MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Caste Discrimination in India
11.12.2012 - (2012/2909(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
Ana Gomes, Jörg Leichtfried, Richard Howitt, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Mitro Repo, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg on behalf of the S&D Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0574/2012
European Parliament resolution on Caste Discrimination in India
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its resolution of 1 February 2007 on the human rights situation of the
Dalits in India
- having regard to Articles 2 and 3(5) of the Treaty on European Union,
- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed and ratified by India,
– having regard to the IDSN Study on Caste-based Discrimination in South Asia - (Commissioned by the European Commission, 2009, updated, April 2010)
– having regard to the draft UN Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent (UN Human Rights Council, 2009)
– having regard to the European Parliament's annual report on Human Rights.
– having regard to General Recommendation XXIX (descent-based discrimination) adopted by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 22 August 2002 and the measures to be taken by the State Parties
– having regard to the various provisions in the Constitution of India for the protection and promotion of the rights of Dalits, including the provisions on the abolition of the practice of untouchability, the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of caste, equality of opportunity in matters of public employment and educational, employment and political affirmative action through reservations in State-run institutions and political representative bodies;
– having regard to the 2009 UN Human Rights Council report on United Nations Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination Based on Work and Descent and the call by High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, for concerted international action to endorse the draft UN norms.
- having regard to the 9 July 2012 report of the United Nations Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on India, in particular recommendations 138.47, 138.72 and 138.118,
- having regard to the EU‑India Thematic Dialogue on Human Rights,
- having regard to Art. 122(5) of its rules of procedure,
A. Whereas caste discrimination remains one of the largest human rights issue in the world today being a major cause of poverty and an obstacle to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
B. Whereas Dalits are forced to live separately from other groups and have limited access to services, employment, land and markets: whereas they are often subjected to gross forms of violence with limited access to justice and redress, and to humiliating and degrading treatment by state and non-state actors
C. Whereas in the state of Haryana numerous Dalit women and girls have been raped in
recent months and whereas according to some estimates 90 percent of crimes against Dalit
women are not reported due to fear of social ostracism and threats to personal safety and
D. Whereas, the EU is committed to mainstreaming human rights and democratisation into its policies and action, has increasingly voiced its concern about caste discrimination
E. Whereas implementation of existing legislation and judicial follow-up of cases of
discrimination is insufficient in many Indian states and regions;
1) Is highly concerned by the recent rise in attacks against Dalits: calls on the perpetrators of these crimes to be brought to justice and for the Government of India to improve its record of bringing charges against perpetrators of such crimes, reiterates the need for the government of India to take special measures for the protection of Dalit women;
2) Recalls the various provisions in the Constitution of India for the protection and
promotion of the rights of Dalits; remains concerned that the concept of 'untouchability’ still persists in society despite the constitutional and legal provisions criminalising such acts in India: calls for redoubling of efforts to combat caste based discrimination and violence towards India’s Dalits.
3) Calls on the Government of India to take urgent steps to ensure equal access for Dalits to all other public institutions and to proactively engage with Dalit communities in voter registration programmes for elections expected in 2013
4) Urges the Government of India to engage further with relevant UN human rights bodies on the effective elimination of caste-based discrimination, including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the UN Special Rapporteurs assigned to develop Principles and Guidelines for the Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent;
5) Calls on the Government of India to ratify the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
6) Calls on the Council, the Commission, the EEAS and member states to integrate their concern for caste based discrimination into demarches and raise individual cases of human rights violations on the basis of caste with the Indian Government and Indian authorities.
7) Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the governments of the Member States, the President, the Government and Parliament of India, the UN Secretary-General, and the heads of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization.
-  A/HRC/21/10, http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session21/A-HRC-21-10_en.pdf