S&Ds call for targeted action against caste-based discrimination

Michael Cashman, caste-based discrimination

A large majority in the European Parliament today adopted a resolution on caste-based discrimination, calling on EU institutions and member states to take action against all forms of discrimination.
 
In particular, the European Parliament urges the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to integrate the fight against caste-based discrimination into EU legislation, policies and programming documents and to adopt operational guidelines for its implementation.
 
The resolution calls also on the Commission and the EEAS to include, where relevant, a ‘caste-based discrimination clause’ in all trade and association agreements.
 
S&D MEP Michael Cashman, co-author of the Resolution, said:
 
"There is no room for any kind of discrimination within the EU and in its external activities. No stigmatisation, no-one called 'untouchable' – a term that goes against our core socialist values.
 
"We need to make sure caste as a potential factor in discrimination is included in measures to fight discrimination in the EU and encourage our international partners to strengthen their legislation and protect victims of human rights abuse due to their caste, especially where caste-based discrimination is the most deeply-rooted. We need to trade responsibly and boycott where appropriate.
 
"Victims face systematic discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion, limited access to basic services, and even slavery. Particular attention should be paid to women and girls, who become more vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation, solely due to their caste.
 
"We need political leadership, targeted actions and adapted resources co-ordinated through an action plan from the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission. We in the European Parliament stand ready to help set it up."