Several organisations and renowned academics have come together and created a website www.casteintheuk.org providing guidance on the questionnaire and the caste Consultation document, both of which contain complex legal terms and words. We do not want this to be a barrier to anyone wanting to respond to the survey.
A public consultation on caste in Great Britain and equality law has been launched by the UK Government and will take place on 18 July 2017. A joint appeal and website, urging relevant actors to fill in the consultation questionnaire and offering guidance, has been launched by several human rights organisations in the UK – including the Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN-UK).
Despite ample evidence that caste-discrimination in UK is a human rights issue, and a submission made by the Dalit Solidarity Network-UK and IDSN detailing the problem, not a single state mentioned caste discrimination at the UN UPR review of the UK. Human rights campaigners are disappointed at the negligence of the international community when it comes to addressing caste in the UK context. DSN-UK have summarised the review on their website.
Joint alternative report on caste-based discrimination in the UK – ALTERNATIVE REPORT for the 3rd review cycle under the Universal Period Review of the United Kingdom
Key facts and recommendations on caste-based discrimination for the UK UPR 2017 – prepared by the Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN-UK)
Ahead of the reviews fact sheets and UPR submissions concerning the situation of Dalits in the two countries have been prepared. The reviews are in place to examine the extent to which the two countries are upholding their international commitments on human rights. Dalit rights activists and organisations are urging states to act on holding both governments accountable to their obligations to combat caste discrimination.
BBC Asian Network’s host of the Big Debate, Nomia Iqbal, led a live debate on the caste legislation in the UK. Satpal Muman, Chair of CasteWatch UK and Satish Sharma, from the National Council of Hindu Temples, were in the studio and DSN-UK Director, Meena Varma called in.
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?