News

The Californian Democratic Party adds ‘caste’ as a protected category

7th September 2021

The Californian Democratic Party has set a precedence on the issue of ‘caste’ by adding it as a protected category to their Party Code of Conduct. Despite heavy opposition from a number of Hindutva organisations in the US (including the Hindu American Forum), activists have succeeded in persuading the Party that caste-based discrimination is a genuine cause for concern and that action should be taken to ensure that victims have access to justice. Caste hit the headlines in the US back in 2020, when the State of California took Cisco Inc. to court over the discrimination that one of its [..]

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The UK House of Lords debate on India and Human Rights

13th August 2021

On 22 July 2021, Lord Harries of Pentregarth (Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dalits) opened a debate in the House of Lords on India and Human Rights. Whilst expressing his enormous admiration for those in India, and appreciating their long history of discussion and debate, he also raised his sadness over the rise of nationalism and increasing denial of fundamental human rights. Aside from the lack of academic freedom, Lord Harries mentioned the targeting of journalists; human rights groups who have had bank accounts frozen and been denied travel visas; Muslims who have suffered attacks stemming from an [..]

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Online Caste-Hate Speech – A Growing Concern

6th April 2021

On 22 March a side-event to the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighted the impact of caste-hate speech on-line and what could be done to combat it. The keynote speaker was Dr. Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, who argued that ‘Dehumanization of minorities such as Dalits through use of hate-speech is a precursor to violence.’ The event was also used as a launching pad for IDSN’s excellent report on Caste-hate speech researched by Dr Murali Shanmugavelan, with support from the IDSN team. In the UK we are well aware of the impact of [..]

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ARISA Hosts a Session on Caste-Based Discrimination

4th March 2021

‘Caste-based discrimination, an Invisible Issue in the Garment Industry in South Asia’ was presented by IDSN, READ (India), ETI (UK) and Advocating Rights in South Asia (ARISA, Netherlands) on 25th February, with our Director Meena Varma amongst the line-up. There were participants from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, India and the UK, consisting of both NGOs and companies from the garment industry, ably hosted by Sandra Claassen from ARISA. Kicking off the proceedings, Meena introduced the issue of caste-based discrimination and why it needs to be addressed. She emphasised the key labour rights issues arising from caste discrimination, including bonded [..]

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Casteism in the US: Entrepreneurs and a new report on Indian American attitudes

19th February 2021

We continue to cover stories of the South Asian diaspora across the globe. And in America, there have been a couple of interesting articles that have come out over the last week. As is well known, many US companies employ Indian immigrants to work in technology and, as has only recently been revealed, casteism seems to follow them. The statistics suggest that less than 2 per cent of the Indian immigrants that make up senior executives in the US are from ‘lower’ castes. At junior levels, when an employee’s caste is discovered, they may be ousted from social circles, have [..]

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