Poverty as Misrecognition: What Role for Antidiscrimination Law in Europe?

Human Rights Law Review (2021 Forthcoming)

46 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2021 Last revised: 6 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sarah Ganty

Sarah Ganty

Yale Law School; Central European University; Ghent University-Universiteit Gent, Faculty of Law, Students; Université Saint Louis Bruxelles

Date Written: June 9, 2021

Abstract

It is widely agreed that victims of discrimination on traditional status grounds such as gender and race are overrepresented among the poor and undereducated. People living in poverty also face discrimination because of their socioeconomic situation. Many national, European and international antidiscrimination provisions prohibit discrimination on grounds that are related to a person’s socioeconomic situation. It is striking, however, that this is hardly applied in practice. On the basis of domestic — Belgian, French and British — and European material, this paper argues that the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of social condition is an empowering legal tool in the protection of disadvantaged people, especially regarding issues of misrecognition. Four reasons for this are considered: the role of the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of social condition in applying a direct scrutiny of the socioeconomic underprivileged situation of the applicants as well as in combating stereotypes and stigma against poor people, its important cross-cutting function in cases of multiple discrimination and its exclusive applicability in some occurrences of discrimination.

Keywords: Poverty, discrimination, misrecognition, vulnerability, intersectionality, social condition

Suggested Citation

Ganty, Sarah, Poverty as Misrecognition: What Role for Antidiscrimination Law in Europe? (June 9, 2021). Human Rights Law Review (2021 Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3863671

Sarah Ganty (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Central European University ( email )

Hungary

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent, Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Ghent
Belgium

Université Saint Louis Bruxelles ( email )

Brussels
Belgium

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