“Untouchability” or the segregation a certain class of people based on their lineage has persisted over centuries such that members of the “untouchable class” or “Dalits” are still subject to social, economic, and political discrimination today. While the condition for Dalits has improved in some ways over time across South Asia, Dalits still face serious challenges in entering certain professional fields. While many international organizations have examined the condition of Dalits overall, little attention has been paid to the legal profession specifically.
This report evaluates the lack of representation of Dalits in the justice sector and its impact on access to justice for the Dalit community at large, proposing both regional and country-specific recommendations to improve this situation. Each chapter in the report utilizes a similar methodology by relying on desk research as well as structured interviews with the Dalit justice defenders’ community. Additionally, the report’s authors are either members of the Dalit community or have worked directly with the community to assist in issues related to the justice sector.