|Due to a faulty link in the second story, we are reissuing this newsletter. Click on the headlines to read the full stories
Scavengers’ march sends message of hope
After travelling thousands of kilometres through 18 Indian states, the Maila Mukti Yatra – a march to eradicate the inhuman practice of manual scavenging – concluded on 31 January with an event in New Delhi. IDSN issued a press release to mark the occasion.
Pillay supports movement to end scavenging
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has issued a strong message of support to the movement that campaigns to end manual scavenging in India.
EP: India should fight violence against women
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on violence against women in India. The issue has been highlighted in the wake of the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year old female student in New Delhi in December 2012. The resolution contains several references to caste discrimination and the situation of Dalit women.
Delhi tragedy triggers rape debate
The horrific attack against the a young woman in New Delhi led to a huge public uproar as well as a vigorous media debate on rape and women’s rights in India. The debate also touched upon the situation of Dalit women and the lack of attention to sexual violence against them. These are some of the most interesting articles on the issue: What about sex crimes against untouchable women?; Smashing the hierarchy of sorrow; Delhi protests and the caste hindu paradigm; Why are there no mass protests for raped Dalit women?; Praying for a new dawn after Delhi rape; Amartya Sen notes Dalits' plight; Let's reach out in time;
Devadasi system is an 'organised crime'
Ruth Manorama, a leading campaigner for the rights of Dalit women, have spoken out strongly against the Devadasi system of forced temple prostitution. At a consultation which explored ways to eradicate this system, she also called it "organised crime" and "slavery in the name of religion!". Read a press release here
NCDHR reports on Kandhamal murders
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights and other organisations have conducted a fact finding mission to Kandhamal District, Orissa, to investigate a number of recent rapes and murders of Dalit Christian girls. The organisations call the exclusion of these cases from the discourse on rape in India ‘shameful’. Read an interim report here
Pakistan: Dalit women in need of protection
A new report documents the situation of Pakistan's Dalit women; one of the most socially excluded and impoverished sections of the population. The shadow report for an upcoming UN review of Pakistan calls on the Government to focus on education, access to basic services, and laws and programmes to protect the rights of Dalit women.
Doctors neglect six-year old rape victim
When a six-year old Dalit girl in Pakistan was raped, the authorities failed her. In an article published by the Asian Human Rights Commission, Abbas Kassar, a journalist and human rights activist in Hyderabad, accuses police and doctors of neglecting the victim.
Minister calls for stronger EU policy on Dalits
The new Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs has committed himself to working for Dalit rights. In a recent debate in his country’s parliament, he called the position of Dalits “a very important and complex issue.”
Dalit award winner is refused passport
The winner of the Dutch Human Rights Tulip 2012 was barred from attending the award ceremony in the Hague. Marimuthu Bharathan, a Dalit human rights defender from Tamil Nadu, was refused a passport by the Indian authorities.
Dalits the focus of Week of Prayer
The theme of this year’s global ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’ (18-25 January) was the continuing struggle for human dignity of India’s Dalit population. “Casteism, like apartheid, racism and nationalism poses severe challenges for the unity of Christians in India,” the material for Prayer Week said.
Dalit family attacked for pursuing justice
The brutal assault on a newly married Dalit couple may well be caste-related and connected to the murder of the bridegroom’s uncle by ‘upper caste’ Hindus. The murder victim’s nephew, Vaibhav Gadge, was the only witness in the six-year old murder case, and his family has faced threats for pursuing justice. The young couple was attacked, pushed off a cliff and left for dead. Friends of Vaibhav Gadge have investigated the case and put together this report and fact sheet.
Untouchability captured and ended on camera;Tales from a Dalit ghetto
More news headlines:
India: Rape victim aims to become social worker; Activists say counselling must for rehab; Minister: Dalits continue to lag behind; Dowry schemes are used to lure girls into bonded labour; Study: Discrimination forces Dalit kids out of schools; Dalit student stars in quiz show; Dalit land rights only on paper; Dalit priest driven to suicide
Nepal: Dalit woman raped in Siraha; Dalit women role in politics stressed
; Dalit bodies demand probe into death