IDSN members and associates from across the globe met in Geneva in November for the IDSN General Assembly. The assembly spread over two days brimming with energy, new ideas, and a determination to strengthen the fight for human rights, justice and equality for all, irrespective of caste.
Read the IDSN article on the General Assembly here >>
In IDSN’s 10th
December statement on the occasion of the 70th
Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we share our dream that one day love and respect for human rights will prevail over brutal caste oppression and injustice. Please help us spread the message by retweeting
on twitter or sharing our post on Facebook
Read the IDSN statement here >>
IDSN founding member, NCDHR, celebrated its 20th
anniversary in New Delhi on UN Human Rights Day. The event gathered rights activists from across the country together in celebration. A huge congratulations to NCDHR for the tremendous achievements over the past 20 years. A Dalit Manifesto
was also released at the event, ahead of the 2019 Parliamentary Elections in India.
Read the Dalit Manifesto here >>
Henri Tiphagne has won the prestigious Nani A. Palkhiwala Award for Civil Liberties. A huge congratulations to Henri for this well-deserved recognition of his tireless work to end caste-based discrimination and pursue justice, equality and human rights for all. Upon winning the award Henri commented, "The award is a boost for continuing the fight for dissent, democracy and human rights not only in the courts of law, but also on the streets."
Read a full article in The Wire on the award >>
IDSN welcomes the adoption of the European Parliament’s annual report on human rights and democracy in the world 2017 and the European Union’s policy on the matter.
The report specifically asks the EU to step up action to address caste-based discrimination at the UN and delegation levels.
“It’s time for the EU and its member states to fully heed the European Parliament’s recommendations. In particular, IDSN would like to see the EU use every opportunity in its trade, development and foreign policy to address caste-based discrimination. The EU should also actively support applications for UN consultative status submitted by NGOs, such as IDSN, which would enable the voices of Dalit advocates to be heard at the UN level
said Meena Varma, Executive Chair, IDSN following the adoption of the report.
Read the IDSN press release on the report here >>
In her answer
to Member of the European Parliament, Jean Lambert’s, question
, on what the EU were doing to support IDSN’s application for UN consultative status, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, stated that, “A critical mass of members of the NGO Committee is hostile to civil society interests, particularly in sensitive areas such as caste discrimination.”
Read the IDSN article on the reply by the EU high-representative here >>
The European Parliamentary Hearing on contemporary forms of slavery featured a presentation on caste and slavery in the supply chains of global companies by Ramesh Nathan, General Secretary of the National Dalit Movement For Justice-NCDHR, India. Ramesh pointed out the strong correlation between caste and slavery in India and urged the EU to step up action to address this in the supply chains of European companies.
Read the IDSN article on the hearing here >>
An IDSN delegation consisting of Bhakta Bishwakarma, Dalit NGO Federation/IDSN member, and Judith Anne Laal, NDMJ- NCDHR, participated in the 20th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum in Brussels that took place November 20-22. The Forum, organized by the EEAS and the European Commission, together with the European Parliament for the first time, gathered more than 200 civil society representatives from all over the globe. The Forum was also organised in partnership with the NGO umbrella Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN), of which IDSN is a member.
Read the IDSN article on the NGO Forum here >>
The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Dubravka Šimonović made a preliminary assessment
on violence against women in Nepal, after her official visit to the country, which took place from the 19 to the 29 November. On the same occasion, she released an urgent appeal
for the Nepalese State to step up efforts to fight against impunity and to secure access to justice for victims of gender-based violence.
Read the IDSN article on the assessment here >>
UN experts on gender discrimination voiced concerns over the difficulties elected Dalit women face in Nepal, the need for proportional inclusion of Dalit women in the Judiciary, and extreme poverty faced by many Dalit women as a result of discrimination and stigmatization. The comments were made by the CEDAW committee members at the review of the 6th periodic report
of Nepal, on 23 October 2018. Following the review concluding observations were released
reflecting these comments.
Read the IDSN article and see participant videos here >>
IDSN participated actively in the 11th Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues from the 29-30 November, under the theme "
Statelessness: A Minority Issue". IDSN members from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan presented on how Dalits in reality often suffer de facto statelessness, due to extreme marginalization and lack of access to rights.
Read the IDSN news article on the forum here >>
The UN OHCHR have released a news piece stating that, “Many speakers highlighted the "emblematic" case of the International Dalit Solidarity Network, whose application for accreditation has been deferred by the NGO Committee for 10 years now. The organization advocates for non-discrimination of Dalits. Over the 10 years, its application has received some 83 questions, all from India, in some cases the same question several times over, resulting in its application being repeatedly postponed for consideration until the following year.
Read the full news article by the OHCHR >>
Reports and Studies:
This new paper
presents findings on the evolution of wealth inequality in India between 1961 and 2012. The article underlines the role of the Indian caste system in wealth inequality, as it shows that past unequal distribution of wealth along caste lines has not been corrected yet. The situation of every caste has improved over time, but there has been no convergence between dominant and lower castes.
A new report has been released by NGO Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, looking at the caste inequities underpinning manual scavenging in India and the many Dalits dying while cleaning septic tanks and sewers with no proper equipment. The findings, outlined in this summary
, point to an urgent need for action to end this practice. Read the full report here
. An event was held to release the report where the documentary “The Cost of Cleanliness”
based on the deaths of workers engaged in cleaning sewers and septic tanks was also released.
Read the summary of the report findings here >>