Our Story

The Equal Rights Trust was established in 2007, with a mission to combat discrimination and promote equality as a fundamental human right and a principle of social justice. We were founded to pursue and promote the right to equality as a right to participate in all areas of life on an equal basis, which requires taking a holistic, comprehensive approach to different inequalities. Since our foundation, this approach has provided the conceptual basis for all our work, which focuses on how to achieve equality through the enactment and implementation of equality laws.

In 2008, we launched the Declaration of Principles on Equality, together with 128 experts from more than 40 different countries. The Declaration brings together the best of law and best practice from the UN and around the world at that time. It sets out standards for achieving equality and underlines that states must enact and implement comprehensive anti-discrimination laws. In our first few years, we focused on research and conceptual initiatives examining the content and application of the right to equality and we also launched our first country project in 2009, supporting partners in Kenya and India. As of 2018, we have established projects and partnerships in more than 45 countries ranging from Azerbaijan to Zambia. Through these projects we have supported civil society movements to combat discrimination through reform and implementation of equality law.


A Unique Approach 

We are the only international organisation to focus exclusively on the right to equality and to approach equality from a unified human rights framework. This approach brings together: 
  • Inequalities based on different grounds, such as race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, among others.
  • Inequalities across different areas of life, such as the administration of justice, employment, education, and the provision of goods and services.
  • Socio-economic and status inequalities
The unified equality framework is expressed in the which was adopted and endorsed by hundreds of equality and human rights experts in October 2008. This document established, for the first time, general legal principles on equality as a basic human right. 
The Declaration assists the efforts of legislators, the judiciary, civil society organisations and anyone else involved in combating discrimination and promoting equality, preparing the ground for a progressive set of equality norms and policies in the 21st century.