MRG and partners stand in solidarity with the International Dalit Solidarity Network

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This statement was delivered by Paulo de Tarso Lugon Arantes in the name of Minority Rights Group, Anti-Slavery International, the International Service for Human Rights and IMADR at the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday 27 September 2022, item 5 – General Debate.

Mister President,

Dalit rights are human rights, and yet – as the reprisals report details – one of the leading organizations promoting and defending the rights of Dalits has been the object of obstruction at the NGO Committee, affecting its capacity to engage with the UN on these issues, including with this Council.

The International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) has had its application for consultative status with the ECOSOC repeatedly deferred for 15 years, marking the longest pending application in the history of the Committee, posing significant barriers to the direct, safe, and meaningful participation of Dalits at the UN.

During this protracted deferral, no objections has been made against IDSN’s application on technical or procedural grounds. The organization has received over 100 questions at the NGO Committee, which IDSN has responded to in a timely manner.

In 2019, the former Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights criticized the lack of transparency of the process, noting that continued deferral amounted to a “de facto rejection”.

The persistence of these barriers for 15 years, as outlined in the reprisals report, limits IDSN’s access to UN bodies and entities, but also sets a worrying precedent. This reflects the wider challenges minorities and other marginalised group confront when directly raising rights violations internationally.

We stand in solidarity with IDSN, and we call on states to put an end to this situation of protracted obstruction without delay.

I thank you.

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Photo: Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room of the Palace of Nations, Geneva (Switzerland), 5 August 2015. Credit: Ludovic Courtès. Published on Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licence.

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