1000 Voices and yet Unworthy of Legal Protection ?!?

1000's of protesters assembled again on Tuesday 16 April in Parliament Square.  They came from across...

Apr 18 2013

1000 Voices and yet Unworthy of Legal Protection ?!?

by Meena Varma in News

1000’s of protesters assembled again on Tuesday 16 April in Parliament Square. 

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Demonstrators in Parliament Square.

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Photographs : CasteWatchUK

They came from across the country and were of all faiths and creeds. Their purpose – to demand justice for Dalits and urge the Government to accept the amendment to outlaw caste discrimination.

On 4th March 2013, the House of Lords had overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to outlaw Caste Discrimination in the UK in Section (9)(1) of the Equality Act 2010.

On Tuesday, 16th April 2013, the House of Commons reversed that decision in their consideration of the Lords amendment to the Bill and voted to reject it.

The community leaders, activists all joined together in solidarity to make their voices heard.

They were appealing to the British sense of Justice and fairness as well as the conscience of Parliament ‘to do the right thing’ and provide legal protection to Caste affected communities in the UK.

Their demand deserved better ! – they now feel as if their collective voice went unheeded.

Jeremy Corbyn MP (Islington) and Chair of the Dalit Solidarity Network UK commented on the demonstration in Parliament Square during the Commons debate:

Outside the House at lunch time today, there was a considerable demonstration in support of the Lords amendment on caste discrimination. … All were united in the view that if there is discrimination on any basis, it is wrong….It is therefore incumbent on this House to do something.”… “I urge the House, if we think that discrimination is wrong, to legislate to say that it is wrong, and, if we want to outlaw it, to do it today”.

We return again – to the House of Lords on Monday 22 April 2013 – for fair play and justice – trusting that they will do the right thing by the 100’s of thousands of UK Dalits.

CasteWatchUK Press Release – 16th April 2013

To view the ‘Hansard’ transcript of the debate – hit the link below and scroll to column 219

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/chan140.pdf