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Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has received on the position of the Dalits in India; if she will make representations to the Indian Government on the upholding of the Indian constitution with regard to treatment of the Dalits; and if she will make a statement. (108053)

Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our high commission in New Delhi are in contact with a range of civil society organisations in the UK and in India and regularly receive representations on issues relating to minority rights in India, including the position of Dalits.

Officials at the high commission also have regular discussions on minority rights, including Dalit rights, with the Government of India at central and state level. They have held discussions with national level bodies such as the National Human Rights Commission, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (Dalits) and Scheduled Tribes and the National Commission for Minorities, most recently in June 2006.

In December 2005, as presidency of the EU, the UK led a constructive and positive EU-India human rights dialogue with the Government of India.