Church groups have hailed the report of an Indian federal commission recommending an end to decades of religion-based discrimination which excluded Christian and Muslim Dalits from affirmative action legislation.
Among the many arguments within and about the controversial UN review conference on racism, one that has attracted less media coverage is the overlooking of the struggles of 260 million so-called 'untouchables' in South Asia.
According to Indian government documents, Christians account for less than 10 percent of the population of the southern Karnataka state. But the proportion may be much higher because of the impact of caste and categorisation, research shows.
Catholic Bishops in India have appealed for justice for the country's Muslim population as it faces increasing pressure from nationalists, alongside Christians. They have also highlighted the plight of Dalits (formerly known as 'untouchables') and other minority communities.