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
Date Written: June 9, 2021
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: Suggested Citation