Women finally come front and centre at the UN Human Rights Council
26th June 2014
THE ROLE OF THE UN IN COMBATING CASTE-BASED VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION
On June 17 2014 the side event addressing violence against Dalit women took place at the United Nations in Geneva. It was sponsored by Human Rights Watch, International Movement against all forms of Discrimination and Racism, Minority Rights Group, Franciscan International, and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development and organised in association with International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and co-sponsored by Denmark and Norway.
The event addressed caste-based sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls in caste-affected countries and explored with United Nations stakeholders how to take comprehensive and urgent action on this issue. Dalit women human rights defenders spoke of the reality on the ground in South Asia and a preview of a documentary on the Dalit women’s fight for justice in India was screened.
- Providing a better understanding of the intersection between gender-based violence and caste discrimination and highlighting the cross-cutting themes affecting Dalit women and similarly affected communities
- Sharing good practices, recent developments, and actions taken by various stakeholders to eliminate violence against Dalit women.
- Exploring ways forward to address caste-based violations including Dalit women, in particular in the context of the UN Human Rights Council.
OPENING KEY NOTE SPEAKER
Ms. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Link to the speech of outgoing High Commissioner for Human Rights and a true champion of Dalit women and their fight for equality
Ms. Asha Kowtal, General Secretary of the All India Dalit Human Rights Forum (AIDMAM)
Ms. Manjula Pradeep, Asia Dalit Rights Forum, Director of Navsarjan Trust
Ms. Durga Sob, President, Feminist Dalit Organisation, Nepal
Ms Julie De Rivero, Geneva Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch
Ms. Rita Izsák, Independent Expert on Minority Issues
Ms. Saraswathi Menon, Director, Policy Division, UN Women – Closing remarks
Moderator: Ms. Jyoti Sanghera, Chief, Human Rights and Economic and Social Issues Section, OHCHR
Press Release IDSN-HRW HRC26
IDSN recommendations to the UN on caste-based discrimination and violence against women – June 2014