DSN-UK News Archive

2018 23rdJuly – UK government decided not to explicitly recognise caste-based discrimination as a form...


23rdJuly – UK government decided not to explicitly recognise caste-based discrimination as a form of discrimination under equality legislation. This decision leaves victims of caste discrimination with no legal protection. The decision was made in large part due to lobbying from rich and influential organisations. The Government’s full consultation analysis report and consultation response can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/caste-in-great-britain-and-equality-law-a-public-consulation

18thJuly – global solidarity in the fight against caste discrimination grows as the Australian Parliament passes a motion asking their government to step up its efforts on this front.

13thJuly – UN experts, NGOs and Dalit Women Fight call on the world to act against caste-based violence.

21stJune – Dalit Women Fight run a session about fighting against caste-based violence at the UN HRC 38 side-event in Geneva.

16thJune – Dalit Women Fight host a day long tweetathon on international anti-caste activism.

15thJune – UN rights chief references the unjust 10 year deferral of IDSN application for UN ECOSOC accreditation in his annual report to the UN Human Rights Council. This 10 year delay amounts to a blockading of anti-caste activism, despite the UN’s principle of right to association.

13thJune – Minority Rights Group International launch www.peoplesunderthreat.org

11thJune – Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, Amnesty Report 2018 and the US State Department reports on India and Nepal find that caste-based discrimination and violence remain a serious threat and human rights violations against Dalits are widespread.

May – UN anti-racism committee issues strong recommendations on fighting caste discrimination in Nepal.

23rdMay – UN Special Rapporteur on racism expresses her concerns ‘regarding the legal status of caste-based discrimination’ in the UK in her end of mission statement.

12th April – memorial held for Rodney Bickerstaffe – a founding member, alongside Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP and Revd David Haslam MBE, of a unique organisation in the UK that fights for the rights of Dalits across the world.

11th April – International Symposium for the Elimination of Descent-based Discrimination held in Tokyo, Japan.

25th March – International Day of Remembrance of the victims of slavery.

24th March – at the Secularist of the Year Awards, Director of DSN-UK Meena Varma calls for more awareness of caste discrimination and criticises the government’s failure to legislate to deal with the issue. Meena was nominated for the Award for her work as Director of DSN-UK.

12th March – UN human rights chief says he is deeply disturbed over violence against Dalits, saying “In some cases this injustice appears actively endorsed by… officials” and he is concerned about “the cancellation or suspension of registration of thousands of NGOs”.

17th February – Meena Varma nominated for Secularist of the Year Award 2018 for her work challenging caste discrimination as Director of DSN-UK.

16th February – UN report finds that a Dalit woman dies on average 14 years younger than one from an upper caste: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/on-average-a-dalit-woman-dies-14-years-younger-than-one-from-upper-caste-un-report/

2nd February – A study by the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights in India reveals that 50% of the funds purportedly allocated to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are either not relevant to the community or not accessible.

29th January – NGOs blocked from delivering a 3 minute statement at the UN. Highlight of the speech was to discuss IDSN’s application for ECOSOC status which has been pending for 10 years.

18th January – ‘The Anti NGO-Committee’ video by the International Service for Human Rights Global (ISHRglobal) discusses the need to stop the UN NGO committee from blocking civil society participation in the UN, featuring the case of the 10 year deferral of IDSN’s application: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=564&v=PGMCR__Ay-Y



28th December – India’s flagship sanitation drive is failing when it neglects to address the role of caste in manual scavenging. Bezwada Wilson and Beena Pallical explain why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjqT7rwwtcY

19th and 20th December – ‘Dalit Women Speak Out’ Conference a great success with over 450 delegates and participants present: https://feminisminindia.com/2017/12/27/dalit-women-speak-out-conference/

15th December – European Parliament report “condemns the continuing human rights violations committed against people suffering as a result of caste hierarchies and caste-based discrimination”: https://idsn.org/european-parliament-report-urges-eu-step-action-caste-discrimination/

2nd December – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

November – 10th UN forum on minority issues. The first young Dalit woman to be chosen to be a panelist at the UNFMI @DalitAwaz

25th November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Consultation held in India bringing 45 participants from across the country to discuss caste based sexual violence.

