Government changes its mind and makes caste discrimination illegal

The BBC reports that Vince Cable has agreed to outlaw caste discrimination after the House of Lords twice voted on an amendment incorporating it into the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Those proposing the change argued that those considered to be of lower caste in some communities were discriminated against in employment or even at school. A government report from 2010 argued that a change in the law was the most effective way of dealing with this issue.

Liberal Democrat peer Eric Avebury has been at the forefront of the campaign to outlaw caste discrimination and has written about it on this site. He welcomed the Government’s change of heart in a brief intervention in the Lords:

I shall add a 15-second contribution to what the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, has already said about our gratitude to the Minister, who, as he said, has listened carefully to the representations that have been made. I only wish that she could have seen the joy that the announcement caused among the communities, which was displayed in a demonstration in Parliament Square yesterday afternoon. Hundreds of people were there, welcoming the change of attitude by the Government and saying that this was a moment of tremendous excitement and joy among all the Dalit communities.

I am not so sure about Talk for a Change, because I think that it is probably a waste of money. However, this is not the moment to cavil about the detail but only to welcome the principle that this matter will be dealt with by legislation. I am most grateful to my noble friend and to the Government as a whole for their change of mind, declared at this last moment.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Daniel Carr 25th Apr '13 - 9:04am

    “Liberal Democrat peer Eric Avebury has been at the forefront of the campaign to allow caste discrimination ”

    I think it should read ‘ban’ not ‘allow’

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 25th Apr '13 - 9:07am

    The word that was actually in my head was outlaw. Thanks for pointing that out so I could amend it so quickly.

  • Melanie Harvey 25th Apr '13 - 11:19am

    As caste discrimination has therefore been in play and, by census records which show my household to be mixed race, it has to be considered, this may play a part in and contributed as to why, the police have not done anything to date in concern of a serious assault and have for several years dispite evidence in support .

  • James Harper 25th Apr '13 - 1:04pm

    Delighted about this- wasn’t all that hopeful, but it was obviously the right thing to do and a small enough issue that a u-turn was possible.

  • Roger Roberts/Wales 25th Apr '13 - 6:09pm

    We owe Eric a tremendous debt of gratitude. In the Lords he is a model of what a Liberal should be. Diolch Eric.

  • Great news.

  • Wonderful outcome! – thanks in particular to Eric Avebury and Vince Cable.

  • Great step forward here

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Feb - 7:27pm
    @ TCO "No, but that minority of the current government that attended one will have experienced the horrors of the comprehensive system, where talented pupils...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Feb - 7:20pm
    Well, fancy that, the next part of a famous Rabbie Burns poem edited out on LDV .
  • User AvatarTCO 19th Feb - 6:59pm
    @Peter Hayes "I saw the horrors of 11+ in the 1950s.... I suspect the current government are too young for them and their friends or...
  • User AvatarRossMcL 19th Feb - 6:26pm
    Brian - As I always ask when people criticise the conference agenda, did you submit any motions yourself? Because that is how this party works....
  • User AvatarTom Harney 19th Feb - 6:09pm
    I agree entirely with the approach. A few questions. How would you ensure employee representation for local councils or government departments. And how about outsourcing,...
  • User AvatarBrian Edmonds 19th Feb - 6:04pm
    If there’s anything even remotely fascinating about the York agenda it has escaped me. When I re-joined the party last year, my primary impetus was...