IDSN's November 2013 Newsletter - Choose to show/download pictures in your email to display this newsletter properly 
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UN Human Rights Chief: Bring down the beast of caste discrimination
UN High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, delivers a powerful speech on the urgent need to wipe out the “insidious stain” of caste discrimination and urges the UK not to tarnish their excellent record on human rights, by delaying implementation of UK anti-caste discrimination legislation.

Global Slavery Index: Caste a major factor
Caste systems are present in four out of five countries ranked the worst slavery offenders, in the 2013 Global Slavery Index. India alone accounts for half of the people on the planet regarded as ’modern slaves’.

Dalits and women suffer harsh impact of Nepal elections
Democracy in Nepal looks to have taken a sharp turn away from inclusion with November’s Constituent Assembly election First-Past-the-Post results yielding close to zero representation for Dalits and only sparse representation for women. This is a major blow to Dalits, and particularly to Dalit Women, who have fought long and hard to have their voices heard in previous Constituent Assemblies.

Campaign to stop Government shortchanging Dalits
Dalits in India have had enough of clever Government tricks to divert money meant for Dalits – under the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan – to other areas unrelated to them. They are demanding new legislation, to ensure that this practice is stopped and money is returned to the scheduled castes that were meant to benefit from them.

Dalit speaks at UN Minority Forum
This year’s UN Forum on Minority Issues on 26-27 November focused on the rights of religious minorities, an issue of much relevance to Dalits in Pakistan and India. A Dalit representative from the latter country made an intervention in association with IDSN.

UN expert: Too many Dalits live in poverty
The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mutuma Ruteere, has noted that “a disproportionate percentage of Dalits live in abject poverty and face discrimination and exclusion at social, economic and political levels.” In his most recent report, Mr Ruteere focused on the intersectionality between poverty and racism and highlighted the situation of a few specific groups, including Dalits. The report was presented to the UN General Assembly on 4 November.

CEDAW: Dalit women at risk of violence
Dalit women are among the groups that are “at particular risk of violence, especially sexual violence” in conflict situations. They are “often attacked as symbolic representatives of their community,” the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has stated in paragraph 36 of its General Recommendation No. 30 on women in conflict situations.

New Manual Scavenging Legislation: New Hope and New Challenges
India is introducing new manual scavenging legislation meant to eradicate the humiliating practice. Indian civil society are welcoming the initiative, but are flagging that the proposed draft legislation is missing critical necessary aspects that must be included before legislation is introduced on the 6th December.
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