• South Asia
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka
  • Japan
  • Yemen
  • Africa
  • UK
  • Diaspora communities


Although caste discrimination is most common in South Asia, this form of discrimination is also widespread in the UK. Evidence has been found that South Asians who have relocated to the UK, tend to bring the caste system, and inherent discrimination, with them when they move. Caste discrimination is therefore reproduced within South Asian communities in the UK.

It has been estimated that there are at least 250.000 Dalits living in the UK. The exact figure, however, is unknown due to issues concerning identification as a ‘Dalit’, lack of detailed research and the absence of caste data in the census.

While culture-specific menial occupations, such as for example manual scavenging, are not known to be pursued by Dalits in the UK, the ‘untouchability mindset’ persists and UK based Dalits are victims of several forms of direct and indirect discrimination. Dalits and lower castes in the UK are subjected to discrimination in education (in the form of pupil-on-pupil bullying) in the workplace and in the supply of goods and services (such as healthcare and in treatment in shops). Furthermore, caste based discrimination occurs in worship, religion and politics. The more direct forms of discrimination manifests itself in incidents of violence and public harassment.

Comprehensive studies (see below) confirm the existence of caste discrimination (see below) in the UK. In April 2013, after a prolonged campaign by civil society organisations, the UK government finally decided to outlaw caste discrimination.


Global Call Recommendation to End Caste Discrimination in the UK

Treaty Body Recommendations on Caste Discrimination in the UK

Universal Periodic Review and Caste Discrimination in the UK


IDSN has created an extensive database on caste-based discrimination.

Click here for all documents on the UK >>

Click here for news on the UK in IDSN’s database>>

Other resources

Caste discrimination in the UK (IDSN briefing note, 2013)


Caste Watch UK

CASTE-BASED DISCRIMINATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM - Alternative report submitted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination when reviewing the 18th and 19th periodic reports of the United Kingdom at its 79th session: Prepared and submitted by the Dalit Solidarity Network UK and the International Dalit Solidarity Network July 2011

UK (2010) - Study finds evidence of caste discrimination in the UK. The UK Government-commissioned report into the prevalence of caste prejudice and discrimination undertaken by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) was published in December 2010 and can be found here. A summary of the report is also available. Read the IDSN news article about the report here.

Hidden Apartheid - Voice of the Community (Full report, UK 2009) This report was published by the Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance in November 2009. It presents clear evidence of the existence of caste discrimination in the United Kingdom. 

Hidden Apartheid - Voice of the Community (Executive summary)

No Escape - Caste Discrimination in the UK (2006)

Reports published by DSN UK

Videos - Caste discrimination in the UK

Below are a selection of videos dealing with caste discrimination in the UK. Visit IDSNs YouTube Channel for more videos on other countries/themes.

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