States have a duty to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the right to equality for all persons present within their territory or subject to their jurisdiction. Non-state actors, including transnational corporations and other non-national legal entities, should respect the right to equality in all areas of activity regulated by law.
11 Giving Effect to the Right to Equality
States must take the steps that are necessary to give full effect to the right to equality in all activities of the State both domestically and in its external or international role. In particular States must
(a) Adopt all appropriate constitutional, legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the right to equality;
(b) Take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that conflict or are incompatible with the right to equality;
(c) Promote equality in all relevant policies and programmes;
(d) Review all proposed legislation for its compatibility with the right to equality;
(e) Refrain from adopting any policies or engaging in any act or practice that is inconsistent with the right to equality;
(f) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that all public authorities and institutions act in conformity with the right to equality;
(g) Take all appropriate measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination by any person, or any public or private sector organisation.
12 Obligations Regarding Multiple Discrimination
Laws and policies must provide effective protection against multiple discrimination, that is, discrimination on more than one ground. Particular positive action measures, as defined in Principle 3, may be required to overcome past disadvantage related to the combination of two or more prohibited grounds.
13 Accommodating Difference
To achieve full and effective equality it may be necessary to require public and private sector organisations to provide reasonable accommodation for different capabilities of individuals related to one or more prohibited grounds.
Accommodation means the necessary and appropriate modifications and adjustments, including anticipatory measures, to facilitate the ability of every individual to participate in any area of economic, social, political, cultural or civil life on an equal basis with others. It should not be an obligation to accommodate difference where this would impose a disproportionate or undue burden on the provider.
14 Measures against Poverty
As poverty may be both a cause and a consequence of discrimination, measures to alleviate poverty should be coordinated with measures to combat discrimination, in the pursuit of full and effective equality.
15 Specificity of Equality Legislation
The realisation of the right to equality requires the adoption of equality laws and policies that are comprehensive and sufficiently detailed and specific to encompass the different forms and manifestations of discrimination and disadvantage.
All persons, particularly those who have experienced or who are vulnerable to discrimination, should be consulted and involved in the development and implementation of laws and policies implementing the right to equality.
17 Education on Equality
States have a duty to raise public awareness about equality, and to ensure that all educational establishments, including private, religious and military schools, provide suitable education on equality as a fundamental right.