Equality and Inclusion

Non-discrimination and equality is about respecting the dignity of all, the backbone of all human rights and fair and equal societies. Societies that empower and promote full political, social, and economic inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic, or other status. Societies that leave no one behind.

Despite being the core to human rights, hate, discrimination, unequal and unfair power balances, treatment, and opportunities remain major challenges in societies all over world. Women, children, religious, racial, ethnic, and national minorities, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, migrants, older persons, and LGBTIQ+ communities are still experiencing direct and indirect forms of discrimination and violence. Obstacles to fully access and enjoy human rights. These inequalities are perpetuated if not addressed actively.

Status inequalities lead to increased risks for groups and individuals to be disproportionally affected by conflicts, climate disasters, pandemics and poverty. For societies at large these inequalities hamper sustainable development, justice, and peace.

Not a linear progress

We know that the international and national legal frameworks to combat discrimination, to protect and promote equality have evolved over centuries and continue evolving. This is both thanks to increased knowledge and hard struggles by human rights defenders at all levels of societies. At the same time, we also know that these achievements can be weakened and even erased over time. Rights that have been taken for given and seen as part of a linear evolution can suddenly be lost. Securing protection of human rights for all, especially for historically and currently discriminated groups and communities is a never-ending task.

What we do

To actively work against discrimination means to work for equality. To work for equality requires that current deep rooted norms and structural inequalities, forms of exclusion and discrimination are acknowledged and combated in multiple ways.

Our aim is to ensure that our work is contributing to different forms of equality. We do it by applying the human rights-based approach, guided by equality as a core principle. We also address different forms of inequalities and specific equal rights areas more specifically, based on challenges and needs in the contexts where we operate.

Gender equality is always central to all our work, but we also aim for intersectional approaches that acknowledges multiple unequal power relations, to secure multifaceted analysis that doesn´t risk positioning groups against each other in the specific context.

To achieve a positive impact on policy, legislation and practical implementation, we work with policy makers, legislators and key staff in the justice sector, academia (researchers and students), NHRIs as well as with CSOs and human rights defenders.

Examples from our programmes and research

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