17th November – new Human Rights Watch report finds severe barriers to justice and support services for survivors of sexual assault in India – especially Dalits. IDSN article on the report: https://idsn.org/everyone-blames-new-report-barriers-justice-support-services-sexual-assault-survivors-india/

13th November – Pakistan UPR – IDSN, along with the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Minority Rights Group, Anti-Slavery International & other groups urge action to stop bonded labour, forced conversions and disappearances, murder and persecution of Dalit rights defenders in a joint statement: https://idsn.org/joint-statement-pakistan-must-act-immediately-protect-dalits-forced-disappearances-slavery-discrimination/

9th November – IDSN has published its Roadmap to the UN OHCHR Guidance tool on Descent-Based Discrimination. The Roadmap serves as an introduction to the concepts and recommendations covered in the tool. https://idsn.org/idsn-roadmap-unohchr-guidance-tool-descent-based-discrimination/

1st November – newspapers report allegations that UK ‘Hindutva’ charity are working with Conservative MP Bob Blackman to repeal the duty to include caste in the Equality Act 2010. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-5032729/National-Council-Hindu-Temples-working-repeal-caste.html

16th October 2017 – Queen backs action against modern slavery in all Commonwealth nations. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/oct/11/queen-calls-for-modern-slavery-act-to-be-replicated-in-commonwealth-nations

9th October 2017 – abuse and discrimination of Dalit children in schools highlighted in important new report by India’s National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR): https://idsn.org/campaign-new-report-highlight-caste-discrimination-abuse-schools/

11-29th September – the 36th UN Human Rights Council session. IDSN makes the following recommendations: https://idsn.org/idsn-recommendations-un-human-rights-council-september-session/

18th September – Caste in Great Britain and Equality Law consultation ends. The full consultation analysis report and consultation response can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/caste-in-great-britain-and-equality-law-a-public-consulation

7th September – AGM of DSN-UK held in Westminster Central Hall.

25th July – Sujatha Gilda reports on a case of caste discrimination against a Dalit woman in the US https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-40702242

21st July – groups on both sides of the campaign complain about the structure of the consultation on anti-caste law, saying it is hard for lay people to join the process: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/uks-indian-community-joins-consultation-on-anti-caste-law/article19320395.ece

17th July – International Service for Human Rights hold event on the importance and value of civil society participation at the UN – discussion on NGO engagement with UN bodies and processes.

13th July – read the Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) Nepal paper addressing the concerns of Dalit women for the UN: https://www.womankind.org.uk/docs/default-source/resources/briefings/fedo-lobby-document.pdf?sfvrsn=0

12th July – side event on ‘Intersectionality of Gender, Caste & Descent Based Discrimination in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals – Moving towards a poverty free world’ at the HLPF at the UN, New York.

10th July – Asia Dalit Rights Forum holds UN side event on ‘Descent based discriminated communities & Global Caste: Strategies to address them through SDGs’, UN, New York.

19th June – International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) application to join the UN NGO Committee deferred again. IDSN application has been repeatedly deferred for 10 years.

12-13 June – activists and members of the UN CESCR review of Pakistan drew attention to the serious human rights violations faced by Dalits in Pakistan. Nonetheless, the Government of Pakistan neglected to adequately acknowledge the issues and failed to outline action to combat it.

26th May – human rights portal in Nepal; India urged to uphold human rights and UN human rights review of the UK neglects caste discrimination. News: https://us2.campaign-archive.com/?u=f163ce279b014a73495809891&id=2fc2ed3e61

25th May – NGO Committee considers IDSN’s application for accreditation. No member of the NGO Committee challenges India on its perpetual questioning of this NGO.

14th May – departing MP Graham Allen accuses the Government of launching a ‘misleading’ consultation to delay action against caste discrimination ‘for ever’: https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2017/05/departing-mp-blasts-government-on-caste-discrimination

8th May – IDSN annual report published, reviewing 2016 achievements and updates from caste affected countries: https://idsn.org/portfolio-items/idsn-annual-report-2016/

7th May – Universal Periodic Review for the UK.

4th May – Universal Periodic Review for India.

26th March – UN High Commissioner of Human Rights launches global tool to combat caste discrimination.

21st March – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

15th March – India and the UK up for UN rights review – recommendations on caste here: https://idsn.org/upr-2017-recommendations-caste-discrimination-india-uk/ 

10th March – Chalo Nagpur: thousands of Indian women march against fascism and caste.