The condition of minorities in South Asia, home to a fifth of humankind, is grim, to say the least. Religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities face persecution; Dalits suffer structural violence; and women and girls besides other gender minorities are subjected to deep-seated intersectional discrimination. This is the outcome of poor commitment by South Asian states to protecting and promoting human and minority rights, and poor implementation of the measures that do exist. Behind much of the failure is South Asian states’ poor engagement with international human rights mechanisms.
The South Asia State of Minorities Report 2022: Weakening Human Rights Commitments and Its Impact on Minorities presents overviews from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on how each of the states have performed in their commitment to human rights standards, and how they deliver, across civil and political as well as social, economic and cultural rights for their minorities.
This volume is planned as a tool for advocacy. It is hoped that these annual reports on outcomes for minorities and the quality of state provisioning will spur public debate in the region and create the conditions for state parties, and regional and international mechanisms to give serious consideration to issues of minorities. The purpose of the initiative is to promote equal citizenship and equal rights for all citizens, a central challenge of the ‘deepening democracy’ agenda in the region, and to highlight the alarmingly narrow civic space for minorities, including human rights defenders, journalists and activists.