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Caste discrimination is based on a caste system where those born into the lowest castes, who call themselves Dalits, are treated as subhuman and ‘untouchables’. There are an estimated 260 million people affected by caste discrimination worldwide. They are often forced to live, eat and work in segregation from the rest of society and their basic human rights are severely restricted. They suffer violence, rape, public humiliation and murder, without being able to gain justice through the police or courts. Caste related exclusion creates a trap of extreme poverty and immense human suffering. Caste discrimination is particularly widespread throughout South Asia, but caste-related discrimination also exists in diaspora communities, Japan, Yemen and Africa.
Despite being outlawed in many caste-affected countries, such as India and Nepal, caste discrimination persists, as those who are meant to implement the laws are simply not doing this effectively, if at all. The situation therefore remains desperate and has created one of the world’s largest human rights issues. It is imperative that the world react and take a stand against caste discrimination.
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