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Equal Rights Trust

The Equal Rights Trust is an independent international organisation combating discrimination and advancing equality worldwide. We currently work in over 40 countries, pursuing our objectives through advocacy, litigation, development of resources, and movement building.

People We Help 

  • The ethnic minority man who is ill-treated in detention.
  • The woman prevented by written law or custom from inheriting property.
  • The daughter who is threatened by the unwritten law allowing her father to kill her because she is dating the wrong man.
  • The immigrant stranded in a cycle of detention because he is stateless.
  • The member of a religious minority community persecuted because of their faith.
  • The couple humiliated in a café because they appear to be gay.
  • The child who will remain illiterate because she is deaf and denied access to education.
  • The woman who is dismissed as a TV presenter because she is of a certain age.

These people all have one thing in common - discrimination and disadvantage. But today, the fight against discrimination is fragmented, weakened by identity politics and there is little understanding of the overarching aspects of discrimination.

Our aim is to break down the closed boxes of the struggle for equality, to enhance solidarity among all who suffer from discrimination, and to promote a holistic, unified approach to non-discrimination and equality. While this is a long-term effort, measurable improvement in the level of protection against discrimination and the incremental growth of equal opportunity is within reach in many countries.

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 Declaration of Principles on Equality 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.

Our Long Term Objectives 

  • To document, expose and help eliminate violations of the fundamental right to non-discrimination, formulated in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and subsequent international treaties.
  • To ensure greater accountability of States and non-State actors with a view to their obligation to protect individuals against discrimination and promote equality.
  • To empower victims of discrimination in combating abuses.
  • To improve the public understanding of the right to non-discrimination and promote a broader consensus regarding equality as a value in present-day societies.
  • To contribute to developing the substantive and procedural aspects of the universal human right to non-discrimination.
  • To promote effective enforcement of existing anti-discrimination law and policies.
  • To facilitate the adoption of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation and policies, without which the right to equality is not adequately protected.
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