For further information on the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights please visit https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Forum/Pages/2019ForumBHR.aspx

For further information on the work of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights please visit https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/WGHRandtransnationalcorporationsandotherbusiness.aspx 
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Wednesday, November 27 • 11:30 - 11:45
Snapshot - Caste in the Global Supply Chain

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Session presented by the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN)

Webcast of the session:
Meeting link
Meeting number: 843 764 408
Password: 627pYcpd


Caste discrimination is a root cause of slavery, child labour and the exploitation of workers in South Asia. It is largely hidden, and often poorly understood by global companies. A culture of silence around addressing caste discrimination in businesses and governments throughout South Asia has meant that the problem is escalating. We must break that silence today. Governments must lead the charge to address caste discrimination in the industries based in their country. As the UN Guiding principles on business and human rights highlight, it is the duty of states to protect the human rights of their citizens and the workers in the businesses under their jurisdiction. Addressing this type of discrimination industry by industry may lead to a piecemeal approach that leaves some sectors behind. Being explicit and addressing caste directly within companies and their supply chains is the only way forward.

Governments must set strict standards against caste-based discrimination in business and ensure that these standards are enforced. Governments must involve CSOs and lowest caste workers in designing, implementing and reviewing initiatives and policies aimed at protecting, respecting and remedying this type of discrimination. IDSN has been working with Governments in South Asia since their organization’s inception to push for the recognition of caste-based discrimination and defend the rights of Dalit workers. To help companies and governments understand and act on one of the key root causes making workers vulnerable to human rights violations in South Asia, the Ethical Trading Initiative has launched the new guidance “Caste in the Global Supply Chain” offering four key steps to address caste in your business.

avatar for Meena Varma

Meena Varma

Executive Director, International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN)
Executive Director International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN); Director Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN-UK) Meena was the Chair of the Board of the International Dalit Solidarity Network until 2017. She has been the Executive Director of IDSN since then and provides overall leadership... Read More →

Wednesday November 27, 2019 11:30 - 11:45 CET
Room XXV