Right to be Free from Discrimination on any Ground

United Nations World Conference Documents

Vienna para. 18 – The human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. The full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life, at the national, regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex are priority objectives of the international community;
para. 39 – The World Conference on Human Rights urges the eradication of all forms of discrimination against women, both hidden and overt.

ICPD Principle 4 … The human rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. The full and equal participation of women in civil, cultural, economic, political and social life, at the national, regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of discrimination against women on grounds of sex, are priority objectives of the international community;
ICPD para 4.4. – Governments should act to empower women as soon as possible by: . . . (c) - Eliminating all practices that discriminate against women; assisting women to establish and realize their rights, including those that relate to reproductive and sexual health;
para 7.45 – Recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for adolescents to provide, . . . , countries must ensure that the programmes and attitudes of health-care providers do not restrict the access of adolescents to appropriate services and the information they need, including on sexually transmitted diseases and sexual abuse. . . . services must safeguard the rights of adolescents to privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent, respecting cultural values and religious beliefs. In this context, countries should, where appropriate, remove legal, regulatory and social barriers to reproductive health information and care for adolescents;
para. 10.13 – . . . Governments should avoid discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex and disability, while taking into account health and other considerations . . .

ICPD +5 para 39 – Governments should ensure that the human rights of women and girls are respected, protected and promoted through the development, implementation and effective enforcement Women and are also encouraged to promote consideration by the Economic and Social Council and General Assembly of the Optional Protocol, and interested States parties are encouraged to work towards removing all existing reservations that are incompatible with the objective and purpose of the Convention. All Governments are encouraged to sign, ratify and implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women …

WCAR(1) Declaration – Reaffirming that States have the duty to protect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all victims, and that they should apply a gender perspective, recognizing the multiple forms of discrimination which women can face, and that the enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights is essential for the development of societies throughout the world;
WCAR para. 209 – Invites financial and development institutions and the operational programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations, in accordance with their regular budgets and the procedures of their governing bodies: (a) to assign particular priority to and allocate sufficient funding, within their areas of competence, to the improvement of the status of indigenous peoples, with special attention to the needs of these populations in developing countries, including the preparation of specific programmes with a view to achieving the objectives of the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People …

Beijing para 41 – The advancement of women and the achievement of equality between women and men are a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women's issue … Empowerment of women and equality between women and men are prerequisites for achieving political, social, economic, cultural and environmental security among all peoples; para. 225 – Many women face additional barriers to the enjoyment of their human rights because of such factors as their race, language, ethnicity, culture, religion, disability or socio-economic class or because they are indigenous people, migrants, including women migrant workers, displaced women or refugees. They may also be disadvantaged and marginalized by a general lack of knowledge and recognition of their human rights as well as by the obstacles they meet in gaining access to information and recourse mechanisms in cases of violation of their rights;
para 232 (a) – [Governments should][g]ive priority to promoting and protecting the full and equal enjoyment by women and men of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origins, property, birth or other status.

WSSD(2) II 6 (d) – Promote women’s equal access to and full participation, on the basis of equality with men, in decision-making at all levels, mainstreaming gender perspectives in all policies and strategies, eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination against women, and improving the status, health and economic welfare of women and girls through full and equal access to economic opportunity, land, credit, education and health-care services.

ICPD+5 para 24 (e) – to consider ratifying or acceding to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant workers and Members of Their Families . . .

Treaties

Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 2 – Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

CESCR(3) article 2 (2) – States parties to the present Covenant undertake that the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status; article 3 – The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.

CEDAW(4) article 2 – States Parties condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women and, to this end, undertake: (as referred to above). [T]he term “discrimination against women” shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field; article 3 – States parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men; article 11.2 – In order to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of . . . maternity . . . States Parties shall take appropriate measures: (a) To prohibit, subject to the imposition of sanctions, dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or of maternity leave and discrimination in dismissals on the basis of marital status; . . . (d) To provide special protection to women during pregnancy in types of work proved to be harmful to them; article 14 (1) – States Parties shall take into account the particular problems faced by rural women and the significant roles which rural women play in the economic survival of their families, including their work in the non-monetized sectors of the economy, and shall take all the appropriate measures to ensure the application of the provisions of the present Convention to women in rural areas; article 14 (2) – States Parties shall take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas in order to ensure on a basis of equality of men and women, that they participate in and benefit from rural development and, in particular, shall ensure to such women the right (a) To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels.

CCPR(5) article 2 (1) – Each State party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status; article 3 - The States parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant; articles 26 and 27 – all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law, regardless of race, sex, colour, language, religion . . . In those States in which ethnic , religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right to enjoy their own culture . . .

CERD(6) article 1 – In this Convention, the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose of or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural and any other field of public life; article 2 (2) – States Parties shall…ensure the adequate development and protection of certain racial groups or individuals belonging to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. CERD article 5 … States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law…; article 5, where it incorporates the notion that every person, without discrimination, is entitled to equality before the law in enjoying a large list of human rights including the ones that address civil rights and economic and social rights.

CRC(7) article 1 – For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier; article 2 (1) – States parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status; article 2.2 – States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members; article 5 – States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents, or where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.

CAT(8) article 1 – For this purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing for an act he or a third person has or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

MWC(9) article 7 – State Parties undertake, in accordance with the international instruments concerning human rights, to respect … without distinction of any kind such as sex, race, …or other status.

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1. WCAR: World Conference Against Racism

2. WSSD: World Summit on Sustainable Development

3. CESCR: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

4. CEDAW: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

5. CCPR: Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

6. CERD: International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

7. CRC: Convention on the Rights of the Child

8. CAT: Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

9. MWC : Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families