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The Right to Non-discrimination

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Chapter Summary

The principles of equality and non-discrimination are closely interlinked concepts that are fundamental to international human rights law. These concepts have translated into legal standards. The principles of equality and non-discrimination encompass both de facto (substantive) and de jure (formal) equality. These two concepts are different but interconnected. The right to non-discrimination can be defined through its obverse concept-that of discrimination. Discrimination may be described as a less favourable treatment of a person or group of people compared to others in a similar situation which is not founded on objective criteria and is without reasonable justification. The two United Nations (UN) covenants both include general non-discrimination provisions prohibiting discrimination in relation to the rights protected by the covenant. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) contains several provisions relating to the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

Keywords:equality; ICCPR; international human rights law; non-discrimination



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