Article 2: Freedom from Discrimination

  • 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. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

The right to freedom from discrimination ensures that everyone can claim all of the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It protects humans from being denied their rights based on a number of different reasons. In the article itself, it lists different subjects on which a person can not be discriminated against. Furthermore, Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act from 1991 describes what is universally seen as unlawful discrimination against humans. This article should be seen in accordance with article 1 as it also is a cornerstone for the rest of the articles. This right ensures that everybody can claim any of these rights no matter where or who they are, as they are for everyone. The only requirement of these Human Rights is that you are a human being.       The article distinguishes between two kinds of discrimination. The first half focuses on discrimination against the individual human: “race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”        The second half focuses on discrimination against the individual human but based on their country or territory. This means that no matter what the state of a country or its laws might be, the individual can not be held accountable or limited in rights, based on its country/territory.        Many examples of violations against the right to freedom of discrimination are seen in accordance with one or more of the other articles. In many parts of the world, it is impossible for a woman to purchase her own property or land. This is a violation of article 17 but also of this article as it is discrimination based on gender.

Written by Nanna Orloff Mortensen

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