Prohibition of Discrimination

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Generous, but Equal Treatment? Anti-Discrimination Duties of States Hosting Refugees Fleeing Ukraine

More than 5 million refugees have recently fled Ukraine, the fastest-growing mass displacement in this century. About a quarter of Ukraine’s population and half of its children have fled their homes. The European Union (EU) responded with a first-time activation of the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD). Lurking behind tremendous generosity, States have treated arrivals from Ukraine differently than other recent flows of forced migrants and have also treated some fleeing Ukraine differently than others. Although differential treatment is not always discriminatory under human rights law, some State responses to the current crisis arguably have been. Fortunately, the law creates myriad ways to challenge these violations. Using this law in the courts, we argue, could foster better protection of refugees and other migrants in the current crisis and in the future, strengthening non-discrimination’s rightful place as a key tool for advancing the rights of people crossing borders. We have identified three contexts in which discriminatory treatment has emerged, or likely will, in the course of mass displacement from Ukraine: (i)…

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CEDAW’s Landmark Decision on the Criminalisation of Same Sex Conduct Between Women

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera (RFC v Sri Lanka), is a human rights activist and the Executive Director of Equal Ground which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in Sri Lanka. Ms Flamer-Caldera is a lesbian, and is open about her sexuality. Her activism on these issues is well-recognised both inside and outside of the country…

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The Disputes Between Armenia and Azerbaijan: The CERD Compromissory Clause as a One-way Ticket to Hague

Introduction In September 2021, Armenia and Azerbaijan lodged each against the other an application before the International Court of Justice (Court) (ArA and AzA). Both applications refer to alleged breaches of the 1966 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), using its compromissory clause (Article 22) to establish the…

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Who is the Final Interpreter in Human Rights: the ICJ v CERD?

In 2018 Qatar instituted proceedings against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court), alleging violations of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD or the Convention). In parallel inter-State proceedings the CERD Committee found in 2019 that it had jurisdiction to deal…

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Discriminatory torture of an LGBTI person: landmark precedent set by the Inter-American Court (Azul Rojas Marín and Another v. Peru)

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) has issued a landmark judgment in the case of Azul Rojas Marín and Another v. Peru, enhancing the rights of LGBTI persons, and setting new standards with the potential to reduce the levels of violence suffered by this group both within…

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