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'Breaking Margins' – Marking Human Rights Day

December 2012

This Human Rights Day, 10 December, Christian Aid’s Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) programme colleagues in Delhi host challenging photo exhibition Breaking Margins.

The exhibition highlights the issue of manual scavenging and caste discrimination that persists in India today, robbing millions of their human rights and dignity.

A panel discussion at the exhibition opening brings together parliamentarians, academics, civil society activists and thought leaders. They will discuss how Indian society can break, for good, the margins that continue to deny groups of their human rights, dignity and worth.

Every day, two million people in India - 97 per cent dalit women and children - are forced to clean human excrement with their bare hands in a practice known as manual scavenging.

The law against the practice, the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act 1993, has failed to have a decisive impact.

To this day, not one single successful prosecution has happened under the Act.

In our photo gallery to mark Human Rights Day, we share an exclusive glimpse of some of the captivating and affecting images on display at the 'Breaking Margins' exhibition being held at the British High Commission in Delhi.

The exhibition shares stories of brave individuals and communities breaking the margins of untouchability and discrimination, told through images by Sanjit Das, Firoz Ahmad Firoz and NoLogo.

'As well as advocating for change, we hope to cast light on the struggles and successes of women and men from the community who have come together as a community and fought against the worst kind of stigma; the type that holds back thousands of families who are socially ostracised and who live in conditions tantamount to slavery,' says PACS director, Rajan Khosla.

The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) programme is an initiative of the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID), aimed at reducing the gap in wellbeing status between socially excluded groups in India and the rest of the population. 

Find out more about the event through this interactive gallery.

Find out more

Read more about Christian Aid partners' campaign success on manual scavenging 

Christian Aid in India 

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