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Part III Substantive Guarantees, 11 Protection of Human Identity: Prohibition of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities

From: The Law of International Human Rights Protection (2nd Edition)

Walter Kälin, Jörg Künzli

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Indigenous peoples — Religion — Disability — Ethnicity — Gender — Minorities — Race — Collective rights

This chapter discusses the prohibition of discrimination, and protection of minorities. Under international law, the concept of discrimination denotes specific and qualified cases of unequal treatment that have the purpose or effect of making adverse distinctions on the grounds of race, sex, birth, ethnic origin, religion, political opinion, and other, similar reasons such as age or disability. Thus, international law enshrines several approaches to and categories of prohibitions to discriminate. General prohibitions of discrimination can be invoked by any individual, whereas prohibitions of discrimination against women, racial discrimination, and discrimination of persons with disabilities or based on sexual orientation only address specific types of particularly serious discrimination. Guarantees protecting the collective rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, while going beyond prohibitions of discrimination in a strict sense, are grounded in the need to address the often traditional and systematic marginalization of such groups.

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