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Caste and Gender Justice event at the UN Human Rights Council

Dalit human rights defenders and UN experts raised concerns over intersectional caste and gender discrimination and its adverse impact on access to human rights, at the Dalit Women and Gender Justice side-event at the UN Human Rights Council’s 41st Session in Geneva.

On 25 June 2019, IDSN International Associate IMADR, and others organised a side-event during the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council, on Dalit women and gender justice. The panel was composed of Dubravka Simonovic, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Renu Sijapati, General Secretary of the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO-Nepal) and Abirami Jotheeswaran, from the National Dalit Movement for Justice-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NDMJ-NCDHR). The event was moderated by Henri Tiphagne, from Peoples’ Watch, in India.

The side-event was organised by the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and co-sponsored by Minority Rights Group International, Human Rights Watch, Anti-Slavery International, Lutheran World Federation, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Franciscans International.

The event was live-streamed by the human rights organisation RIDH with over 900 views and had very good attendance. Significant social media activity surrounded the event, including on Twitter and Facebook. The panelists subsequently also took part in meetings and dialogues at the Human Rights Council and an interview with Abirami Jotheeswaran was published by the site Feminism in India.

You can read the IDSN summary article of the event or watch the 1 hour video stream of the event.
Read the IDSN article on the side-event

#NoCasteLeftBehind at the European Development Days

An IDSN delegation with Dalit human rights defenders from Nepal, India and Bangladesh made its mark on the European Development Days 2019, with a stand in the Global Village and participation in key sessions. The event also saw the launch of IDSN’s #NoCasteLeftBehind initiative with participants joining hands to fight caste discrimination. After the European Development Days, the delegation met with key EU officials, including the new EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore.

The European Development Days 2019 brought together over eight thousand participants from all over the world to discuss the theme Addressing inequalities: Building a world which leaves no one behind. At the IDSN #NoCasteLeftBehind stand participants could meet and speak to Dalit human rights defenders and learn more about how to take action to fight caste discrimination and ensure that Dalits are not left behind in the Global Goals. At the stand participants could take a photo to join hands to end caste discrimination and take a quiz on caste and the Global Goals – the quiz is still open and can be taken here.

The stand was busy with people wanting to learn about caste and engage in dialogues with the Dalit human rights defenders. Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, also paid a visit to talk about issues of child labour and education in relation to caste and to have his photo taken to join hands to end caste discrimination. 

The IDSN delegation also took part in several debates, labs and plenary sessions. Ashif Sheik of IDSN member organisation Jan Sahas was on the panel for the European External Action Service lab event on Non-discrimination. You can watch Ashif speaking about manual scavenging in India here and IDSN delegate from Bangladesh, Tamanna, making a statement at this event about access to water and sanitation for Dalits in Bangladesh here. Durga Sob from Nepal also spoke up about the situation of Dalit women in Nepal.

After the successful IDSN participation at the EDD19 there were several meetings with key EU officials. Among others, the delegation met with the new EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, who was very engaged in how to support the struggle to end caste discrimination.

Read the full IDSN article on the EDD2019

EU: Human Rights Report country chapters highlight caste

The 2019 EU Human Rights Report has now been released and highlights caste in many relevant country chapters. Please find the relevant passages highlighted in each chapter Bangladesh Chapter / Pakistan ChapterNepal Chapter India Chapter.
Find the full EU report here


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.
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