South Asia: IDSN issues statement urging protection of vulnerable workers in supply chains, including Dalits, amid COVID-19 economic fallout
Author: International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), Published on: 2 April 2020
"Vulnerable workers in supply chains need urgent protection to survive impact of Covid-19", 3 April 2020
International Dalit Solidary Network Statement -- We strongly urge governments and companies with supply chains in South Asia, to take measures to urgently protect migrant and informal workers, including Dalits, against a loss of income, social benefits, shelter and a means to feed themselves and their families, as Covid-19 measures and repercussions threaten their lives and livelihoods.
These workers often have no social protection schemes, are paid by the day or piecemeal and at so low rates that they have no savings or other means of supporting themselves, when they lose their jobs from one day to the next. In addition, Dalits, as well as other marginalised communities, often suffer discrimination in access to resources and relief when disaster strikes in their countries and companies. Governments therefore need to pay special attention to these groups in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
In India, these communities make up the majority of the 120 million migrant workers who in enormous numbers and next to no notice, lost their source of income because of the Covid-19 lockdown and are now heading, often by foot, to their native villages where they may face starvation with severe impacts for their health and immune system...