Equality and Non-Discrimination under International Law
EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, Stephanie Farrior, ed., Ashgate Publishing, 2015
24 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2015 Last revised: 11 May 2015
Date Written: 2015
This is the introductory chapter to a volume of collected works on the subject: Equality and Non-Discrimination under International Law (Ashgate, 2015).
The principles of equality and non-discrimination lie at the heart of international human rights law. They are the only human rights explicitly included in the UN Charter, and they appear in virtually every major human rights instrument. This chapter introduces issues covered by the works included in this volume, including:
• theories of equality in international human rights law; • formal versus substantive equality, as well as structural and institutional inequality; • the drafting history of human rights treaty provisions on equality and non-discrimination; • incisive critiques of how UN and regional human rights bodies have interpreted and applied these provisions; • non-treaty instruments that have influenced international law and practice in this field; • what grounds of discrimination are prohibited under international law and why; • perspectives on how to determine when difference in treatment is permissible or impermissible under international law; • the intersection of multiple grounds of discrimination; • approaches to determining what special measures, also known as affirmative action, are allowed or even required under human rights law; • state responsibility for discrimination by non-state actors; • legal requirements to use non-legal measures to address discrimination, such as governmental programs to address root causes of the prejudice that leads to discrimination.
Keywords: racial discrimination, gender, women, religion, sexual orientation, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, covenant, convention, Yogyakarta, United Nations, intersectionality, health, education, labor, labour, climate change, environment
JEL Classification: I18, I28, I31, J71, K33, K40, N30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation