kohli, a mother of four. “What is needed is implementation and I want to be able to do that.”

Read the news interview with Ms. Kohli

Dalit Boys as Young as 12 remain in jail following Aprils nationwide demonstrations in India (The Wire)

Arrested during nationwide protests in April, called by Dalit organisations, the juveniles' families have stated that the boys were picked up by police only because they were Dalits standing up for their rights. “My son’s only crime is that he is a Dalit,” says the father of one of the boys. “We thought that if our son studied well, the family’s fortune would change for the better. But now they have pressed so many charges against him that his whole life will become embroiled in it.” News site The Wire has covered this story and IDSN members in India are currently conducting fact-finding in relation to this case.
Read the story on The Wire

Dalit beaten to death in Rajkot, India, 5 arrested after the video goes viral (Times of India)

A Dalit man was beaten to death in Gujrat, India. The incident was caught on video which has spread virally. The man’s wife, who was with him, has explained that the attackers had first inquired about the couple’s caste, hurled casteist abuses, and then began thrashing them when they refused to clean up filth near their factory.  Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director of Human Rights Watch, reacted on twitter writing, “Deadly attacks on Dalits and Muslims seem to have become routine in India. Authorities seem to forget that protecting minorities is the responsibility of the state, and not a reluctant favour.”
Read the story on the Times of India

Other news headlines:
 

Osu Caste System in Nigeria: Group seeks end to obnoxious traditions, laws (Vanguard)

Dalit girls and women are using the internet to elevate their critical perspectives and experiences (GenderIT.org)

Lawyers and activist fighting against caste discrimination arrested (Scroll.in)

The 7 National Surveys That Counted Manual Scavengers Thus Far And Their Varied Numbers (The Wire)

Headlines from the Dalit Solidarity Network UK

 

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism visit to the UK

The Special Rapporteur (SR) on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume, has concluded her official visit to the UK and issued her end of mission statement. The Dalit Solidarity Network UK made a submission to the SR prior to her visit to raise the issue of caste-based discrimination and attended meetings in London to further discuss the issues of lack of protection against caste-based discrimination in the UK. The SR took a note of it and included a paragraph in her end of visit statement.
 

Caste in Britain by Annapurna Waughray

Economic & Political Weekly published the article Caste in Britain: public consultation on caste and equality law by Annapurna Waughray. The author provides insightful commentary on why the UK government has not adopted a legislation outlawing caste-based discrimination in the UK yet and concludes that ‘Legislating against caste discrimination in the UK is not only contentious, it has become highly politicised’.
 

‘Dalit theology on caste Discrimination’ event in London

On 25 April 2018, DSN-UK in collaboration with Amos Trust, Churches Dalit Support Network and with the support of the Methodist Church held an event in London on “Dalit theology on caste discrimination”. Among the special guests was DSN-UK patron Revd Dr Vincent Manoharan from Tamil Nadu in India.
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About us

The International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) works on a global level for the elimination of caste discrimination and similar forms of discrimination based on work and descent.
Copyright © 2018 International Dalit Solidarity Network, All rights reserved.