On 2 December 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa held in Minister of Basic Education v Basic Education for All that the failure of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to provide free textbooks to all students in the Limpopo province breached the constitutional guarantees of equality, human dignity, and the right to a basic education.
Today, on the occasion of Human Rights Day the Equal Rights Trust has launched My Children’s Future, a film which highlights the devastating consequences of laws implemented in 27 countries which deny women the ability to pass on nationality to their children.
Today, the Equal Rights Trust marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities by calling for greater efforts to combat discriminatory torture and other forms of ill-treatment of persons with disabilities.
Celebrations are underway in Myanmar as Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) are emerging victorious in a national election that is being described as a “dawn of a new era”. But the political leaders, including the so called icon of Burmese democracy, have colluded in the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya minority, by failing to condemn the wave of persecution and discrimination culminating in the deletion of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from the voting register.
Over the last two days Madagascar has taken significant steps towards eradicating gender discrimination in its nationality law and eliminating statelessness. If a reformed law is implemented it would ensure, amongst other things, that women are no longer discriminated against in their ability to confer nationality on their children – a change that would benefit many families across the country.
Commitments to reform were made during a session of Madagascar’s National Assembly where organisations including the Equal Rights Trust, UNHCR, the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights and Focus Development Association advocated on the necessity of reform.
London, 27 October 2015
On 13 October 2015, the European Court of Human Rights held in Vrountou v Cyprus that Cyprus’s refugee card scheme, which restricted access to benefits based on sex violated Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found that the scheme, which allowed children with displaced fathers to receive a refugee card and so access a range of benefits but not children of displaced mothers, had no objective and reasonable justification. The Court reiterated that states cannot impose traditions that derive from the man’s primordial role and the woman’s secondary role in the family to justify sex discrimination but that was precisely what the government’s argument sought to do. The unequivocal decision of the Court is welcome. The case is an important reminder that directly gender discriminatory laws and policies are still a reality in many states, a fact which the Equal Rights Trust’s recent research brings to the fore.
London, 20 October 2015
The Equal Rights Trust is accepting papers for the sixteenth edition of its Equal Rights Review (ERR), an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal on equality. Launched in 2008 and released bi-annually, the journal is a resource for those seeking to combat discrimination and promote equality globally.
Montego Bay, Jamaica, 26 September 2015
On Saturday 26 September, members of the Caribbean judiciary were brought together at an Equal Rights Trust workshop in Jamaica, to discuss judicial practice related to equality, including in respect to economic and social rights and LGBT rights.
London, 7 October 2015
On 17 September 2015, in an appalling case of caste discrimination, a UK Employment Tribunal held in Tirkey v Chandok that numerous employment rights of Ms Tirkey, a woman recruited from India to work in the Chandoks’ home, had been violated. The Tribunal found there had been “unacceptable working conditions” of employment and that the Chandoks had directly discriminated against Ms Tirkey because of her ethnic origin and indirectly discriminated against her because of her religion.