Acknowledging that caste-affected communities are still subjected to ‘untouchability practices’ in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the October 10 resolution stressed the need to combat discrimination based on work and descent, which occurs also in Yemen, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia.

In December last, the EP passed a similar resolution, expressing alarm at the persistence of human rights violations against Dalits in India. Last week’s resolution recognised the presence of caste-based discrimination globally and pointed out various forms of caste-related violence against Dalits, especially women.

The EP reiterated serious concern over violence against Dalit women and other women from similarly affected communities in societies with caste systems, who often do not report it for fear of threat to their personal safety or of social exclusion. It pointed out the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on caste, gender and religion, affecting Dalit women and women from minority communities, leading to forced conversions, abductions, forced prostitution, and sexual abuse by dominant castes.