The Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK) publishes new caste research

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published two new research reports today which look into issues surrounding caste in Britain.
Both reports are from the Commission’s Caste in Britain project which was undertaken at the request of government to help inform the introduction of a new statutory law. This followed the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 requirement that government introduce a statutory prohibition of caste discrimination into British equality law.
Key findings from the report to help inform this process include:
• Caste is a form of identity that is used as a basis for social differentiation, distinct from class, race or religion.
• Discrimination against an individual because of caste, including perception of caste, in education, employment, housing, business or public services cannot be tolerated and should be included in the protections against discrimination and harassment provided in the Equality Act 2010.
• However, the State should not intervene in cultural or social usages which are a matter of private practice. Therefore, in regulating in this area particular regard should be given to individuals’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
• The definition of caste should be neither too precise nor too broad. A minimum definition of caste in terms of endogamy (marriage restricted within a specific group) inherited status and social stratification would be useful.
• Businesses and public authorities will need clear and practical information about how the prohibition of caste discrimination will affect them. The Commission’s initial view is that the impact will be small given that the straightforward message remains that employers and service providers must not make decisions on the basis of irrelevant considerations such as caste.
Mark Hammond, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “The Commission hopes these new reports will contribute positively to the debate on the extremely complex area of caste and help to ensure the law is applied effectively.
“There are strongly held views on both sides of the debate so the Commission looked at existing evidence and consulted with experts through workshops and seminars to ensure a range of views were heard and considered in an objective and transparent way.”
For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 0161 829 8102, out of hours 07767 272 818.

• The research was carried out for the EHRC by a research consortium led by the University of Wolverhampton.
• The reports, Caste in Britain: Socio-legal Review and Caste in Britain: Experts’ Seminar and Stakeholders’ Workshop can be found here:
• The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.

Posted by on Mar 3 2014. Filed under Actualités, En Direct, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “The Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK) publishes new caste research”

  1. Harbans Lal Badhan

    Indian Caste System is more dangerous and harmful than any kind of Racial discrimination or slavery system. Caste is not only a social and religious evil but also a mental disease and mental sickness. Practice of caste, direct or indirect, should be banned at any cost by Act of Parliament or by the Law of State. Otherwise it will spoil and kill the democratic and secular character of any civilized society and state. To believe in caste is a crime against humanity. Caste system is not only a devil but also monster that divides the society..

  2. Harbans Lal Badhan

    “The Untouchables (Dalits) of India want economic, social, political, religious and educational equality in Society, not in the eyes of God”
    (Harbans Lal Badhan)

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