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Dalit People

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have been held by UK representatives in India with representatives of Dalit peoples; and if he will make a statement. [113519]

Our Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi discussed Dalit issues with the Chairman of the Dalit Solidarity Network in February this year. I also discussed the issues with the Government of India during my visit in October last year.We remain concerned about Dalits in India. We welcome the work of the many international Dalit rights organisations to end caste discrimination. We and our EU Partners are committed to human rights and will continue to raise issues such as discrimination based on work and descent in our meetings with the governments of those countries affected by this problem. We are also currently supporting human rights project work on bonded labour, an issue affecting many Dalits in India.