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Inclusivity and the law: do we need to prohibit class discrimination?

Professor Emerita Geraldine Van Bueren KC


This article argues that national, regional and international human rights and equality laws have proven insufficient protection against discrimination on the basis of class, birth and social origin. It demonstrates that class is still an important area of discrimination, but that class remains largely invisible to law. It provides evidence that class discrimination is no more difficult to define than disability, gender, and age and the other forms of prohibited discriminations. The author argues that there is sufficient space within existing equality provisions, but human rights fora and equality courts have failed to develop these provisions. The author therefore argues for express prohibitions on class discrimination in national, regional and international law.

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