29th July 2013
Caste Amendment “Timetable”
The NCHT UK warmly welcomes the Government publishing its Consultation Timetable for the implementation of the “Caste amendment” to the Enterprise Bill.
The NCHT UK wholeheartedly supports the Government position in believing that it is important to establish whether caste-prejudiced discrimination already exists in the areas covered by the legislation and if so, the degree and prevalence, especially as the NIESR report itself correctly identifies that the existing legislation (Equalities Act 2010) could be used to provide suitable protections against caste-prejudice based discrimination and harassment.
This consultative process will guard against unintended legislative consequences and suffering that may have ensued as a result of the previous position. We further appreciate that the Government has accepted our submissions that detailed and thorough analysis of this issue is a prerequisite to satisfactory implementation. As a matter of principle, the NCHT UK is against prejudicial discrimination in all its forms and is committed to its eradication.
We also strongly and unreservedly support the Government’s objective of improving the understanding of Caste for the first time. We especially welcome that the Government consultation will for the first time also decide whether and how ‘caste’ should be defined, with clarity and accuracy; the NCHT UK feels that it is of paramount importance to have a common and working definition of this matter before the introduction of legislation and will be fully engaging with the Consultative process to ensure that the definition is NOT Hindu specific, as rightly stated by Rt Hon Maria Miller in her communication to us.