Origin and Background of AIDMAM

All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) is a movement initiated and promoted by NCDHR (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) at the national level to focus exclusively on Dalit women. Its genesis is rooted in an attempt to address severe vulnerabilities faced by the 80 million Dalit women and girls who are socially excluded and lie at the bottom of India’s caste, class and gender hierarchies.

Our Aims

AIDMAM aims to support and strengthen Dalit women to address violence and access justice and rights through networking, enhancing skills and leadership at district and state level. AIDMAM’s objective is to Empower Dalit Women to challenge against Caste, Class and Patriarchal Norms. Support Dalit Women to liberate Dalit Women from their multi-dimensional issues.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dalit Communities - Violence and Access to Justice

Despite the articles of the Constitution of India, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the SC/ST (PoA) Act 1989, the rights of Dalits still continue to be violated by dominant caste with impunity. Analysis of existing legal system and the policies revealed the following problems, which are responsible for the above dismal functioning of system:

 Refusal to register cases
 Correct sections are not used in First Information Report (FIR)
 Charge sheet filing is delayed
 Trial period is delayed inordinately
 Most of the victims don’t get compensation
 Legal aid/advice is not available for the victims
 Inadequacy of Government Administration in taking decisions
 Absence of state level monitoring structure of civil society
 Absence of follow up of State level Monitoring and Vigilance Committee

Analysis of the present human rights organizations and mechanisms revealed the following problems:

 No mechanisms to speedup delayed legal processes
 Inadequate strategies to work in legal system
 Absence of legal aid/advisory services for DHR
 Lack of skills and knowledge for Dalit advocates

Police officials have primary role in protecting Dalit rights by taking complaints from the victims, register cases. As majority of police officers who are non-dalits and believe that Dalits are inferior, use all sorts of methods, to deter Dalits from filing a complaint. They threaten Dalits not to file complaint; force them to compromise with human rights violators. When Dalits insist on registering the case, they delay preparing First Information Report (FIR) or prepare FIR with improper sections of laws. Further they not complete the investigation on time and fail to file the Charge sheet in the court. In most cases they will not arrest the non-Dalit perpetrators either under political pressure or bribes. The Police also have primary responsibility to protect Dalits through enforcing atrocity prevention measures. But, the police are found not doing their duties willfully in many cases and supporting the non-Dalit perpetrators to violate Dalit rights and protecting their interests. As a result, the Dalit victims report hardly 15% of rights violations. Out of the 15% reported cases, only for 30% are investigated and charge sheet filed in the court, which means about 75% rights violations do not come up to accessing formal mechanisms of justice.

Public Prosecutors and Special Courts are to play major role in presenting and arguing the case on behalf of Dalit victims. But, majority of Public Prosecutors are non-dalits who also feel that Dalits are destined not to have rights and non-dalits have privilege to attack Dalits. In most of the cases, the judgment is given in favour of non-Dalit perpetrators because the Public Prosecutors willfully don’t argue the case properly and fault on technical grounds.

Hence, there is need for increasing awareness among Dalits about human rights, laws/acts and organize them. There is further need to facilitate evolution of people’s organization at different levels, which can spearhead the campaign for promoting, and protection of Dalit rights through mass awareness and advocacy interventions. There is need for setting up strong advocacy bodies at different levels.

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