UK : Upper House votes out Caste


The House of Lords in the UK has voted to outlaw caste discrimination among South Asians, a move hailed by activists as a major step in combating the social menace.

Discrimination on the grounds of caste should be outlawed in the UK, peers said as they defeated the government in a vote in the upper house of Parliament yesterday.

The government opposed the move, saying it had set up an education programme to tackle caste discrimination.

But peers said this was not enough, and the law needed to be changed. The government was defeated by 256 to 153.

The defeat was the second of the day for the government, with peers also challenging the government over the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in promoting a more equal society.

Caste Watch UK has been campaigning for caste-based discrimination to be included in the country’s equality laws, which would give nearly one million lower caste south Asians in Britain the same legal protection as people who face mistreatment on the basis of gender, sexuality or race.

“We have the support of not only the Dalit community but all Asian communities in the UK, including Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, who believe that unless this law is passed the UK’s Equality Act 2010 is not worth the paper it is written on,” Davinder Prasad, general secretary of Caste Watch UK said.

Source: Indian Express

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