Equality: A Human Right?

The way we look at equalities today has its foundations in human rights. The concept of human rights dates back to the times of Plato and Socrates, however these ideas became more popular after the Second World War. World leaders needed to find a way to prevent the sort of ‘moral slide’ that lead to the Holocaust. The social and political developments that lead to genocide often begin with Government decisions that some individuals in society have less entitlement to basic rights and freedoms than others. International, European and UK human rights laws are designed to protect these basic rights and freedoms.

Equality is a fundamental human right, yet human rights law goes further than equality law by setting minimum standards of treatment. This ensures that everyone treated equally well, not just equally. As organisations, taking a human rights based approach helps find the balance on equality. Organisations can use basic human rights principles to help them plan and develop their work in a way that promotes equality:

  • Dignity
  • Equality
  • Fairness
  • Respect
  • Autonomy

Find out more about human rights at the British Institute of Human Rights website

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