Evidence has been found that South Asians who have relocated to the United Kingdom, 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.
Discriminatory mindsets persist
While culture-specific menial occupations, such as for example manual scavenging, are not undertaken 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 confirm caste discrimination in the UK
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.
IDSN has created an extensive database on caste-based discrimination.
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.