With its genesis in the upsurge created by the World Conference against Racism at Durban in 2001, which challenged the conscience of humankind against racism and other forms of inequality, cross-country solidarity building among Dalits has had a decade and a half old history. On that significant occasion, the powerful voice of the strong contingent of civil society organizations reverberated around the globe and caught the imagination of progressive human rights activists and social intellectuals, media pundits and donor partners, UN agencies and international governments regarding the form of hidden apartheid suffered by Dalit communities in India.
This voice grew louder and stronger with Dalit communities in South Asian countries joining the chorus of protest against caste discrimination and violence suffered in their own respective countries, and asserting claims for their rights and entitlements. With the NCDHR-initiated International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) advocating on the international scene the cause of communities discriminated on the basis of descent and work, the upsurge of Dalit communities for public visibility, global official recognition, and access to rights and entitlements gained force, strength and momentum
Area of Involvement
- ADRF member countries (Bangladesh, India and Nepal) went for VNR in HLPF 2017. On this
background, ADRF were actively involved with pre VNR consultations in these countries with
submitting proposals and submissions on the SDG process especially in the national Indicator
- In India, ADRF and Swadhikar has organized meeting of the Dalit organisation and coalitions on
sending the suggested indicators to Government of India for finalizing the national SDG indicators.
35 suggestions were sent to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation from Dalit
organisations and individuals.
- In Nepal, ADRF members participated in the Nepal Country report to be presented in the HLPF. The
report had a section on the most marginalized communities which included Dalits.In Bangladesh,
ADRF members have participated in the national consultation on the National VNR report.
- In India, ADRF has published a report on the Progress of SDGs in the country from a Dalit and Adivasi
perspective, which identified the gap and provisions which need to be addressed under SDG targets.
ADRF also coordinated the Civil Society Report (Shadow Report) with the NGO coalition of India
- ADRF coordinator invited as CSO representative for the inaugural session at Asia Pacific Forum on
Sustainable Development (APFSD) 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand, organised by Economic and Social
Commission on Asia Pacific (ECOSOC).
- ADRF organised side event at HLPF 2017 at New York on Intersectionalities between Caste and
Gender in addressing SDGs. 50 CSO members, UN representatives, Permanent mission of Nepal,
DWD groups from other parts of the world and Solidarity groups with ADRF members participated
in the event.
- ADRF members met with Delegation of European Union to UN in New York and produced the
evidence to the issue.
- ADRF members met with delegate from Permanent Mission of Norway to UN and highlighted the
issue of DWD and caste.
- ADRF chair participated in the Regional Knowledge Exchange on SDGs in Manila, Thailand
organized ESCAP. He presented the concerns of 220 million people affected by caste in the Asian
- ADRF chair and members participated in the South and South West Asia Sub regional consultation
organized by ESCAP in Kathmandu, Nepal.
- ADRF with the help of Misereor has linked up the caste affected communities outside South Asia,
especially with Dalit Diaspora Malaysia, Burakumin in Japan, Quilumbolas in Brazil, Haratine in Mali,
Mauritania and Senegal, Romani in Europe and USA and Dalit Diasopra in North America.
- During HLPF 2017, ADRF organised a side event called “Round Table Discussion on Discrimination
based on Work and Descent and Caste: Addressing through SDGs” where representatives from
Haratin (Mauritania and Mali), Quilombolas (Brazil), Roma (Europe and America) and Dalit Diaspora
in US along with UN representatives, International Organisations, Academia, CSOs, solidarity groups
and ADRF members from South Asia participated.
- Processing a study on mapping of DWD groups in Africa for better understanding the number of communities affected by DWD and caste.
- ADRF participated in the Release of OHCHR Guidance Tool for Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent (Caste) in Kathmandu, Nepal
- Conducted meetings with Romani leaders in New York and Burakumin leaders of Japan on collaborating in working towards a common effort to raise the issue of caste and DWD.
- Collaborated with Dalit Diaspora in Boston called Boston Study Circle in creating a nexus with the structurally discriminated communities like Race, Indegenous, People with disabilities and sexual minorities for solidarity and highlighting the importance of raising the issue of discrimination together Disaster.