Access to Justice

Access to Justice unit of Swadhikar is spearheading a nation-wide movement for asserting the civil and political rights of Dalits and Adivasis in India. It is a democratic, secular, non-party movement of Dalits survivors, defenders, academics and organisations headed by Dalits to initiate, advocate and involve in mass action to address the issues of caste based discrimination and violence primarily un-touchability and atrocities to ensure dignity, equality and justice . The Unit works with executive, judiciary, policy makers and communities for protection and promotion of human rights of Dalits and Adivasis. It adopts multi-pronged strategies and intervenes at multi-level for ensuring access to justice to those affected by atrocities and discrimination in 20 states of India.

Key Stratergies Legal Intervention

Fact Finding Missions

Cases of Atrocities: The Unit successfully intervened in selected atrocities cases with Dalit human rights monitoring strategies (DHRM). This year it has conducted 234 fact findings missions, provided legal aid, and supported the survivors in receiving compensation and relief and rehabilitation. The survivors were supported during the whole continuum starting from case registration till the hearings in the court. This enhanced the capacity of the defenders and activists to pressurize and influence the institutions to implement their mandated constitutional roles for the protection and promotion of Dalits and Adivasis.

Unlawful detention and false charges: The wrongful detainment and incarceration of Dalits and Adivasis communities is an area of blatant human rights violation of Dalits and Adivasis rights by the state. 6 fact findings missions in the cases were Dalits were falsely implicated or unlawfully detained in the state of Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu were conducted. In almost all the cases representations have been submitted to the concerned authorities and cases are being followed up by the partners.


Atrocity Tracking Monitoring System

The web based ATM system proved to be an effective tool during atrocity case interventions. Around 150 DHRDs and CSOs were capacitated through regional and national level trainings for developing the technical skill for uploading and tracking atrocity cases through Atrocity Tracking Monitoring system and building legal knowledge SCs and STs (PoA) Amendment Act 2015 and laws related to women and children.405 cases reported across the country are uploaded in the ATM and has secured Rs.1, 27, 11,250/-compensation in these cases.

This year ATM tool generated 1697 email alerts and 2702 SMS notifications were sent to concerned authorities for proper and timely legal interventions. In many cases, the notification generated through ATM compelled enforcement agencies for prompt actions such as registration of FIR, conduct spot inspection, arrest of the accused, timely submission of Charge sheet and it helped in making statutory bodies recognizing ATM as authentic and reliable tool for atrocity tracking and monitoring.



Zero Discrimination Campaign

THE UNIT initiated a campaign on Zero discrimination in school education to visibilize the discrimination and torture children are subjected to, due to their identity vis-à-vis caste, ethnicity and religious minority. More than 100 CSOs/CLSs have joined the campaign.The action to address “Zero discrimination in schools” focused on a multiple levels of interventions

(1) awareness building, networking and consultations with various stakeholders

(2) monitoring of public and private aided schools to document the forms of discrimination faced by students,

(3) evidence based advocacy with Government authorities to influence the policy and guidelines.