The violence against women from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes increased dramatically in the past decade – even during the pandemic and the lockdowns of 2020. The increase in recorded rapes of women from scheduled communities was 17.5% compared to 2.5% for women from other communities in 2020 – despite the lockdown. In fact, it increased exponentially from 11 in 2010 to 119 in 2020 – from one in 33 days, to one rape every 3 days. Disturbingly, a majority (66%) of these are of minor girls.
Senior human rights defenders from all over Tamil Nadu will gather to discuss the implications of this increase and search for solutions. The report on the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Tamil Nadu in 2020 will also be released on the occasion. The report has a detailed analysis of the violence against women and girls from the scheduled communities, and the decadal trends of crime and evidence of suppression of recording.
The session is part of the fifth annual SDGWatch Convention being conducted by Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation on 26 and 27 November 2021 at Chennai. SDGWatch Tamil Nadu is a multi-sectoral platform initiated by civil society organisations in 2017, to explore the status of communities vis a vis the SDGs, and collaborate in solutions. The sessions in the annual convention are:
26 November 2021
SDG 16: Violence against women and girls from scheduled communities
SDG 14: Life below water (Indian Marine Fisheries Bill and Fisher Rights Act)
SDG 08: Work in precarious labour
SDG 11: Sustainable cities (young adults and substance abuse)
27 November 2021
SDG 04: Impact of COVID 19 on learning of Migrant Children in Tamilnadu
Each of these will be a panel discussion based on a study report, which will be released and made available to the participants during the session.
There will also be side-discussions on disaster preparedness, resilience, pandemic recovery, sustainable livelihoods (including nutrition, organic farming and producer cooperatives), local self-government, and administration of justice.
There will be a short remembrance for human rights defenders who have passed away in the last year.