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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews and critiques the work of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child through the lens of caste- and descent-based discrimination. The chapter explores both the promise and the limitations of the work of the Committee in addressing discrimination that is, in many cases, fundamentally woven into the cultural and the religious practices of a society. In particular, it explores the promise and limitations of the Committee’s work in India, Nepal, and Mauritania to combat caste- and descent-based discrimination, inter alia, through its Concluding Observations. The chapter calls attention to the rights of children who are considered ‘untouchables’ or ‘outcastes.’ The chapter shows the challenges the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) confronts in addressing such discrimination. The chapter concludes by exploring ways the CRC Committee further the potential of the CRC to be an instrument of change.

Keywords: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, children’s rights, caste discrimination, children of Dalits untouchables, descent-based discrimination, Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, religion

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