Dalit Rights Organization Receives ECOSOC Status after 15 Years


Image: International Service for Human Rights

The United Nations Economic and Social Council voted to provide consultative status to nine civil society organizations. This vote, with 24 in favor, 17 against, and 11 abstentions, gives the nine organizations access to the UN and will allow them to contribute their knowledge, experience, and expertise to the work of the UN. The nine organizations are: The Gulf Centre for Human Rights; The International Dalit Solidarity Network; The Bahrain Center for Human Rights; Coptic Solidarity; The Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law; The Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice; The World Union of Cossack Atamans; Man and Law; and World Without Genocide.

Of these nine organizations, the Dalit rights organization, the International Dalit Solidarity Network, had been seeking ECOSOC status unsuccessfully the longest. Having first applied for the status in 2007, the Network had its application deferred multiple times, primarily at the insistence of India.

Madeleine Sinclair, co-Director of the Networks' New York office, stated: "We welcome the vote by ECOSOC States which today have contributed to ensuring the presence of a vibrant and independent civil society at the UN. However, these nine organisations are only the tip of the iceberg: hundreds of legitimate groups vying for access to the UN are still being deferred unjustly. ECOSOC States must ensure the NGO Committee finally fulfils its mandate and that its members stop arbitrarily denying civil society groups access to the UN for political reasons."

More information about the decision can be found on the website of the International Service for Human Rights.