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Landmark report documents harsh reality of CDWDs of Bangladesh

The Global Forum of , in collaboration with The Inclusivity Project, launched ‘The Situation of Dalits in Bangladesh: Country Report 2023' country report. 

The report, authored by Sultan Md. Salauddin Siddique, portrays the situation of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD) at a glance in Bangladesh and the response of state, national and international mechanisms to safeguard their rights.

Talking about the report, Paul Diwakar, Convenor, Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent, says: “In the mosaic of cultures and communities that compose the vibrant tapestry of Bangladesh, the Dalits, which are the communities discriminated on work and descent, remains a group often relegated to the fringes of society.” 

This report seeks to unveil the challenges faced by Dalits in Bangladesh, exploring the multifaceted aspects of their socio-economic struggles, discriminatory practices, and the urgent need for inclusive policies to break the chains that bind them, Diwakar points out. 

“As we delve into the narratives and experiences of Communities Discriminated on work and Descent (CDWD) in Bangladesh, it becomes evident that the echoes of historical injustices continue to reverberate through the fabric of their lives. Discrimination based on has persisted, impacting access to education, employment, healthcare, and political representation. Through meticulous research, personal testimonies, and a critical examination of policies, this report endeavors to provide a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand,” he added. 

Bangladesh is home to about 5.5 – 6.5 million Dalits, the majority of whom belong to the Hindu religion along with some representation from other religions including Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. The caste hierarchy of the Hindu religion considers Dalits as inferior as they belong to the so-called lower caste of the caste pyramid.  “The rights movement that started in Bangladesh relatively much later in comparison to its neighbouring countries i.e. and Nepal is growing and gaining visibility nowadays. The rights of the Dalits, living in Bangladesh, and their participation in the development process have started gaining attention at both national and international levels from the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and donors.

The government of Bangladesh has also taken some steps to bring positive changes in their life. However, there is a long way to go to ensure a dignified life for Dalits in the country. There is a real dearth of research in Bangladesh in terms of explaining the social and developmental changes happening in the country in relation to the life and livelihood of the Dalits that can play a facilitative role in carrying forward the development initiatives for Dalit and enriching the Dalit literature at the same time. The present report is prepared based on secondary data to map the situation of Dalits in Bangladesh. This report can be really helpful for someone to get an overview of Dalits' current socio-economic status and their struggle for a dignified life,” the report says. 

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