Evidence of Caste Discrimination in the UK

The government commissioned report Caste Discrimination and Harassment in Great Britain (2010), carried out by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) (an independent research body). The report found strong evidence of caste-based discrimination in the areas to be covered by the Equality Act 2010.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission published two independent research reports on Caste in Britain in 2014, both confirming the existence of caste-based discrimination in the UK.

(1) Caste in Britain: Socio-legal Review

(2) Caste in Britain: Experts’ Seminar and Stakeholders’ Workshop

Case Law

The case of Tirkey v Chandhok is the only case that has successfully included the issue of ‘caste’. You can read a summary of the case from the Equal Rights Trust. Alternatively, the full judgements are available from December 2014 and July 2015.

The Public Consultation

Caste in Great Britain and Equality Law: A Public Consultation was opened in March 2017 and closed in September 2017.

The analysis of the consultation can be found here.

The Government Response can be found here.

Academic Papers and Articles

Dhanda, M, 2020 An Unnameable Injustice: The Caste problem in the UK, Ambedkar King Study Circle Discussion (#5), 8 August 2020

Waughray, A, 2020 Caste, discrimination and legal change in the UK, Ambedkar King Study Circle Discussion (#5), 8 August 2020

Mosse, David, 2020 ‘Outside caste? The enclosure of caste and claims to castelessness in India and the UK’. in Comparative Studies in Society and History, (62) 1, Cambridge University Press, January 2020.

Waughray, A. (2018) ‘Caste in Britain: Public Consultation on Caste and Equality Law’ Economic and Political Weekly,  Vol 53(10), 10 March 2018.

Rodriguez Burr, M (2017) Different routes for protecting caste discrimination: Chandhok v Tirkey, Industrial Law Journal, 46(3), pp.406-416.

Waughray, A. Dhanda, M. (2016) ‘Ensuring protection against caste discrimination in Britain: Should the Equality Act 2010 be extended?‘ International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, Vol.16 No.2-3, pp.177-196.

Waughray, A. (2014) ‘Capturing Caste in Law: Caste discrimination in the Equality Act 2010’, Human Rights Law Review, 14(2), pp. 359-379.

Ashianty, S. (2014) Caste discrimination in the UK: legal developments, Equal Opportunities Review, April/May, 247, 14-16.

British Sikh Report Team (2013) British Sikh Report 2013.

Dhanda, M. (2013) ‘Identity and Difference: The Case of Dalits in Britain’. Unpublished paper, Indian Council of Social Science Research (Regional Centre), Panjab University, Chandigarh, 9 January.

Dhanda, M. (2013) ‘Caste and International Migration, India to the UK’, in I. Ness (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. Wiley Blackwell.

Dhanda, M. (2013) ‘Certain Allegiances, Uncertain Identities: The Fraught Struggles of Dalits in Britain’, in O.P. Dwivedi (ed.), The New Indian Diaspora. New York: Editions Rodopi, 99-119.

Waughray, A. (2013) ‘Capturing Caste in Law: The Legal Regulation of Caste and Caste Discrimination’. PhD thesis: University of Liverpool.

McPherson, K. and Shaw, K. (2012) ‘Is it Time to Legislate on Caste?’, Employment Law Journal, 127, February: 12-15.

Qureshi, K.,Varghese, V.J., Osella, F. and Rajan, S.I. (2012) ‘Migration, Transnationalism, and Ambivalence: The Punjab–United Kingdom Linkage’, in P. Pitkänen,  A. Içduygu and D. Sert (eds), Migration and Transformation: Multi-level Analysis of Migrant Transnationalism. Houten: Springer Netherlands, 13-61.

Sato, K. (2012) ‘Divisions among Sikh Communities in Britain and the Role of Caste System: A Case Study of Four Gurdwaras in Multi-Ethnic Leicester’, Journal of Punjab Studies, 19, 1: 1-26.

Ghuman, P. (2011) British Untouchables: A Study of Dalit Identity and Education. Farnham: Ashgate.

Takhar, O. (2011) ‘The Transmission of Tradition and Self Representation Amongst the Valmikis, Ravidasis and Namdharis in Britain’, in K. Jacobsen and K. Myrvold (eds.), Sikhs in Europe: Migration, Identity and Representations. Aldershot: Ashgate, 279-304.

Waughray, A. (2010) ‘Caste Discrimination and Minority Rights: The Case of India’s Dalits’, International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, 17: 327-53.

Metcalf, H. and Rolfe, H. (2010) Caste Discrimination and Harassment in Great Britain, London: National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance (2009) Hidden Apartheid – Voice of the Community: Caste and Caste Discrimination in the UK, A Scoping Study, Derby: Anti-Caste Discrimination Committee. 

Nesbitt, E. (2009) ‘Research Report: Studying the Religious Socialization of Sikh and ‘Mixed-Faith’ Youth in Britain: Contexts and Issues’, Journal of Religion in Europe, 2: 37-57.

Waughray, A. (2009) ‘Caste Discrimination: A 21st Century Challenge for UK Discrimination Law?‘ Modern Law Review, 72, 2: 182-219.

Dalit Solidarity Network UK (2006) No Escape: Caste Discrimination in the UK. Dalit Solidarity Network UK Report.

Nesbitt, E. (1997) ‘“We Are All Equal”: Young British Punjabis’ and Gujuratis’ Perceptions of Caste’, International Journal of Punjab Studies, 4, 2: 201-18.

Documentaries, Radio and Television

Casteaside: the fight to legislate caste in the UK, 2017 

BBC Asian Network Investigates: The Caste Divide, 2017

Global Caste Struggle: UK begins consultation on caste discrimination, WION, 2017

Caste discrimination fears as Modi visits UK, Channel 4, 2015

India caste debate: Anish Kapoor and Lord Bilimoria, Channel 4 News, 2015

Caste Discrimination in UK, Victoria Derbyshire Show, 2015

UK MPs reject law against caste based discrimination, Al-Jazeera, 2013

Caste based discrimination in the UK, BBC, 2013

Caste Discrimination in UK, Dalit Camera, 2013

The British Caste Conundrum, BBC Radio 4, 2011

India’s Caste Victimisation in the UK, Al-Jazeera, 2008