UN Principles and Guidelines (eng)

UN Principles and Guidelines – towards a legal framework for the elimination of caste discrimination

(Links on this page are basically pointing to the IDSN web-page.)

The draft UN Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent is a comprehensive legal framework  developed to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent, the UN terminology for caste discrimination.

> Read the online version of the draft UN Principles and Guidelines or download the full PDF version published by IDSN

This soft law instrument is the first to establish principles and guidelines for how state and non-state actors can prevent and address this massive and systematic human rights problem affecting the lives of an estimated 260 million people globally. Based on existing international human rights principles and obligations, the framework proposes general and special measures to be taken by multiple stakeholders. Although still a draft, the UN Principles and Guidelines constitute a strong tool to encourage specific anti-discrimination legislation and relevant policy measures for governments and their agencies, UN and other international agencies, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

The drafting process of this legal framework is the result of a UN study on discrimination based on work and descent undertaken by the former UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. IDSN has  supported this mandate, which was formally endorsed by the Commission on Human Rights in 2005, by submitting joint civil society inputs and facilitating consultations between the Special Rapporteurs and affected communities, UN agencies and experts in the study phase.

The final report, including the draft principles and guidelines, was submitted to the OHCHR in June 2007. In March 2009 the Human Rights Council adopted decision A/HRC/10/117 to publish the completed Sub-Commission studies. The final report was published as an official UN document (A/HRC/11/CRP.3) at the 11th session of the Human Rights Council.

IDSN aims at ensuring support for the study among UN member states and recommends the Human Rights Council to act in this regard.

> Read more about the background of the Sub-Commission study on discrimination based on work and descent

IDSN recommendations for future action

IDSN urges all UN member states, in particular members of the Human Rights Council, and relevant non-state actors to support the draft UN Principles and Guidelines, to ensure effective follow-up to the study and to implement the recommendations contained in the Principles and Guidelines.