Almost one in five Sikhs living in the UK have suffered some sort of discrimination in a public place over the last 12 months, a report by the Sikh Network revealed this week.
The figures were highlighted following the publication of the UK Sikh Survey 2016, which asked over 4,500 respondents about their life in the UK.
On top of the 18 per cent of respondents encountering discrimination in a public place, eight per cent – or 1 in 12 – said they had experienced such offence when dealing with a public official in the past 12 months.
Jas Singh of the Sikh Network, and one of the authors of the report, said: “We have had a very positive response and interest in the UK Sikh Survey findings from government officials, public bodies and statistical organisations.
“We have met with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) about the survey and will be following up with a more detailed discussion around the results especially around identity and ethnicity for the Census 2021.
“We have also been in contact with a number of interested government departments including the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Department for Education (DfE) and a number of police forces.
“The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss in more detail the specific findings with a positive intent to inform policy and decision making as well as approaches and changes in recording and tackling crimes against Sikhs”.
As well as highlighting a worrying number of discriminatory incidents, the report also strongly suggested a consensus amongst many in the UK’s Sikh community, that a new ‘label’ would be welcomed for the 2021 Census.
Of all the Sikhs interviewed, 19 out of 20 reject being described as ‘Indian’ or ‘Asian’ , with 93.5 per cent saying they would welcome the inclusion of a separate ethnic tick box for Sikhs in the future.
Over 91 per cent of the country’s Sikh population now have British nationality.
Sikhs in politics statistics:
The UK Sikh Survey 2016 also asked interviewees about political activism and representation, finding:
- Sikhs had the highest turnout of any group in the last General Election
- Sikhs are five times more likely to be members of political parties
- Political parties are struggling to get the vast majority of Sikh voters to identify with them
- Nearly three quarters of Sikhs are dissatisfied with their MPs on taking forward Sikh issues
- Only one in nine Sikhs feel Parliament effectively represents them
- More than three quarters indicate political engagement and interest would be increased if there were more Sikh MPs & Peers