Sexual Orientation

EU COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation

This directive prohibits employment discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. Article 2 prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination and defines harassment as amounting to discrimination. Articles 4-6 provide for exceptions to the principle of equal treatment. Other key provisions of the directive include shifting of the burden of proof and the prohibition of victimisation.

UN HRC. General Comment No. 24: Issues relating to reservations made upon ratification or accession to the Covenant or the Optional Protocols thereto, or in relation to declarations under article 41 of the Covenant (Art. 41)

The Comment discusses the procedure by which States Parties may express reservations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Reservations made by States Parties that are discriminatory will not be accepted. States cannot reserve the right to practice slavery, torture, the execution of pregnant women and children, or the advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred; nor may they reserve the right to restrict the rights of minorities to maintain their culture or to restrict freedom of religion.

UN HRC. General Comment No. 25: The right to participate in public affairs, voting rights and the right of equal access to public service (Art. 25)

The Comment discusses the responsibility of States Parties to ensure every citizen's rights to participate in public affairs, have access to public services, vote and be elected with no discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights gives people the right to determine their political status and form of government freely.