To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the report on the informal exercise on the extent to which some communities believe caste is a continuing social phenomenon within British society and on the question of whether there is evidence that individuals have been discriminated against on that ground; and what implications that exercise has for the Equality Bill. [HL3780]
To ask Her Majesty's Government why caste is not one of the protected characteristics listed in Clause 4 of the Equality Bill. [HL3781]
Caste has not been included within the scope of the Equality Bill because there is insufficient evidence that caste discrimination is a significant problem in Great Britain in the specific fields that discrimination law covers: namely, in employment; vocational training; the provision of goods, facilities and services; private clubs; the management or disposal of premises; education; and the exercise of public functions.
The informal exercise on the issue of caste that we conducted last year was intended to enable officials to gain a better understanding of the issues and to offer stakeholders the opportunity to put forward evidence of caste-based discrimination. It was not a formal consultation exercise and the Government do not plan to publish a report on the replies that were received.
The Government are keeping the matter under review and my officials will shortly be meeting representatives of organisations with an interest.