Discrimination occurs in cases where persons in analogous situations are treated differently simply because of who they are, without objective and reasonable justification. Most often discrimination takes place in relation to gender, racial or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion.
example If Parliament adopts a law stipulating that only men, but not women, are allowed to work as police, this is discriminatory. If the law provides for equal protection, but a state agency denies unemployment benefits to Muslims, this will constitute discrimination. However, if a younger job applicant is appointed ahead of an older applicant, it may not constitute discrimination, if the successful applicant had a better education and/or job experience.
Discrimination may also occur in cases where persons whose situations are significantly different, are treated in the same manner.
Discrimination & Human Rights
Discrimination results in the exclusion and rejection of people, and a denial of their rights. Therefore, discrimination is prohibited under human rights law. Other human rights may also be affected in situations where discrimination has occurred, for example, the right to life, the prohibition of inhumane or degrading treatment, the right to a fair trial and the right to private and family life. Read more about discrimination and human rights.
About this Guide
This Guide explains how you can recognize discrimination and what your rights are if you have been discriminated against. Learning to identify discrimination and about your rights can help you to defend yourself.
Assess your knowledge
If you wish to use the Guide for learning purposes, the Guide offers you a possibility to assess your knowledge in human rights before or after studying, by completing tests about different themes included in the Guide.
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