Human Rights Watch and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University School of Law submit the following report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Committee or CERD) for consideration in its review of Indias fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth periodic reports under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Convention or ICERD).
Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, New York University School of Law
CHRGJ is directed by Professors Philip Alston, Smita Narula, and Margaret Satterthwaite. Jayne Huckerby is research director. CHRGJ aims to generate substantive, cutting-edge, and sophisticated contributions to human rights research and legal scholarship, and to actively engage in public affairs by making original and constructive contributions to ongoing policy debates relating to human rights. It achieves these aims by undertaking rigorous legal analysis and disseminating studies in five key research and project areas: Detainees and the War on Terror, Discrimination and National Security, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Extrajudicial Executions, and Transitional Justice. In its work on Discrimination, the Center and the International Human Rights Clinic (a program of the Center) have focused on caste discrimination in South Asia, collaborating extensively with the International Dalit Solidarity Network, of which Professor Narula is a co-founder. Professor Narula is also former researcher for South Asia at Human Rights Watch where she investigated and authored a number of Human Rights Watchs reports on caste discrimination and discrimination against religious minorities in India. Most recently, in August 2005, during the meeting of the United Nations (UN) Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, the Center released a 65-page report entitled The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Caste Discrimination and the Conflict in Nepal, and in November 2005, provided an oral statement to the UN Committee Against Torture urging the Committee to investigate torture against Dalits in its State Party examination of Nepal. All publications and statements of the Center can be found at its website: www.chrgj.org.
Human Rights Watch
An independent, New York-based nongovernmental organization, Human Rights Watch conducts regular, systematic fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world. Human Rights Watch examines human rights practices of state and non-state actors irrespective of their political affiliation, geopolitical alignments, ethnic or religious persuasions. It defends freedom of thought and expression, due process and equal protection of the law, and a vigorous civil society. Founded in 1978, Human Rights Watch today includes divisions that cover Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East in addition to its thematic divisions. It is supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly. Kenneth Roth is the executive director and Brad Adams heads the Asia Division. Human Rights Watch has worked on caste-based discrimination in South Asia for almost a decade, but particularly since the 1999 publication of its report Broken People: Caste Violence Against Indias Untouchables. Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the International Dalit Solidarity Network and collaborates extensively with a number of Dalit rights groups in South Asia. It has recently been advocating for the protection of Dalits who are particularly vulnerable in situations of internal conflict. An armed conflict involving Maoists in Nepal, and a similar uprising in several Indian states in India by Maoist groups known as Naxalites, has placed Dalits at high risk of abuse from security forces, vigilante groups often acting with the support of the government, and militants. It has also documented the particular vulnerability of Dalits among children employed in the worst forms of child labor and among those living with HIV/AIDS. Human Rights Watch investigated the failure of the state to protect Dalits from discrimination in receiving relief and rehabilitation after the 2006 tsunami; its recommendations were submitted to the Indian government as it prepared its disaster management policy. All reports, editorials, and statements of Human Rights Watch are available on www.hrw.org.