News

Director of DSN-UK to step down to lead global network

26th October 2020

Dalit Solidarity Network UK are sad to announce the departure of our Director, Meena Varma, who has been at the helm of our organisation for over 13 years. As some of you will know, she has been working full-time for both DSN-UK and our sister organisation, the International Dalit Solidarity Network, for the last few years, dedicating a huge amount of her time to keeping both charities running effectively. She has now decided that it is time to focus her efforts on IDSN and ensure that the issues of caste-based discrimination are kept on the agenda on the global stage. Under [..]

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Launch of DSN-UK Report Everyday Casteism campaign

19th October 2020

Today DSN-UK is launching our ‘Report Everyday Casteism’ campaign to collect evidence of caste-based discrimination and casteist hate speech in the UK experienced by non-dominant caste people. Our dedicated webpage has a succinct reporting form with an option to remain anonymous. Everyone who has faced casteist behaviour in the UK is encouraged to submit incidents that might be serious or negligible, very offensive or so minor and normalised that you do not even give it much thought or feel the need to protest. DSN-UK together with other like-minded organisations in the UK campaigned to include caste in the Equality Act [..]

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Californian case of caste-based discrimination re-awakens the need for specific legislation in the West

28th July 2020

For those who doubt the existence of caste-based discrimination among the South Asian diaspora, a case in America has revealed just how insidious it is. California regulators have decided to sue Cisco Systems over alleged caste discrimination perpetrated by two Indian-American employees against a third. Whilst US employment law doesn’t include caste discrimination, The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has filed a lawsuit against the tech company, claiming that they did not act on the victim’s report of harassment. Cisco have argued that caste discrimination is not illegal, but perhaps this might encourage a landmark ruling, much like [..]

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DfID and FCO to be merged

9th July 2020

On 16 June Boris Johnson announced that the Department for International Development (DfID) will be merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), under the rebranded department name of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. Due to be formally established in September, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will head up the new department while International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will remain only until the merger is completed. Why does this matter? Well, let’s start with the fact that no consultation was made with the UK’s international development and humanitarian sector, who firmly believe that DfID is the most transparent and [..]

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UK’s Largest Indian Dating Website removes Question on Skin Tone

23rd June 2020

We reported in our spring newsletter that an Asian dating website was responsible by means of an algorithm to exclude Scheduled Castes (Dalits) from certain matches. Shaadi.com, a marriage site for the Indian community in the UK, the US and elsewhere, is back in the headlines again. Originally, subscribers to the website were asked how dark or light their skin tone was – it is commonly believed that a darker skin tone denotes a lower caste and that lighter skin tones are more desirable. Following the Black Lives Matter movement, a subscriber from the US started a petition to remove [..]

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