Legal Guides

What Does Freedom From Discrimination Mean?

freedom from discrimination

Freedom from discrimination is the right that guarantees an egalitarian society. It is a basic human right that stipulates that all human beings are subject to the same treatment, in terms of their civil, political, and socio-economic rights, and enjoy the same protection of these as one another. 

The enjoyment of such rights shall not be biased based on one’s nationality, color, religion, gender, sex, or cultural roots. Fair and equal treatment of all despite the abovementioned factors is what freedom from discrimination means.

Most of us have been victims of discrimination at some point in time or other. This has often left us wondering, can we take any action against it? Does the government protect our rights against discrimination? Can we head to court if we are being discriminated against?

The answer is Yes. Various global, national, as well as local authorities, have provisions that protect not only our rights and freedom against discrimination but also the rest of our human rights

To know more about freedom from discrimination, we must first understand what human rights are. 

Freedom From Discrimination Human Rights Perspective

Freedom From Discrimination Human Rights Perspective

Human rights are the rights that are entitled to a person by birth. They are fundamental rights that one enjoys just because they were born into a civilized world. Basic human rights include the right to free speech, right to life, right to liberty, right to work, and right to practice and preach any religion of choice.

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights contains a list of the basic human rights that all humans have the right to enjoy and protect from infringements. The UDHR was passed by the United Nations Organization in the year 1948. It was deemed necessary after the aftermath of Nazi Germany was witnessed by the world at large and civilians felt that the UN Charter alone was not enough to protect the rights of the citizens of the world.

What Are The Basic Human Rights According To The UDHR?

What Are The Basic Human Rights According To The UDHR

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights guarantees a few basic human rights of a person. These rights are guaranteed to all humans alike. Some of them are as follows:

  • Articles 1 and 2 protect one’s rights of liberty, equality, and dignity.
  • Article 2 focuses on the right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, color, sex, and other factors.
  • Articles 3, 4, and 5 deal with one’s right to life and right against torture and slavery.
  • Articles 6, 7, 8, and 9 deal with one’s right to equal protection of the law, right to justice, against arbitrary detention, and equal recognition of the law. 
  • Articles 10, 11, and 12 deal with one’s right to get a fair trial, the presumption of innocence until one is proven guilty, and one’s right to privacy.
  • Articles 13, 14, and 15 deal with the rights of freedom of movement, nationality, and asylum.

These were some of the basic human rights that have been guaranteed to us, the citizens of UN member nations. Freedom from discrimination- Article 2  of the UDHR has been implied in various federal and corporate legislations in the US. 

Freedom From Discrimination: Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

Freedom From Discrimination Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

Article 2 of the UDHR guarantees that all the 4 rights and freedoms mentioned in the declaration shall be3 enjoyed by all humans alike. Discrimination on the grounds of color, sex, gender, race, culture, and political views is prohibited under this provision. 

No person shall have to face any bias based on the political or other conditions of the nation that the person comes from. 

What Are Some Anti-Discriminatory Laws Of The USA?

What Are Some Anti-Discriminatory Laws Of The USA

The US Government has made sure that the citizens are not discriminated against when it’s a question of their rights, liberties, and important aspects such as employment. 

Some of the laws passed to fight against discriminatory practices in the country include the following:

The Equal Pay Act, 1963

The Act was passed to deal with the wage discriminatory practices that were rampant based on one’s sex. Women were paid less than men despite the productivity levels being the same. Although the practice has not completely ceased to exist, such legislations do help in abolishing part of the problem. 

The Civil Right Act, 1964

This important piece of federal legislation declared all forms of discrimination in the territory of the US based on one’s sex, color, religion, and national origin to be against the law. This brought about a revolutionary change in the labor laws of the nation.

Executive Order No. 11246

The order was brought into force by President Jhonson in 1965. It stipulated that no discriminatory policies were to be used when hiring US Government contractors. 

Age Discrimination Act, 1978

The Act was passed to provide comprehensive services to the aged population of the country. Age-based discriminatory practices were targeted by this piece of legislation.

American Disabilities Act, 1990

This Act was passed to protect the rights of disabled people. The3 mode of working of this Act was similar to that of the Civil Rights Act of ‘64.

The 5th And 14th Amendments

These amendments to the US Constitution ensure that discrimination is not practiced by the federal and state governments of the US. The 5th Amendment in particular establishes that the government has no right to deprive one of their right to life and liberty without them undergoing due process of the law.

Why Is Freedom From Discrimination Important In The Workplace?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States establishes that no employee or job applicant can be discriminated against because of their race, religion, sex, culture, disability, or national origin. 

It also states that any such practice or law that appears to be egalitarian by nature but when in practice, harms a particular group or sect, is to be considered discriminatory. 

One’s gender identity and sexual orientation are also to be not discriminated against, under the provisions of this act. 

Anti-discriminatory practices in workplaces are an essential element to ensure the ethical and complete development of a society. Companies practicing discrimination have often been called out by employees, and such organizations have been declared to have hostile work environments

Companies also have to make sure that job advertisements do not promote discrimination by stating the need for a candidate from a specific race, color, gender, religion, or origin. 

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