Caste Discrimination: Government Consultation


2 mins

Posted on 08 Apr 2017

The Government Equalities Office is consulting on how best to address caste discrimination in Britain.

The consultation, which ends on 18 July 2017, explores two options:

  • drawing up legislation to provide that caste is an aspect of race, so that discrimination on the basis of caste is unlawful;  or
  • allowing case-law to develop naturally following the EAT's judgement in Tirkey v Chandok where the EAT ruled that caste could be protected under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) to the extent that it is bound up with ethnic origin. 

The Government seeks views on 

  • whether relying on the existing case law on ethnic origins provides an appropriate level of protection against caste discrimination.
  • which types of caste discrimination, if any, would not be covered by the concept of ethnic origin.
  • the pros and cons (such as social and economic) of relying on case law versus bringing in specific legislation on caste.
  • whether the public sector equality duty and/or the provisions on positive action in the EqA 2010 should apply to caste.
  • whether there is anything else the Government ought to be doing to prevent caste discrimination in Britain.

The Consultation Paper, Caste in Great Britain and equality law: a public consultation can be viewed here.

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