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There has been no resolution in the UN Human Rights Council or any organisation associated with it to equate the caste system with racial discrimination, official sources said here while opposing any attempt to internationalise the issue.

There have been no resolutions in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) or its subsidiary bodies either in the current session or in any of the previous sessions on so-called caste based discrimination in India, they said here today.

India is opposed to attempts in international fora to equate such issues with racial discrimination, the sources said.

They also denied a media report that said the UN would now take cognizance of caste-based discrimination based on the conclusion of an event on the margins of the UNHRC meeting in Geneva.

Such reports are “misplaced and factually incorrect”, they said, while stressing that the council, an inter-governmental body, does not base its decisions on the conclusions of the side events organised on the margins of its session.

The Indian constitution forbids any form of discrimination by the state against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth. India has explicit and elaborate domestic legal and administrative provisions to prohibit any form of discrimination on grounds of caste.

India’s social justice and empowerment ministry, headed by Mukul Wasnik, has been formed to ensure that all steps necessary to fully ensure the implementation of the constitutional provisions in this regard are taken.

A recent media report had claimed that the UNHRC was set to recognise caste-based discrimination as a human rights violation.

The report also said that Nepal has declared support in a side event for the draft principles and guidelines published by UNHRC four months ago for “effective elimination of discrimination based on work and descent” – the UN terminology for caste inequities.

The draft principles have cited caste as one of the grounds on which more than 200 million people in the world suffer discrimination.

(IANS)


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