Caste Based Discrimination in the UK – Demonstrations outside Parliament and the Debate Outcome in the Lords

March 13, 2013

We wanted to say a big thank you to all supporters for showing your presence at the demonstration outside Parliament on Monday. We know legal protection for victims and future victims of Caste-based discrimination is very important for you and we know that many of you took a day off work and spent money to get to London to stand in unity. Thank you.

The demonstration, the lobbying and briefings to the Lords made a real difference. Together with the powerful and memorable speeches made by
supportive Lords the Amendment Clause on Caste was voted in with a very sizable majority. You can read the debate from Hansard, from the
following link:

You can even watch the debate on the inclusion of ‘caste’ from the following link (time 16.36 – 18.15):

Our campaign will now move onto the House of Commons where the Amendments agreed to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will be
considered by the Commons. We will need to ensure that we all lobby our local MP to ensure they support the Amendment on Caste. We will be
happy to share our draft of the lobby letter with you shortly.

See below for a joint statement that was issued following the successful demonstration outside Parliament.

Finally, we have listed a range of news and media links that have reported on the debate in Parliament, and the outcome for Caste Equality here in the UK.

In Unity
Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance Team.

The House of Lords stands up for the victims of Caste Discrimination in the UK
March 5, 2013

We are delighted that powerful arguments by members of the Lords defeated the Government yesterday with a notable majority – Hansard:256 to 153. They have sent a strong and unequivocal message that discrimination on the grounds of Caste has no place in the UK.

Almost 400 community leaders, activists and campaigners from across the UK protested on Parliament Square to demand justice for Dalits, as the Debate on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill began in the House of Lords. With one voice we called on the Government to do
the right thing by providing legal protection to victims of Caste-based discrimination in the UK.

We know the Government has acknowledged that Caste discrimination is a “complex and sensitive issue” and that “no-one should suffer prejudice
because of Caste”. But education without legislation will simply not work. Appointing consultancy firm Talk For A Change as a way forward
is nothing more than playing with loaded dice. Strengthening community relations is a different activity to providing a legal remedy for
discrimination that is already acknowledged and evidenced as existing in the UK. Any idea that this will work directly contradicts NIESR’s findings.

The Government must now do the right thing and accept the amendment on Caste to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill when it returns to the House of Commons.

Below is a list of the supporting organisations that endorsed the Joint Statement that was submitted to Government on the 28th November 2012

Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance (ACDA)
Anti Slavery International
Anti Land Grab and Forced Displacement of People
Asian Rationalist Society, Britain
Association for Community Cohesion (ACC)
Begumpura Foundation
BhagwanValmik Sabha Bedford
BhagwanValmik Sabha Birmingham
BhagwanValmik Sabha Coventry
BhagwanValmik Sabha London
BhagwanValmik Sabha Oxford
BhagwanValmik Sabha Southall
BhagwanValmik Temple Wolverhampton
British Asian Christian Council
British Pakistani Christian Association
British Organisation for People of Asian Origin
Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ)
Central Valmik Sabha UK
Coalition Against Caste Discrimination (CACD)
Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN UK)
Dalit Freedom Network UK
Dr. Ambedkar Mission Society, Bedford
Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK
Federation of Pakistani Christians (UK)
Indian Workers Association (GB)
Jagat Guru ValmikJiMaharaj
Indian Christian Concern
Indian Christian Association
Indian Overseas Congress UK
Kanshi Radio Ltd
Northern Ireland Council For Ethnic Minorities (NICEM)
Odysseus Trust
Ravidassia Community Centre, Hitchin
Shri Guru Valmik Sabha International
Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha UK (SGRS-UK) and is the voice for all Shri
Guru Ravidass Temples in the UK:
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Coventry
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Strood, Medway
– Shri Guru Ravidass Temple (Foleshill, Coventry)
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Bedford
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Birmingham
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Bradford
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Darlaston
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Derby
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha, East Ham
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Glasgow
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Gravesend
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Erith Kent
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Leicester
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Luton
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Northampton
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Southall
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Southampton
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Strood
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Walsall
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Willenhall
– Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Wolverhampton
Voice of Dalit International UK (VODI-UK)