What is discrimination?

Direct discrimination

As per the Equal Opportunities Act, direct discrimination occurs where in the same circumstances, the discriminator treats or proposes to treat a person with a particular characteristic (status) less favourably than he treats or would treat another person with a different characteristic. The discriminator is thus deemed to discriminate when he does so because of the particular characteristic (status) of that other person. The characteristic (status) of that other person need not be the only dominant reason for discrimination. That it is a substantial reason would be enough for the offence to be constituted under the Act.


Indirect discrimination

A person discriminates indirectly against another person where he imposes or proposes to impose a condition, requirement or practice which is not justifiable in the circumstances, on another person and which has the effect of disadvantaging that other person when compared to other persons of the same status.


Discrimination by victimisation

A person discriminates by victimisation against another person where he subjects or threatens to subject that other person to any detriment on the ground that the aggrieved person has made or proposes to make, a complaint against the discriminator or any other person under the Equal Opportunities Act.


Grounds of Discrimination

Discrimination based on the following grounds (statuses) is prohibited under the Equal Opportunities Act-

  • Age
  • Caste
  • Colour
  • Creed
  • Ethnic origin
  • Impairment
  • Marital Status
  • Place of origin
  • Political opinion
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Criminal record in relation to employment of persons and persons in employment

Areas of Discrimination 

As per the Equal Opportunities Act, discrimination is unlawful in the following areas-

  • Employment activities
  • Traineeship
  • Professions, trades or occupations
  • Education
  • Provision of goods, services or facilities
  • Accommodation
  • Disposal of immovable property
  • Companies, partnerships, sociétés or registered associations
  • Clubs
  • Access to premises
  • Sports
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