"Equality and fairness are the cornerstones of what makes a democratic society.

"We will be taking a pro-active approach towards combating caste discrimination and tackling inequality in all aspects of our society.

"Liberal Democrats are rightly proud of a commitment to equality that goes back decades, and the vision for a fair, free and open society is enshrined in our constitution.

"We reject any notion that the circumstances of someone's birth should determine their future role in society."

Currently, caste discrimination and harassment is not explicitly covered by British discrimination legislation. However, the Equality Act 2010 includes the provision that, by order of a Minister, caste may be treated as an aspect of race.

Because some religions are almost wholly low caste, some cases of caste discrimination and harassment may be covered by religious discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

However, for caste discrimination and harassment, religious provisions are likely to be less effective than caste-specific provisions and are unlikely to provide protection for members of a mixed-caste religion (including many Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims) or for atheists.

Liberal Democrat plans tried to address this in 2014, but were blocked by the Conservatives; as far as we're aware, we are still the only party with a Manifesto commitment to tackle caste discrimination.

An estimated 400,000 Dalits - widely known as "untouchables" - who are regarded as being beneath the caste system, live in the UK.