The European Parliament in Strasbourg passed a strongly worded resolution recently against caste discrimination in India, noting that inhuman practices like manual scavenging continue, despite laws banning the practice.
The International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), which carried a detailed report that is available on internet, said the resolution was passed Dec 13. The website of the European Parliament listed resolutions on the human rights situation in Congo and India.
The European Parliament acknowledged that significant work had been done to eradicate caste discrimination in India.
But it also noted recent instances of atrocities, like the spate of rape cases in Haryana and the violence in Tamil Nadu that has left over 1,000 Dalits homeless.
Members noted that legislation that could improve the plight of Dalits, who comprise a quarter of the country’s population, has met “little success”.
One member suggested that the EU could influence the situation by introducing preconditions while negotiating a new trade agreement, making necessary judicial and social services for Dalits.
The resolution states that the European Parliament is “alarmed” by the “reported and unreported atrocities against Dalits”.
The European Parliament has instructed its president to forward the resolution to the Indian Prime Minister, the UN Secretary General, European Union institutions and member states.