Non-discrimination, with its counterpart equality, has a special place among the human rights provisions, considering that all human rights (civil, political, economic, social and cultural) must be implemented for everybody without discrimination and in full equality.
The international human rights instruments prohibit all distinction, exclusion, restriction or other forms of differentiated treatment within any given community – but also between communities – that cannot be justified and that compromises the enjoyment of human rights for all based on the principle of equality.
When one observes the contemporary world from this perspective, one notices that hundreds of millions of persons continue to suffer discrimination throughout the world because they belong to a people or an ethnic group, because of their language, their religious belief, their social and/or economic situation, their political opinions, their sex, their age or because of their sexual orientation.
There is an abundance of publications on the question of non-discrimination, but they are concentrated most often on one of its aspects (education, work, freedom of opinion and expression etc.)1 or on one category of persons (women, indigenous peoples, religious groups, migrants etc.). This booklet intends to give a “panorama” of the many facets of discrimination.