Thursday, November 12, 2009

[ZESTCaste] Indian-origin people facing caste discrimination in UK: study

Indian-origin people facing caste discrimination in UK: study
London, Nov 12 (PTI):

Thousands of people of Indian origin, 71 per cent of whom were Dalits,
face caste discrimination in Britain, says a new report, leading to
demands in the country for making it illegal.

The report, titled "Voice of the Community -- A Study into Caste and
Caste Discrimination in the UK", says that the caste system is
widespread and that it affects thousands of people in the workplace,
the classroom and even the doctor's surgery.
British law currently does not protect people who suffer caste-based
The issue was also discussed at the committee stage of the Equality
Bill 2009 in the House of Commons in June this year, but the
government said evidence of this was lacking.
The new study, whose main conclusion was that there is "considerable
evidence of caste-based discrimination among the Asians in Britain,"
was coordinated by the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance (ACDA), and
included academics from three British universities.
ACDA hoped that the study will provide evidence to the government to
make caste discrimination illegal.
The study suggests that 58 per cent of the 300 people surveyed said
they had been discriminated against because of their caste, while in
another query 79 per cent said they did not think the police would
understand if they tried to report a caste-related "hate crime".

Almost half of the respondents (45 per cent) said they had either been
treated negatively by co-workers or had comments made about their
While, nine per cent felt they had been passed over for promotion, 10
per cent said they had been paid less because of their caste. Another
5 per cent said they had experienced threatening behaviour because of
their caste.
The study was conducted by academics from the universities of
Manchester, Hertfordshire and Manchester Metropolitan University.
The report said that doctors from the Indian subcontinent now
indicated "a potential for caste discrimination occurring in the
healthcare sector".
"There is clear evidence from the survey and the focus groups that the
caste system has been imported into the UK with the Asian diaspora and
that the associated caste discrimination affects citizens in ways
beyond personal choices and social interaction.
There is a danger that if the UK government does not effectively
accept and deal with the issue of caste discrimination the problem
will grow unchecked," it said.
Meanwhile, Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and
Wood Green, was quoted by The Guardian as saying that "Caste
discrimination, like other forms of discrimination, needs to be
outlawed. This is the evidence that will prove the case for its
inclusion in the equality bill".

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