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On 28 August 2016, as a part of the regular review process, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published its concluding observations to the UK. The Committee expressed its concern that ‘several provisions of the Equality Act 2010 have not yet been brought into legal effect, including Section 9(5)(a) on caste-based discrimination’. Once again the UK government is being urged to ‘Invoke Section 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act 2010 without further delay to ensure that caste-based discrimination is explicitly prohibited under law and that victims of this form of discrimination have access to effective remedies, taking into account the Committee’s general recommendation No. 29 (2002) on descent’.
Domestic servitude inflicted on Dalits, the ‘untouchable’ lowest Indian caste, was supposed to have been made illegal in Britain. Why hasn’t the law been implemented?
Pro-caste activists have intensified their campaign to lobby and pressurise the British Parliament to stop it from making caste discrimination a crime in the UK.
The British government is yet to announce details of its planned consultation on incorporating protection against caste discrimination into the U.K. equality law, but within the Indian community the debate is already in full swing.
On 23 November 2016, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) held a consultation with civil society organisations “Joining hands to end racial discrimination”. It aimed to reflect on how the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination helped make a difference in combatting racial discrimination and seek views on how to improve and enhance its engagement with civil society.
Progress the Government have made on the publication of its caste discrimination consultation.