Caste-based discrimination in South Asia

The study was commissioned to the International Dalit Solidarity Network by the European Commission in advance of its workshop on Indigenous peoples, minorities and Dalits in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 15-17 June 2009.

Caste discrimination is one of the most serious human rights issues in the world today, adversely affecting more than 260 million people globally. The majority of people suffering from caste discrimination are Dalits (or „outcastes‟) living in South Asia. The caste system is a strict hierarchical social system based on underlying notions of purity and pollution. Those at the bottom of the system, who call themselves Dalits, suffer discrimination influencing all spheres of life and violating a cross-section of basic human rights including civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.

Download the full report: Caste-based discrimination report, 2009

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