Dalit Solidarity Network UK campaigns against the atrocities, humiliation and poverty that over 260 million Dalits suffer due to caste discrimination
DSN began in 1998, bringing together individuals and organisations concerned about caste discrimination. This was part of a growing global movement which led to the formation of the International Dalit Solidarity Network in 2000. DSN-UK registered as a charity in 2003 and since then has continued to grow as an effective campaigning and advocacy organisation working on caste in the UK.
DSN brings together organisations and individuals in the UK who are concerned with caste-based discrimination and aims to link grassroots priorities with international mechanisms and institutions to make an effective contribution to the liberation of those affected by caste discrimination.
Our membership includes concerned individuals, development agencies, trade unions, journalists and academics. DSN has one full time staff member, the Director, and one full time volunteer, the Assistant, and is based within their hosts offices of Anti-Slavery International in London. DSN is chaired by Jeremy Corbyn MP and has a dedicated group of highly influential Trustees.
What We Do
Lobbying – DSN influences policy and changes practice
DSN holds regular seminars and meetings on caste at the Department for International Development, in Parliament, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and at Party Conferences. Recently DSN lobbied for an adjournment debate on caste discrimination that took place in the House of Commons on 8th May 2007.
Campaigning -DSN holds governments, organisations and companies accountable to the international and national pledges and promises they have made.
DSN ensures caste is on the development agenda and campaigns for institutions to recognise caste discrimination and to work towards its eradication. DSN recently spoke about discrimination in employment practices at the shareholder meetings of UK banks working in India.
Awareness Raising -DSN ensures that caste is addressed by the UK Government, European Union, United Nations, faith based groups, trade unions, student groups and development agencies.
DSN provides a platform for the voices of those affected by caste to be heard – through speaker tours, producing and disseminating campaigning information, influencing the media and launching urgent action appeals. DSN have also ensured caste is on the agenda of the European Social Forums. DSN recently submitted a response to the Equalities Review calling for caste to be included as a ‘special characteristic’ in discrimination legislation alongside race, gender, disability, age, religion etc.
Research -DSN undertakes groundbreaking research into the issue and together with partners develops practical recommendations for change.
DSN recently published ‘No Escape’ one of the first studies of the incidence of caste based discrimination i the UK undertaken by Dalit communities living in Southall.
For more information about our activities please read our latest annual review.
For our annual reports, please refer to our Resources page or click here.
Partners and Supporters
DSN-UK is part of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) based in Denmark . We work closely with organisations in Asia such as the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights as well as other national Dalit Solidarity Networks in Europe.
We would like to thank the following organisations for their funding of DSN UK’s work : The Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Body Shop Foundation, Christian Aid, Methodist Relief and Development Fund, St Clare and St Francis Trust, USPG, Wyndham Trust.